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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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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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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I Am Sam

BBB (out of 5) Sean Penn plays a mentally challenged Starbucks employee who winds up with a baby daughter and has to take care of her. When the child reaches the age of seven, Penn finds himself in a courtroom defending his right to raise the girl even though he is of relatively equal mental…

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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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Abandon

BBB (out of 5) From among the pool of films aimed at teen audiences, this dark thriller rests comfortably above the average. It stars KittyKat Holmes as a cute, warm and fuzzy college student who gets excellent grades and is working very hard to get herself a job in the posh world of high finance….

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Traffic (2000)

STEVEN SODERBERGH Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB.  Germany/USA, 2000.  Compulsion Inc., Initial Entertainment Group, Splendid Medien AG, The Bedford Falls Company, USA Films.  Screenplay by Stephen Gaghan, based on the miniseries Traffik by Simon Moore.  Cinematography by Steven Soderbergh.  Produced by Laura Bickford, Marshall Herskovitz, Edward Zwick.  Music by Cliff Martinez.  Production Design by Philip Messina.  Costume Design by Louise Frogley.  Film Editing by Stephen Mirrione.  Academy…

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Shakespeare In Love

JOHN MADDEN Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB.  USA/United Kingdom, 1998.  Universal Pictures, Miramax, The Bedford Falls Company.  Screenplay by Marc Norman, Tom Stoppard.  Cinematography by Richard Greatrex.  Produced by Donna Gigliotti, Marc Norman, David Parfitt, Harvey Weinstein, Edward Zwick.  Music by Stephen Warbeck.  Production Design by Martin Childs.  Costume Design by Sandy Powell.  Film Editing by David Gamble.  Academy Awards 1998.  Golden Globe Awards 1998.   Struggling…

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