Tag Archive: Carter Burwell

The Founder

BB.5 (out of 5) A traveling salesman who has peddled everything possible is tired and disillusioned, trying to get drive-in burger joints to buy his multi-milkshake machine and getting nowhere until a phone call… Continue reading

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Hail, Caesar!

B.5 (out of 5) It’s 1951 and the post-war boom that has made America the leading industrial country in the world is reflected in the glorious movies being made in Hollywood. Josh Brolin… Continue reading

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The Finest Hours

BBB (out of 5) The true story of the most courageous and dramatic rescue in American Coast Guard history. Chris Pine is appealing as the soft-spoken, true-hearted sailor who ignores common sense and follows… Continue reading

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Anomalisa

BBBB (out of 5) Leave it to Charlie Kaufman to find in animation the opportunity to describe the limits of the imagination. David Thewlis voices the character of a motivational speaker who is spending… Continue reading

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Carol

BBBBB (out of 5) A department store clerk (Rooney Mara) catches the eye of a beautiful, wealthy housewife (Cate Blanchett), which leads very quickly to lunches together and, before long, evenings in front of the… Continue reading

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Mr. Holmes

BB.5 (out of 5) Arthur Conan Doyle’s eternal detective hero has seen better days when this film begins, a now frail old man (portrayed by Ian McKellen) who has left Baker Street and… Continue reading

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The Fifth Estate

BB.5 (out of 5) The saga of Julian Assange is given the cinematic treatment by Bill Condon, with Benedict Cumberbatch doing an uncanny riff on the man and an excellent Daniel Brühl as his sidekick, Daniel… Continue reading

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Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus

BB.5 (out of 5) Steven Shainberg follows up his breakout success Secretary with another film that promises to bring life on the margins to the forefront but is not nearly as boundary-busting as… Continue reading

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The General’s Daughter

B (out of 5) The worst film of the year is this blundering psychological murder mystery starring John Travolta (in a hackneyed performance) and Madeleine Stowe (looking like she wandered onto the set by accident).… Continue reading

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Kalifornia

BB.5 (out of 5) David Duchovny and Michelle Forbes are travelling the country visiting the sites of famous American murders. He is presumably working on a book about the subject, but the matter becomes something… Continue reading

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Mystery, Alaska

BBB (out of 5) Surefire crowd-pleaser about an amateur hockey team in a small town in the far north, who get the chance of a lifetime when a major league team comes to… Continue reading

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In Bruges

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell are hit men who have been sent to the picturesque town of Bruges, Belgium to cool their heels after an assignment has gone wrong. Farrell botched… Continue reading

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Airheads

B (out of 5) Lame farce is poorly acted, badly written, and not all that funny. Brendan Fraser and his pals Adam Sandler and Steve Buscemi have their own band but can’t get anywhere with their… Continue reading

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Adaptation.

BBBB (out of 5) For writer Charlie Kaufman, the line between reality and fiction is a blurry, obscure dream that often escapes his grasp; his contribution to Spike Jonze’s latest comedy demonstrates this… Continue reading

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Where The Wild Things Are

BB (out of 5) A young boy gets tired of being ignored by his overworked single mother (Catherine Keener) and his mean older sister. After deciding he’s had enough (he’s actually a bit… Continue reading

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A Knight’s Tale

BBB (out of 5) Heath Ledger plays William, a Knight’s servant who decides upon his master’s death to take up the lance and place in a jousting tournament. The success of his first attempt… Continue reading

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Twilight (2008)

BB (out of 5) Teenager Bella (Kristen Stewart) leaves her mom’s home in Phoenix to go live with her dad in the tiny town of Forks, Washington, and really doesn’t mind it one… Continue reading

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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… Continue reading

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The Rookie

BBB (out of 5) Dennis Quaid plays a high school baseball coach who was once in line to make it to the majors but had to quit after an injury ruined his dreams of… Continue reading

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A Dangerous Woman

BB (out of 5) A great deal of publicity preceded this film, mainly pushing Debra Winger for awards consideration; ultimately the film made little impact and she got all her nominations for Shadowlands that year instead. She’s effective… Continue reading

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Velvet Goldmine

BB.5 (out of 5) Overly long and messy but visually stunning tribute to the period of seventies glam rock. Jonathan Rhys Meyers plays a Ziggy Stardust-like singer whose death during a concert performance… Continue reading

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Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead

BBBB (out of 5) Any movie that opens with a shot of Philip Seymour Hoffman naked is the work of a nasty sadist who is out to punish his audience. Give this one time,… Continue reading

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Conspiracy Theory

BB.5 (out of 5) Ridiculous thriller by Richard Donner has paranoid Mel Gibson suspecting everyone of being in on one conspiracy or another, and drags in a good friend (Julia Roberts) whose life he… Continue reading

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The Celluloid Closet

BBBBB (out of 5) Great documentary from Academy Award-winning directors Jeffrey Friedman and Rob Epstein (Common Threads: Stories From The Quilt) about the history of homosexuality in Hollywood cinema. Featuring interviews with Susan… Continue reading

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Howl

BB (out of 5) The creation of the four-part poem that gained Allen Ginsberg the notoriety and fame that lasted the rest of his life is the subject of this howlingly boring docudrama… Continue reading

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What Planet Are You From?

