RANGO

No animated movie this year could be more in love with the very essence of movies than Gore Verbinski’s Rango, a whip-smart film as much for adults as for kids. Johnny Depp gives voice to the title character, a lizard with an existential crisis on his hands – is he an actor or merely a lizard? Is he a hero? Arriving in the town of Dirt, our intrepid lead character will find out, facing a plot derived from Chinatown and film references to everything from Star Wars to Depp’s own Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (how many “family” films do you know that would harken back to an R-rated Hunter S. Thompson drug film?). This all just adds to the film’s grown-up charm.

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