Legends Of The Fall

BBBB (out of 5) Three brothers grow up with their father on a sprawling Montana ranch, living wild, boisterous lives until tragedy strikes each of them (and all of it brought about by a woman, go figure). The middle son, played by Brad Pitt, is the heart and soul of the clan, experiencing the most…

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The Last Samurai

BBB.5 (out of 5) After participating in a number of Civil War battles (many of which helped decimate the populations of natives in North America), an embittered, drunken veteran (Tom Cruise) follows his superior officers to Japan in search of big money. He has been hired by the emperor to train the country’s army in…

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Alambrista!

BBB.5 (out of 5) Like millions before and after him, Roberto has decided to leave Mexico and look for work in America, his wife having just given birth and he needing to help make a better life for her. He enters the country illegally, barely surviving border patrol only to find himself in the same…

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City Of Angels

BBB.5 (out of 5) Stylish and poetic remake of Wim Wenders’ classic Wings of Desire, featuring Nicolas Cage as the wandering angel in search of his own humanity, and Meg Ryan as the love interest (now a surgeon instead of a circus performer) who inspires him to fall to earth and be a mortal. Cage takes the…

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Heartbreakers

BB.5 (out of 5) Disappointing comedy that should have been better considering the talent involved. Sigourney Weaver is eye-popping as a con artist who, between jobs taking men for all they’re worth, has a pretty big problem to deal with: her daughter (Jennifer Love Hewitt).  Mom has taught daughter dearest the grift, but little Lolita wants…

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The Pink Panther (2006)

BB.5 (out of 5) As a knockoff tribute to the classic series of films made by Blake Edwards in the 60s and 70s, this sporadically funny comedy does an adequate job; if you’re expecting something worthy of its legacy, however, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Steve Martin is the bumbling Inspector Clouseau who is put on the…

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The Crucible

BBBB (out of 5) Terrific adaptation of Arthur Miller’s groundbreaking anti-Red Scare play has lost some of its momentum now that the double meaning of the story isn’t quite as potent, but still works thanks to director Nicholas Hytner’s not concentrating on the film’s more political content and just delivering good, solid drama. Daniel Day-Lewis is…

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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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In The Line Of Fire

BBBB (out of 5) Trust Wolfgang Petersen to come up with a cop thriller that’s a good cut above the genre average. Clint Eastwood plays a near-retired agent who never got over the fact that President Kennedy died on his watch. Now old demons have returned to haunt him when a psychotic madman (John Malkovich)…

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I Love You To Death

BB (out of 5) Tracey Ullman discovers that her pizza parlor-owning husband (Kevin Kline) has been spending time with other women when she thought he was working overtime to make money for their family. Deciding not to take it lying down, she hires two bumbling idiots (William Hurt, River Phoenix) to kill him, but they’re…

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The Story Of Us

BB.5 (out of 5) Brave performances by Michelle Pfeiffer and Bruce Willis highlight what is otherwise a pretty run-of-the-mill marriage drama, about a couple trying to survive what is a very bitter divorce. The chemistry between the two leads is also enough to make up for the fact that all their separate scenes involving their…

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Ghosts Of Mississippi

B.5 (out of 5) Usually a terrible drama distinguishes itself from the good ones by being boring; not so with this empty-headed film from Rob Reiner. The proceedings are very easy to get through, but are given so little depth that they pass by your eyes without ever making an impression (one scene with the…

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