Warrior

BBB (out of 5) It’s about MMA fighting and not boxing, but do you really think the story is going to be that much different from the other tales of underdogs in the ring?  You get two for the price of one in this enjoyable tale of brothers (Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton) split apart by…

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Life As A House

BBB (out of 5) Respectable ensemble drama centering around a dying man (Kevin Kline) who decides to finally tear down his dilapidated house after twenty years and rebuild it in his own image. The project ends up bringing him closer with family members whom he was afraid he had lost for good: his estranged ex-wife…

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The Net

BB.5 (out of 5) Sandra Bullock is a computer hacker who accidentally stumbles upon sensitive information related to information terrorists trying to undermine the American government. She’s also once again a lonely, fuzzy-loveable girl who lives with a cat. Once she’s targeted by an charming assassin (Jeremy Northam) and decides to run, she finds herself without…

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Men Of Honor

BBBB (out of 5) Exceptionally well-made movie about Carl Brashear, the very first African-American Navy diver. Cuba Gooding Jr. gives a sturdy and unsentimental performance as the man who overcame personal and political obstacles, withstood the tests of many individuals who preferred to shut him out because of his race and endured many setbacks along…

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At First Sight

BB.5 (out of 5) Intense drama about Mira Sorvino meeting blind massage therapist Val Kilmer at a resort and falling in love with him. Finding out about a new miracle eye operation, Sorvino convinces Kilmer to try it out and sure enough his eyesight is restored, but not necessarily with lasting effects. Now the question is raised:…

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Of Mice And Men (1992)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Faithful, literate adaptation of the John Steinbeck novel is passionately adapted to the screen by writer-director-star Gary Sinise, pre-Forrest Gump fame. He gives an excellent performance as George, a field hand who travels the country with his simple-minded, physically overbearing friend Lenny (John Malkovich) looking for work in whatever Depression-era field…

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Moonlight Mile

BB (out of 5) After a middle-aged couple (Dustin Hoffman, Susan Sarandon) lose their daughter to murder, they find their lives are at a standstill while they look for something to help them move along. Their daughter’s fiance (Jake Gyllenhaal) is in a similar position, unable to sort out his feelings long enough to decide…

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Trixie

BB (out of 5) Dull, uneventful murder mystery directed by Alan Rudolph.  Emily Watson is so cute it hurts as the titular heroine, a tongue-twisted innocent who wants to graduate from store detective (or ‘defective’ as she keeps saying) to full-fledged P.I. She sees her chance to prove herself when a mysterious murder connected with a…

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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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Afterglow

BBB.5 (out of 5) Julie Christie  is luminous in this enjoyable character study as a lonely wife to a philandering husband (Nick Nolte) who is having an affair with a beautiful young woman (Lara Flynn Boyle) whose husband (Jonny Lee Miller) is starting up an affair with Christie. It has director Alan Rudolph’s accustomed methodically…

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Mrs. Parker And The Vicious Circle

BBBB (out of 5) Alan Rudolph, the mini-Robert Altman, comes up with a formless foray into the world of Dorothy Parker (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and the Algonquin set of New York in the 1930s. Parker, a noted drama critic and fiction writer, was the most notable individual of a group of writers, painters, actors and…

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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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