The Circle

B (out of 5) Emma Watson is barely surviving in a crappy temp job when her friend calls her up and tells her that she has gotten her an interview at the Googlesque communications company where she works, a technological theme park whose main product seems to be pure connectivity.  Watson gets the job and is…

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What’s The Worst That Could Happen?

B (out of 5) A Donald E. Westlake novel has once again proven to make for an awkward and unhip comedy on screen.  Fernando Trueba’s half-baked Two Much is followed by this comedy about a high-end thief (Martin Lawrence) who gets embroiled in a battle of wills when he is apprehended during a heist and ends up…

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Breakfast Of Champions

B.5 (out of 5) Raucously noisy adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s popular novel that has Bruce Willis giving an excellent performance in what is otherwise a really brutal mess. He plays a car salesman whose world starts coming apart when he finds the pressures of his life are just getting to be too much. Barbara Hershey is wasted…

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Mortal Thoughts

BBBB (out of 5) Riveting thriller is a rare example of genre work from director Alan Rudolph, one of his best and most interesting films. Placing the emphasis on character development, the film unfolds slowly as main character Demi Moore tells the police her version of the events leading up to the vicious murder of her…

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Fandango

BBB (out of 5) Poignantly written and directed film about the abandoning of youthful pleasures in the face of adult responsibility. A group of college friends in the early seventies leave their own graduation party and head across the Mexican border in search of adventure. What they really want is a last hurrah before they…

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Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

BBBB (out of 5) Comedic romp through the world of con artists is the lighter sibling to The Grifters.  Michael Caine plays a world class con man who swindles royals out of their jewels with fake sob stories until he meets his match in small-time grifter Steve Martin.  The two of them realize that the coastal…

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The Namesake

BBB.5 (out of 5) Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel is brought to the big screen by director Mira Nair with wonderfully sentimental results. A Bengali man who has been living abroad goes back to India to find a wife, brings her to New York and they raise two children. The first of them, a son,…

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Babe: Pig In The City

BBB (out of 5) Weird sequel to the classic 1995 comedy doesn’t come anywhere near the perfection of its predecessor but is a curiousity in itself. George Miller (who produced the first instalment) takes over the director’s helm and comes up with a visual style so visceral and post-apocalyptic where Chris Noonan’s was wry and…

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2 Days In The Valley

B (out of 5) Awkward rehash of Pulp Fiction has lame-brained characters running around sunny California in search of a life. Trust me, they never find one. Acting is a plus, especially a delightful Glenne Headly, but in general the cast is over-performing the kinds of characters that are in the background of better movies,…

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Mr. Holland’s Opus

BB (out of 5) Pure schmaltz.  Richard Dreyfuss devotes his life to being the best possible music teacher he can be at the high school he teaches at, while ignoring his responsibilities to his ever-patient wife (Glenne Headly) and his deaf son. When the school board threatens to cut the music program entirely, he finds himself…

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Bastard Out Of Carolina

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Anjelica Huston makes an incredible debut as director with this riveting drama. Based on Dorothy Allison’s novel, it concerns the harrowing experiences of a little girl (an excellent Jena Malone) who endures being sexually abused by her sadistic stepfather (Ron Eldard) without her mother (Jennifer Jason Leigh) being aware of it….

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Eleni

BB.5 (out of 5) A Greek freedom fighter who was killed for resisting the communists during the Civil war of the fifties is the subject of this unevenly directed melodrama. Thirty years later, her son Nicholas Gage (whose autobiographical book is the basis of the screenplay) wishes to go back to Greece to discover the…

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