It’s Only The End Of The World (Juste La Fin Du Monde)

BB (out of 5) Gaspard Ulliel is heading home to his exasperating mother (Nathalie Baye), boorish brother (Vincent Cassel) and rebellious sister (Léa Seydoux) to deliver some big news: he is dying.  When he arrives, he meets his sister in law (Marion Cotillard) and is immediately set upon by the others who have a world’s worth…

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Jason Bourne

BBB (out of 5) It’s been a while since the world’s toughest amnesiac was on the big screen, and since the detour with his colleague didn’t set screens on fire with The Bourne Legacy, they’ve brought original star Matt Damon back in to revive the series.  After trusty sidekick Julia Stiles informs Bourne that a new, dirty training operation akin…

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Tale Of Tales (Il Racconto Dei Racconti)

BB.5 (out of 5) Matteo Garrone turns away from the harsh contemporary realities of his recent films and applies his dark style to an adaptation of three fairy tales by seventeenth century storyteller Giambattista Basile. Salma Hayek is a queen who will do anything to have a child and must deal with the consequences of her determination, two aged sisters…

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Mon Roi

BBB (out of 5) Emmanuelle Bercot is a successful lawyer who runs into an old acquaintance (Vincent Cassel) at a club and spends the night with him, which then turns into a running affair, which goes onto pregnancy and marriage.  Not long after the serious legitimization of their relationship, things go wrong and they do so quickly:…

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The Monk (Le Moine)

B.5 (out of 5) A novel published in 1796 by twenty-one year-old Matthew Lewis, overflowing with images of demons and ghost nuns, lusty blood-soaked virgins and murderous friars, all of them manifested by a committed belief in the supernatural world, has been turned into a dour and pompously spare experience directed by a skeptic with…

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Irreversible

BB (out of 5) Unpleasantness is the cornerstone of this Eurotrash extravaganza, a paltry viewing experience that has Monica Bellucci getting viciously raped in a subway corridor followed by boyfriend Vincent Cassel exacting some very gruesome revenge on the man he thinks might have done it. The film tries to justify its place in art cinema by…

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Derailed

BB.5 (out of 5) As fun as it is to see Jennifer Aniston in a sexy, serious role, it’s just about the only thing that isn’t fully predictable about Derailed.  Clive Owen plays a happy family man who is helped out of an embarrassing situation on his morning ride to work by a gorgeous stranger (Aniston), then…

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Brotherhood Of The Wolf (Le Pacte Des Loups)

BBBB (out of 5) Samuel Le Bihan plays a libertine and philosopher of sorts who arrives at a tiny village in the countryside of 17th century France and hears stories of a giant wolf that is terrorizing the women and children of the area but going nowhere near the men. Le Bihan and his bloodbrother…

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A Dangerous Method

BB.5 (out of 5) The relationship between Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and Jung (Michael Fassbender) in pre-World War I Europe hinges around the case of a hysterical female patient (Keira Knightley) in this emotionally reserved melodrama based on the play The Talking Cure by Christopher Hampton. Knightley thrusts her jaw out to a disturbing length in…

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Eastern Promises

BB (out of 5) An intriguing title and the reunion of the key figures of A History Of Violence bode well for this thriller-drama that eventually fails on promises in any direction, despite excellent performances and beautiful cinematography by Peter Suschitzky.  Naomi Watts plays a London doctor who delivers the baby of an unidentified teenager who…

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Jefferson In Paris

B (out of 5) Low point for Merchant Ivory, this completely brainless period epic examines the years when Thomas Jefferson (Nick Nolte) was American minister to France, entertaining a romance with a married aristocrat (Greta Scacchi). Also starring a just pre-fame Gwyneth Paltrow, the film suffers from a terrible screenplay by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala that has…

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Birthday Girl

BBB (out of 5) Nicole Kidman is marvelous in this odd little tale about a straight-laced bank employee (Ben Chaplin) who sends out for a Russian mail-order bride and gets a lot more than he bargained for. Initially deciding to return the lady home when it turns out that she speaks not a word of…

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