BBB.5 (out of 5) Critics were unfairly harsh to this enjoyable comedy, probably because having Mike Nichols’ name in the credits promised more than they eventually got (and apparently they haven’t seen The… Continue reading

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Kinsey

BBBB (out of 5) This film reminds me of the line that Ben Kingsley delivers in Merchant Ivory’s adaptation of E.M. Forster’s Maurice: “England has always been disinclined to accept human nature.” Substitute… Continue reading

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The Chamber

BBB (out of 5) Routine John Grisham thriller features a weak lead performance by Chris O’Donnell as a green lawyer who goes home to a small southern town to defend his Klansman grandfather (Gene… Continue reading

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Barton Fink

BBB (out of 5) In this highly stylized Coen Brothers comedy, John Turturro plays a Broadway playwright who is brought out to Hollywood to write films. Initially thrilled at the prospect of changing… Continue reading

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Miller’s Crossing

BB (out of 5) The Coen brothers get points for style and little else for this period gangster piece. Gabriel Byrne is boring as an advisor to a big-time Irish-American crime boss during Prohibition. Albert Finney and… Continue reading

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Blood Simple

BBB.5 (out of 5) The Coen Brothers got off to a great start with their popular film debut, an excellent tale of murder and adultery in the style of the great 1940s film… Continue reading

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True Grit (2010)

BBBB (out of 5) Hailee Steinfeld is excellent as a fourteen year-old girl who leaves her rural county to head to the big city and find the man who shot her father. Having deduced… Continue reading

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The Man Who Wasn’t There

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Brilliant Coen brothers film about a placid barber (Billy Bob Thornton) who tries to arrange a simple scam to get himself out of the boredom of his life. When… Continue reading

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The Big Lebowski

BB (out of 5) Annoying Coen brothers film about mistaken identity has reprehensible loafer Jeff Bridges taking the heat from kidnappers when he is mistaken for a rich man with the same name as… Continue reading

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The Hudsucker Proxy

BBB (out of 5) Stylish and witty film by the Coen brothers that pays tribute to the Frank Capra/Preston Sturges comedies of yesteryear. When Hudsucker Industries loses its president (Charles Durning) to suicide,… Continue reading

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Raising Arizona

BBB.5 (out of 5) Early entry in the Coen Brothers canon that hit well enough with audiences and critics to put their name on the map. Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter are both… Continue reading

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The Kids Are All Right

BBB (out of 5) Annette Bening and Julianne Moore have raised two children together and are now in for a change of pace as daughter Mia Wasikowska prepares to go to college. They’re in for… Continue reading

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The Jackal

BB.5 (out of 5) Remake of Fred Zinnemann’s Day of the Jackal tries to update the original story’s political climate to today but ends up being a routine thriller with nothing original to offer. Bruce… Continue reading

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Rob Roy

BBB.5 (out of 5) 1995 was the year of the kilt epic, what with Mel Gibson’s excellent Braveheart and then this fun biopic of the Scottish hero (played by Irish movie star Liam Neeson)… Continue reading

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This Boy’s Life

BBB (out of 5) Tobias Wolff’s autobiography is brought to the screen with grace and fine dramatic intensity. As a young man (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), Wolff has to watch as his loving mother… Continue reading

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Doc Hollywood

BBB.5 (out of 5) While on his way to Los Angeles to begin his new job as a plastic surgeon in a swanky clinic, a young doctor (Michael J. Fox) takes a wrong turn… Continue reading

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Picture Perfect

BBB (out of 5) Jennifer Aniston is delightful in this romantic comedy as a ladder-climbing advertising executive who gets wedding photographer Jay Mohr to pose as her fiance to impress her employers and stimulate the… Continue reading

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Three Kings

BBBB.5 (out of 5) What at first seems like a boorish action movie about heroes in the Gulf War turns out to be a thoughtful and haunting meditation on the mercenary nature of… Continue reading

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Book Of Shadows: Blair Witch 2

0 (out of 5) Horrid sequel to the frighteningly original Blair Witch Project. This time a group of teenagers go into the woods to explore the myth of the movie they saw last… Continue reading

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It Could Happen To You

BBB.5 (out of 5) Nicolas Cage plays a gold-hearted cop who comes up short of a tip for a Manhattan waitress (Bridget Fonda), promising instead to split the spoils of his lottery ticket with… Continue reading

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Before Night Falls

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Gorgeous adaptation of Reinaldo Arenas’ best-selling autobiography of the same name. Javier Bardem gives a towering performance as Arenas, the Cuban poet who found himself constantly in a state of… Continue reading

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Intolerable Cruelty

BB.5 (out of 5) George Clooney plays a cutthroat divorce attorney who never loses a case and makes sure his opponents get taken for every dime they’re worth. He meets his match when he… Continue reading

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The Ladykillers (2004)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Hilarious remake of the Alec Guinness classic has been reset by those crafty Coen Brothers in modern-day Mississippi. Irma P. Hall steals the show as a traditional, God-fearing, church-going widow… Continue reading

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Burn After Reading

BBB (out of 5) After getting fired from a relatively low-level job at the CIA, irate former agent John Malkovich decides that the best plan of action is to write a tell-all memoir about… Continue reading

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