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Manchester By The Sea Review

Excellent

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written, directed and acted that it's impossible not to be pulled into its powerfully wrenching drama. Writer-director Kenneth Lonergan (see also 2011's sleeper masterpiece Margaret) creates characters so vivid that they get deep under the skin, and he allows his actors to so fully inhabit them that they become unforgettable.

This is the story of Lee (Casey Affleck), a janitor who is hiding in Boston from his past. When his brother Joe (Kyle Chandler) has a heart attack, he returns to his hometown Manchester to take care of Joe's 16-year-old son Patrick (Lucas Hedges), who isn't remotely happy about this set-up. But Joe's estranged wife Elisa (Gretchen Mol) has vanished, and Lee's ex-wife Randi (Michelle Williams) has started a new life. So while Patrick struggles to maintain his independence, Lee tries to build some sort of relationship with him. But both are still reeling with pain over things that happened to them over the years.

Yes, the central theme here is grief, and Lonergan piles mountains of it onto these characters. As details about their back-stories are revealed, the intensity of the emotions becomes nearly unbearable, and yet neither Lonergan nor the actors ever give into sentimentality or trite sermons. This is achingly realistic, an exploration of how people survive even the worst things life can throw at them. And Affleck delivers his best performance yet in the role, a devastatingly transparent turn that holds the audience in rapt attention. Newcomer Hedges matches him beat for beat as a deeply likeable teen whose prickly reactions make him even more sympathetic. And both Williams and Mol add some blistering electricity as women struggling to reinvent themselves. In just a few scenes, Williams very nearly steals the film.

Continue reading: Manchester By The Sea Review

Could Historic Sexual Harassment Lawsuits Derail Casey Affleck's Award Hopes?


Casey Affleck

Casey Affleck, the star of Manchester By the Sea and favourite to be a nominee for the Best Actor Oscar later this year, is facing the possibility of coming under scrutiny regarding historic sexual harassment lawsuits as awards season heats up.

Having triumphed at the Golden Globes in the same category on Sunday (January 8th), the 41 year old actor – younger brother of fellow Hollywood star Ben – appeared to allude to the matter in his acceptance speech.

“It’s my kids who give me permission to do this because they have the character to keep at bay all the noise that sometimes surrounds people who live publicly," he said.

Continue reading: Could Historic Sexual Harassment Lawsuits Derail Casey Affleck's Award Hopes?

Manchester By The Sea Trailer


Lee Chandler lives a life of self-imposed exile but that's not how he's always been. For many years prior, he lived in the small town of Manchester-By-The-Sea where the rest of his family and his fiancé all live. It's a picturesque fishing town and the pace of life is slower than any city could offer and the Chandler's all live good lives. Now, Lee lives in Boston and works as a janitor and his strict day to day routine has been brought about to limit the amount of people he see and has to deal with.

When Lee's brother, Joe, dies Lee is made the guardian of Patrick, Joe's teenage son. The news comes as a surprise to both men. Patrick is dealing with the loss of his family and now is forced to live with his uncle who's distanced himself from the family years prior.

Patrick doesn't understand his uncle's reluctance to relocate and move back to the small neighbourhood he used to call home. As hard choices are made and old acquaintances become part of the present day picture, Lee must not only do what is best for himself but also consider his nephew and the wishes of his brother.

Continue: Manchester By The Sea Trailer

The Finest Hours Review

Excellent

With its rousing, old-fashioned tone, this fact-based epic is properly thrilling and inspirational, a tale of heroism that almost seems too good to be true. But it's the astonishing story of a real sea rescue carried out by ordinary men who rose to the challenge. It's also expertly directed by Craig Gillespie (Million Dollar Arm) to bring out subtle character detail amid the exhilarating action.

The events took place in a sleepy Massachusetts fishing town in the dead of winter 1952, where Bernie (Chris Pine) is an earnest Coast Guard sailor who has just agreed to marry his strong-willed sweetheart Miriam (Holliday Grainger). Then one night a fierce storm breaks an oil tanker in half just off the coast, and Bernie is sent by his aloof commander Daniel (Eric Bana) to lead a rescue mission. He takes his colleague Richard (Ben Foster) and two young crewmen (Kyle Gallner and John Magaro) with him, heading into the dangerous sea swells. Meanwhile on the tanker's still-floating stern section, engineer Ray (Casey Affleck) becomes the leader of a cantankerous 32-man crew, steering the wreckage toward the relative safety of a shoal. And in these conditions, the odds are in nobody's favour.

Unusually, despite pitch-black conditions with driving rain and swelling seas, the on-screen action is crisp and clear. Gillespie uses vivid effects and clever camerawork to keep the audience right in the thick of things, conveying a vivid sense of scale while detailing the connections between each string of events. And because we understand what's happening and who these people are, the set-pieces are literally breathtaking. This is partially due to the fact that these are normal people who are very easy to identify with, from Pine's inarticulate but tenacious sailor to Affleck's reluctant natural leader. Intriguingly, Grainger's Miriam is the film's feistiest character, a woman who simply can't sit still and wait for news.

Continue reading: The Finest Hours Review

Triple 9 Review

Good

After a post-apocalyptic dystopia (The Road) and Prohibition-era America (Lawless), Australian director John Hillcoat brings his edgy Wild West sensibilities to this gritty present-day heist thriller. The film is fierce and stylish, and utterly gripping even though there's the nagging sensation that nothing is happening under the surface. Thankfully, the actors add plenty of terrific texture to their characters.

