Monthly Archives: January 2009

THE READER

The Reader Movie Review

R, 124 min, 2008

Director: Stephen Daldry
Writers: David Hare (screenplay), Bernhard Schlink (book Der Vorleser)
Stars: Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, Bruno Ganz

Stephen Daldry’s The Reader is an intimate epic of sexual awakening, embarassing secrets, shameful lies, grief and guilt. This is a sensual, historically-influenced tale which touches greatness, but never quite lives up to it. Continue reading

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THE WRESTLER

The Wrestler Movie Review

R, 109 min, 2008

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writer: Robert D. Siegel
Stars: Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood

Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler is an astonishingly powerful, utterly absorbing and deeply moving drama, a specific portrait of a life – the life of a professional wrestler. Continue reading

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MILK

Milk Movie Review

R, 128 min, 2008

Director: Gus Van Sant
Writer: Dustin Lance Black
Stars: Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch

Gus Van Sant’s Milk is a moving, inspirational, sweeping portrait of a life; it pulled me in from the start of the opening credits, and never let go. Continue reading

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REVOLUTIONARY ROAD

Revolutionary Road Movie Review

R, 119 min, 2008

Director: Sam Mendes
Writers: Justin Haythe (screenplay), Richard Yates (novel)
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Christopher Fitzgerald

Sam Mendes’ Revolutionary Road, the theater veteran’s latest plunge below the surface of suburban ennui, is a cool, austere portrait of the lives many led in America during the 1950s. Continue reading

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FROST/NIXON

Frost/Nixon Movie Review

R, 122 min, 2008

Director: Ron Howard
Writer: Peter Morgan (screenplay), Peter Morgan (play)
Stars: Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Kevin Bacon

Ron Howard’s Frost/Nixon, a lesson in modern history, is a political thriller that draws us in, builds little by little, and finally absorbs us in its David and Goliath tale of two willful men locked in a struggle in which truth and justice will out. Continue reading

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SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE

Slumdog Millionaire Movie Review

R, 120 min, 2008

Directors: Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tandan (co-director: India)
Writers: Simon Beaufoy (screenplay), Vikas Swarup (novel Q & A)
Stars: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Saurabh Shukla

Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire is a winsome, gripping, ultimately inspirational fable, a modern day fairy tale of the highest order, celebrating the intelligence required to learn from your past. Continue reading

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NOTORIOUS

Notorious Movie Review

R, 122 min, 2009

Director: George Tillman Jr.
Writers: Reggie Rock Bythewood (written by) and Cheo Hodari Coker (written by)
Stars: Jamal Woolard, Anthony Mackie, Derek Luke

Notorious is a vibrant, effective portrait of a troubled life that, when push came to shove, tried to take a turn for the better – unfortunately, when it was too late. Christopher Wallace, a.k.a. “Notorious B.I.G.,” “Biggie Smalls,” etc. was a Brooklyn-born kid of good parentage who wanted to be famous and rich. Continue reading

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GRAN TORINO

Gran Torino Movie Review

R, 116 min, 2008

Director: Clint Eastwood
Writers: Nick Schenk (screenplay), Dave Johannson (story) & Nick Schenk (story)
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Bee Vang, Christopher Carley

Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino could be taken a number of ways: Is it a treatise on modern American race relations? Is it a violent melodrama in which one man must stand up to the growing throng of gang violence? Or is it a coming of age tale of sorts for both a young teen and a bitter old man? It could be seen as all of the above; however, it’s also frustrating, contrived, emotionally manipulative and wildly uneven – and sometimes kind of wonderful. Continue reading

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BRIDE WARS

Bride Wars Movie Review

PG, 89 min, 2009

Director: Gary Winick
Writers: Greg DePaul (screenplay) and Casey Wilson (screenplay) & June Diane Raphael (screenplay), Greg DePaul … (story)

Stars: Kate Hudson, Anne Hathaway, Candice Bergen

Just in time for the one-year anniversary of the marriage obsession debacle that was 27 Dresses, here comes another embarassing attempt at sociopathic tendencies and wedding frenzy as comedy. Continue reading

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