Paulie

BB.5 (out of 5) Tired tale of a lonely, wandering budgie (voiced by Jay Mohr, who also appears in person in the film) who goes from owner to owner until he can find his rightful keeper. The bird has some hairy close calls, makes some charming friends, even gets involved in criminal activity, but neither … More Paulie

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Pay It Forward

BB (out of 5) Horrendously cheesy film, its excellent performance by Helen Hunt swamped by directionless direction by Mimi Leder and a hackneyed screenplay. The plot follows the plight of a troubled and shy young boy (Haley Joel Osment, his first post-Academy Award nomination role) who is given an assignment at school to change the world … More Pay It Forward

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Go

BBBB (out of 5) Painfully hip and flashy comedy about fast-living twentysomethings who can’t keep themselves out of trouble. Told in a wrap-around trilogy, the story starts with Sarah Polley as an overworked grocery store clerk who tries to break into the big business of drug dealing but ends up biting off more than she can … More Go

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200 Cigarettes

BBB (out of 5) Charming, breezy movie about a group of youngsters trying to find a party in downtown Manhattan on New Year’s Eve in the 80s. Paul Rudd and Courtney Love are two best friends recently broken up from their lovers who find themselves discovering each other on the way to the fete; Jay Mohr and … More 200 Cigarettes

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Jerry Maguire

BBBB (out of 5) Tom Cruise‘s best performance (not including the tabloids or his many lawsuits) is this excellent comedy-drama by the charismatic Cameron Crowe. He plays a hotshot sports agent who one day has an epiphany that instructs him to live a smaller, more honest life, to be truer to his profession by not being … More Jerry Maguire

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Hereafter

BB.5 (out of 5) Clint Eastwood usually presents a deft combination of soul-stirring fancy and hard-hitting realism: the missing child plot of Changeling or the melodramatic pathos of Million Dollar Baby are just two examples of films whose stories don’t take place in a world familiar to the majority of viewers and yet come off … More Hereafter

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Playing By Heart

BBBB (out of 5) Three women all have relationship troubles and are currently trying to work them out:  Madeleine Stowe is having a clandestine, sex-only affair with a friend (Anthony Edwards) who is not her husband, Angelina Jolie (the best in the film) is in love with anti-relationship man Ryan Phillippe, and Gillian Anderson can’t allow herself to … More Playing By Heart

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