First Man (2018)

DAMIEN CHAZELLE Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5.  USA/Japan, 2018.  Universal Pictures, DreamWorks, Perfect World Pictures, Temple Hill Entertainment, Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office, Dentsu, Fuji Television Network.  Screenplay by Josh Singer, based on the book by James R. Hansen.  Cinematography by Linus Sandgren.  Produced by Marty Bowen, Damien Chazelle, Wyck Godfrey, Isaac Klausner.  Music by Justin Hurwitz.  Production Design by…

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Need For Speed (2014)

SCOTT WAUGH Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.  USA/India/United Kingdom/France/Philippines, 2014.  DreamWorks, Reliance Entertainment, Bandito Brothers.  Story by George Gatins, John Gatins, Screenplay by George Gatins.  Cinematography by Shane Hurlbut.  Produced by John Gatins, Patrick O’Brien, Mark Sourian.  Music by Nathan Furst.  Production Design by Jon Hutman.  Costume Design by Ellen Mirojnick.  Film Editing by Paul Rubell, Scott Waugh.  After an illegal race on…

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The Post (2017)

STEVEN SPIELBERG Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBB.  United Kingdom/USA, 2017.  Amblin Entertainment, DreamWorks, Participant Media, Pascal Pictures, Star Thrower Entertainment, River Road Entertainment.  Screenplay by Liz Hannah, Josh Singer.  Cinematography by Janusz Kaminski.  Produced by Kristie Macosko Krieger, Amy Pascal, Steven Spielberg.  Music by John Williams.  Production Design by Rick Carter.  Costume Design by Ann Roth.  Film Editing by Sarah Broshar, Michael Kahn.  Academy Awards 2017.  Golden…

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Ghost In The Shell

BBB (out of 5) A robotics company has a breakthrough in artificial intelligence technology when the melding of a human brain with an artificial body results in a successful combination (played by Scarlett Johansson), a moral human consciousness with great use as an infallible warrior.  After barely surviving the assassination of one of the senior members of…

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Office Christmas Party

BBBB (out of 5) The Chicago branch of a software company is preparing for a mild non-denominational holiday mixer when its tough-as-nails interim CEO (an outstanding Jennifer Aniston) storms in and brings Grinch-worthy news: the branch’s profit margin under her goofy, spoiled brother (T.J. Miller) is shoddy and, rather than wait for things to improve, she is planning to shut the entire…

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The Girl On The Train

BB.5 (out of 5) After her alcoholism destroys her marriage, Emily Blunt continues her downward spiral while on her daily commute, staring out the window of her train and into the home of a seemingly perfect couple (Luke Evans, Haley Bennett) who live two doors down from her ex-husband (Justin Theroux) and his new wife (Rebecca Ferguson)….

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The BFG (2016)

STEVEN SPIELBERG Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB.  United Kingdom/Canada/USA, 2016.  Walt Disney Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, Reliance Entertainment, Walden Media, The Kennedy/Marshall Company, DreamWorks, River Road Entertainment.  Screenplay by Melissa Mathison, based on the book by Roald Dahl.  Cinematography by Janusz Kaminski.  Produced by Frank Marshall, Sam Mercer, Steven Spielberg.  Music by John Williams.  Production Design by Rick Carter.  Costume Design by Joanna…

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Bridge Of Spies (2015)

STEVEN SPIELBERG Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA/Germany, 2015.  DreamWorks, Fox 2000 Pictures, Reliance Entertainment, Participant Media, TSG Entertainment, Amblin Entertainment, Marc Platt Productions, Studio Babelsberg.  Screenplay by Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen.  Cinematography by Janusz Kaminski.  Produced by Kristie Macosko Krieger, Marc Platt, Steven Spielberg.  Music by Thomas Newman.  Production Design by Adam Stockhausen.  Costume Design by Kasia Walicka-Maimone.  Film Editing by…

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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 Berg. The two of them start as journalists with a conscience when their first major project, to reveal the identities of crooked financiers…

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Paycheck

BBB.5 (out of 5) Another Philip Dick story makes it to the big screen, a fun one free of intellectual challenge or even a fully comprehensive plot. Ben Affleck plays a computer engineer who is hired by companies to pirate existing software for them to improve upon, followed by his having his memory erased to avoid…

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The Time Machine (2002)

0 (out of 5) 19th-century scientist Guy Pearce loses his fiancee in a mugging in Central Park and concocts a way to undo the unacceptable past: he creates a time machine. Trying to rewrite history and keep his lady love forever, he finds himself trapped by the same disastrous results every time he tries to go…

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The Ring

BB (out of 5) Flat, tepid thriller that steals from every film of its kind.  Naomi Watts stars as a driven journalist whose niece mysteriously dies of a stroke seven days after watching a videotape that depicts strange, nightmarish images. Deciding that the story of the tape is more than just urban legend, she begins to…

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