The Land of Steady Habits (2018)

NICOLE HOLOFCENER Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.  USA, 2018.  Likely Story.  Screenplay by Nicole Holofcener, based on the novel by Ted Thompson.  Cinematography by Alar Kivilo.  Produced by Stefanie Azpiazu, Anthony Bregman.  Music by Marcelo Zarvos.  Production Design by Dina Goldman.  Costume Design by Alex Bovaird.  Film Editing by Robert Frazen.  Toronto International Film Festival 2018. Ben Mendelsohn is enjoying life in early retirement,…

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A Simple Plan

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Superb thriller that takes an examination of human greed to its most terrifying extreme.  Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton are brothers who, along with pal Brent Briscoe, discover a few million dollars stashed away in a stranded plane that crashed in the woods near their small town. They decide to hide the…

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Year One

B (out of 5) Two cavemen in are rejected from their prehistoric village after one of them (Jack Black) eats from the forbidden Tree of Knowledge. The two primitives (Black’s companion being Michael Cera) journey to the world outside their village, entering the book of Genesis as they witness Abel’s murder by his brother Cain,…

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Frequency

BBB.5 (out of 5) Surprisingly effective thriller about a young man (Jim Caviezel) who has never really got over his father’s dying when he was a child. He gets the chance of a lifetime when an odd miracle of northern lights and ‘the mother of all sunspots’ allows him to speak to his father (Dennis…

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Hart’s War

BB.5 (out of 5) A United States soldier (Colin Farrell) is caught during a secret World War II operation in Germany and is sent to a prisoner-of-war camp. There he meets with resistance from an imprisoned captain (Bruce Willis) and a disrespectful and insubordinate soldier (Cole Hauser) who ranks lower than him. When Hauser is…

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The Blind Side

BBB (out of 5) Sandra Bullock  shines so bright in this film that its shortcomings are wholly forgiveable. It tells the true story of Michael Oher, at the beginning of the film a shy young black man with no home or family who is sent to an upscale Christian school in Memphis. There he catches…

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The Lookout

BBB.5 (out of 5) Joseph Gordon-Levitt survived the prom night car crash that killed two of his friends, but only barely: his mind has been left permanently affected, his memory unreliable and his ability to sequence the events of the day unstable at best. Working a job as a night janitor at a bank, he longs…

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The Lake House

BB (out of 5) If you’re like me and you just can’t resist a good Keanu Reeves metaphysical tearjerker, by all means, don’t delay.  Sandra Bullock plays a lonely Chicago doctor (which is a step up from the lonely Chicago transit ticket seller she was playing in While You Were Sleeping eleven years ago) who leaves a letter in…

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