The Birth Of A Nation (2016)

NATE PARKER Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.  USA/Canada, 2016.  Bron Studios, Creative Wealth Media Finance, Follow Through Productions, Hit 55 Ventures, Infinity United Entertainment, Juniper Productions, Mandalay Pictures, Novofam Productions, Oster Media, Phantom Four, Point Made Films, Tiny Giant Entertainment.  Story by Nate Parker, Jean McGianni Celestin, Screenplay by Nate Parker.  Cinematography by Elliot Davis.  Produced by Jason Michael…

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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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Glory

BBBB.5 (out of 5) This fantastic Civil War drama looks at the very first African-American regiment in the United States army. It intelligently explores the outside atmosphere that influenced this move on the military’s part as well as going well within the ranks to examine the personal conflicts that happen between many of the soldiers….

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Defiance

BB (out of 5) A family of Jewish brothers see their friends and neighbours being carted off by Nazis in World War II Russia and decide not to sit around and wait for the worst. Escaping into the woods, they soon find themselves joined by more friends and strangers, with news of the burgeoning makeshift…

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Courage Under Fire

BB (out of 5) Pointlessly empty drama that really should have been excellent considering its story: based on real events, it tells the tale of a United States soldier (Denzel Washington) investigating the case of a woman (Meg Ryan) who might receive a posthumous Medal of Honour for her service in the Gulf War. Washington…

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Blood Diamond

BBB (out of 5) For all the film has going for it, Blood Diamond should be an instant classic: a top-notch cast, gorgeous photography, a strong story, a proven director and an incredibly important subject all do their part. When it comes together it doesn’t amount to much more than a familiar drama with its…

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X-Men

BBB.5 (out of 5) Elegant and adventurous adaptation of the famous comic book series and television show. Presumably an opening chapter for a series of films to follow, the film isn’t very strong on its own as it does little more than establish its characters and then offer up a few obstacles towards the end…

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The Four Feathers

BBBB (out of 5) Film versions of this popular story are reaching countless numbers, but at least it still feels fresh after so many years. Heath Ledger plays the conscientious 19th-century officer of Her Majesty’s army who quits his commission when his platoon is to be sent to fight in the Sudan. Three of his comrades…

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Dangerous Beauty

BBBB (out of 5) Catherine McCormack is wonderful in this true story of a Venetian courtesan who survives religious intolerance, a whole bevy of jealous lovers and one mother of a plague to live an independent life of her own design. Jacqueline Bisset has a terrific supporting role as her mother and chief ‘how-to’ coach, and the…

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Failure To Launch

BB (out of 5) Matthew McConaughey is a successful boat salesman who is 35 years old and still living with his parents. Desperate to get him out of the house and into his own life, Mom (Kathy Bates) and Dad (Terry Bradshaw, isn’t that a coincidence?) hire a professional ‘exiter’ (Sarah Jessica Parker, now you know…

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Journey To The Center Of The Earth (2008)

BB.5 (out of 5) Think of it as a commercial for a theme park or a Happy Meal and you might not be so put off by it. Seismologist Brendan Fraser lives with the sorrow of his brother’s disappearance by continuing his work studying earthquakes in a university lab. The same day that his late brother’s…

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