After his release from prison, a driver (Johnson) is reunited with his beloved muscle-car and immediately puts a bullet in a man's head, which is only the beginning of his vengeance after being set up and left for dead. The police (Thornton and Gugino) are on his trail, as is a hot-blooded killer (Jackson-Cohen) who's distracted by his gun-happy girlfriend (Grace). But the driver is moving so fast that he doesn't need to hide. He's also brazenly unswerving in his mission to settle this old score.
Continue reading: Faster Review
Bad Blake (Bridges) is a successful 57-year-old musician whose career and personal life have been derailed by alcoholism. Playing to bowling alleys and bars across New Mexico, he's interviewed by a journalist Jean (Gyllenhaal) and is surprised when a spark of attraction develops between them. His next stop is Phoenix, where he plays a gig with former band member Tommy Sweet (Farrell), who's now a mega-star but hasn't forgotten the debt he owes to Bad. The question is whether Bad can get himself together long enough to make either relationship work.
Continue reading: Crazy Heart Review
Clyde (Butler) has his happy life destroyed when a psycho (Stolte) kills his wife and daughter, but his lawyer Nick (Foxx) accepts a plea bargain that lets the killer out of jail in three years. A decade later, Clyde starts his revenge. A spot of brutal torture and murder lands him in prison, but he continues from behind bars with his violent mission to take down the legal system. It's up to Nick and a cop (Meaney) to figure out how he's doing this before he kills them too.
Continue reading: Law Abiding Citizen Review
Don't think I'm crazy... It's reverse psychology: it's not supposed to make sense.
Continue reading: Here On Earth Review
Here's a quote from the "Here On Earth" press kit: "The lives of three young people -- a rich student, a girl from the 'wrong side of the tracks' and her boyfriend -- unexpectedly intersect during one fateful summer..." It's enough to make one's eyes roll like slot machines.
So imagine my surprise when this teenage romantic tear-jerker managed to overcome its connect-the-dots script, its paltry romantic chemistry and its endless parade of empty musical montage sequences to become affecting enough to make a whole row of college girls at the preview screening cry. OK, maybe I got a little misty, myself. But just don't tell anybody, will you?
The palatably promising Leelee Sobieski ("Deep Impact") stars as Samantha, daughter of a small town diner owner whose love life has since childhood involved only one boy -- Jasper (Josh Hartnett, "The Faculty"), a hot-headed dairy farmer's son in a John Deere cap.
Continue reading: Here On Earth Review
Curvy, leggy, drop-dead gorgeous Charlize Theron ("The Italian Job," "Mighty Joe Young") has always had the chops to play deeper and more challenging roles than the girlfriends and temptresses she's been making a living from since her cat-fighting sexpot debut in "2 days in the Valley." But to date few in Hollywood have seen past her looks.
That's about to change.
The actress has made an astonishing physical and quintessential transformation to play leather-hearted truck-stop prostitute and serial killer Aileen Wuornos in the riveting, bleak and exceptionally intuitive biopic "Monster," and I guarantee she'll be taken seriously from now on.
Continue reading: Monster Review
Making a genuinely stirring, unabashedly all-American feel-good movie -- the kind that makes you want to stand up and cheer -- has to be one of the most difficult, precision tasks in modern cinema. But writer-director Gary Ross beautifully sidesteps contemporary cynicism in "Seabiscuit," a film that invokes the warm, gratifying, can-do spirit of the uplifting films that once helped people forget the Great Depression two hours at a time.
The miracle success story of a too-small steed and his too-large jockey who together came to dominate and popularize horse racing in the late 1930s, the film is a metaphor for the underdog hope of the era that it captures so transportingly.
Adapted by Ross ("Pleasantville") from the acclaimed book by Laura Hillenbrand, the picture gets off to a unconventional start with a rambling 20-minute prologue -- narrated by David McCullough, the compassionate voice of Ken Burns' PBS documentaries -- that gallops through both general history (the Model T Ford, the stock market crash, prohibition) and detailed backstory (early owners deemed Seabiscuit too diminutive, lazy and willful to be a champion) while trying to look like it's trotting along at a laid-back canter.
Continue reading: Seabiscuit Review
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