Spotlight

BBB.5 (out of 5) A new editor takes over the Boston Globe and tells members of “Spotlight”, a team of journalists who do deep work on long research projects, that a story has come up that he thinks they should pursue. A Catholic priest accused of multiple cases of sexual abuse against children in his…

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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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Deceived

BB.5 (out of 5) Goldie Hawn made a great decision in opting to momentarily leave her bubbly blonde persona behind and indulge in some Hitchcockian thrills for this murder mystery. Unfortunately, the film lets her down and is basically something Farrah Fawcett could have slept through on a Friday night network special. Hawn plays a successful…

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Ransom

BB (out of 5) Mel Gibson‘s son is kidnapped and taken for ransom, his captors demanding millions of dollars or they will kill the child and expose the shady practices behind the airline he owns. Rene Russo  cries a lot as his wife while Gibson refuses to pay, instead becoming an action movie star because…

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The Paper

BBBB (out of 5) Michael Keaton is excellent as a tabloid reporter whose one twenty-four hour day is the subject of this fast-paced comedy/drama. He has to contend with a hot, breaking story involving a murder in downtown New York, a bitchy editor (Glenn Close) who prefers sales over integrity, a severely pregnant wife (Marisa Tomei)…

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Che: Part One (2008)

STEVEN SODERBERGH Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  France/Spain/USA, 2008.  Guerrilla Films, Wild Bunch, Telecinco, Laura Bickford Productions, Morena Films, Ministerio de Cultura.  Screenplay by Peter Buchman, based on the memoir Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War by Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara.  Cinematography by Steven Soderbergh.  Produced by Laura Bickford, Benicio Del Toro.  Music by Alberto Iglesias.  Production Design by Antxon Gomez.  Costume Design by…

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You Can Count On Me

BBBBB (out of 5) One of the most accomplished films of the year is this very fine tribute to the complexities of family relationships. Laura Linney couldn’t be better as Sammy, a loans officer at a bank in a fictitious upstate New York small town who finds out her drifter baby brother Terry (Mark Ruffalo) is…

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The Men Who Stare At Goats

BBB (out of 5) Grant Heslov’s humorous adaptation of Peter Straughan’s book is an unfortunate misfire, a brilliantly conceived and packaged film that never equals the sum of its parts. What’s a guy to do when his co-worker dies and his wife leaves him? Go to Iraq, of course! Michigan journalist Ewan McGregor decides to abandon…

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Michael Clayton

BBBB.5 (out of 5) George Clooney gives a masterful performance as a dirt-busting lawyer who is asked to reign in a top member of his firm’s legal council (Tom Wilkinson) who has been embarrassing the organization. While working on defending a multibillion dollar agricultural corporation from an ecological scandal, Wilkinson has been overwhelmed by his…

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The Squid And The Whale (2005)

NOAH BAUMBACH Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5.  USA, 2005.  Samuel Goldwyn Films, Sony Pictures International, Destination Films, Truly Original, Ambush Entertainment, Andrew Lauren Productions, American Empirical Pictures, Peter Newman Productions, InterAL, Seven Hills Pictures, Squid and Whale Inc..  Screenplay by Noah Baumbach.  Cinematography by Robert D. Yeoman.  Produced by Wes Anderson, Charlie Corwin, Clara Markowicz, Peter Newman.  Music by Britta Phillips, Dean…

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Burn After Reading

BBB (out of 5) After getting fired from a relatively low-level job at the CIA, irate former agent John Malkovich decides that the best plan of action is to write a tell-all memoir about the agency. Sexy wife Tilda Swinton downloads his finances from his computer to use against him in divorce proceedings and accidentally includes a…

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