It's set in Atlanta, where Terrell (Chiwetel Ejiofor) leads his crew of thugs (Anthony Mackie, Clifton Collins Jr., Aaron Paul and Norman Reedus) through a riotously dangerous bank robbery. They're working for the cold-hearted Russian mobster Irina (Kate Winslet), who demands an even bigger heist before she'll pay them. Terrell has a child with Irina, so feels like he has little choice in the matter, but his team is made up of unstable hotheads and corrupt cops who have their own opinions. One of the cops also has a new partner in Chris (Casey Affleck), a tenacious good guy who's the nephew of a cynical detective (Woody Harrelson) who's just beginning to crack this case. So the gang decides to distract the city's police force with a triple 9, code for a downed officer, while they carry out their next elaborate robbery. The question is who will take the bullet.

Matt Cook's script is a bundle of mad twists and turns, usually the result of impulsive gang members who act without thinking. The tension is very high, as each person's morality is warped at every turn. All while Chris tries to remain upright in the middle of a storm he doesn't quite understand. Each character is up against a wall, ready to do whatever it takes to survive in a situation that is getting increasingly out of control. And without more subtext, or at least a sense of these people's back-stories, no one on-screen is very likeable.

Continue reading: Triple 9 Review

Triple 9 Trailer


Terrell Tompkins and his team of officers are corrupt, finding ways to embellish their wage has turned into a habit that's about to land them in a lot of trouble. When a powerful member of the Russian mafia learns of Tompkins' money making ways, she blackmails him and his team into pulling a heist for her. Fearing they'll be exposed, the gang carry out the job for Irene, a woman who might look glamourous but has a dark soul. Once the job's complete, the crew believe they're in the clear but savvy Sergeant Detective Jeffrey Allen has been put on the case and he soon discovers that there's probably more to the robbery than first thought.

That's not the only problem facing Tompkins, Irene tracks the cop down and requests another job - if refused Irene won't hesitate in taking their lives. This job is far bigger than the last and is an almost impossible mission. Feeling their only option is to distract all the cops in their district, the team come up with a plan to pull a Triple 9 call - police code for 'officer down'. However, with Sergeant Detective Allen constantly uncovering more information and being faced with the ordeal of killing one of their own, the job will be far from straight forward.

Triple 9 is directed by John Hillcoat who also directed 2012's Lawless starring Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy & the film adaptation of The Road starring Viggo Mortensen.

'Out Of The Furnace' Is Tough Watch, But Worth The Effort - Reviews Roundup


Christian Bale Casey Affleck Zoe Saldana Woody Harrelson Scott Cooper

Out of the Furnace, a story of working class turmoil and frustration, has critics singing its praises so far. That’s not unexpected – starring Christian Bale and Casey Affleck, the movie boasts plenty of talent. Zoe Saldana, Woody Harrelson, Willem Defoe, Forest Whitaker and Sam Shepard all give their best in Out of the Furnace, which tells the story of Russell Baze (Christian Bale) taking justice into his own hands after the disappearance of his younger brother Rodney (Affleck). It’s set to the background of economic decline and social struggle, making this a film about the dark, often ignored side of the American dream.

Christian Bale, Out of the Furnace
Bale's steady and nuanced performance has impressed the critics.

The LA Times’ Betsey Shakey is impressed both with the “lean script,” which “gives a face to the all too familiar struggle” as well as the strong performances of the all-star cast. “Bale and Affleck are as nuanced as Harrelson is unhinged,” the review notes “It is among the finest work done by all three.”

Continue reading: 'Out Of The Furnace' Is Tough Watch, But Worth The Effort - Reviews Roundup

Ain't Them Bodies Saints Review


Very Good

Although set in the 1970s, this dramatic thriller has a distinctly Western vibe to it, digging into the darker emotional corners of characters who are trying to make it through life on their own terms. It's moody and evocative, focussing on internal feelings rather that big action beats, so it feels dreamlike and a bit sleepy. And also strangely mesmerising.

When we meet Bob and Ruth (Affleck and Mara), they're hopelessly in love. She knows he's not good for her, but she's pregnant so makes the most of it. Short of cash in rural Texas, they plot a messy bank robbery, during which he injures police officer Patrick (Foster) and is sent to prison. Four years later, she's now living on her own with her young daughter, watched over by Bob's old mentor Skerritt (Carradine). But she's also struck up an awkward friendship with Patrick. So when Bob escapes from prison and comes back for her, he's in for a rather nasty shock.

Writer-director Lowery uses striking visuals and minimalistic dialog, shooting scenes with an unexpected sensuality to explore each point where these people interact. Everything is understated (the title is never explained at all), which allows the actors to give delicate, transparent performances that catch us off guard with their honesty. Affleck, Mara and Foster are fascinatingly complicated as three parts of an untidy triangle that only hints at romance. Carradine adeptly provides both wit and gravity to his scenes, while Parker gives a beautiful performance as Bob's reluctant buddy.

Continue reading: Ain't Them Bodies Saints Review

Christian Bale, Out Of Gotham And 'Out Of The Furnace' [Trailer + Pictures]


Christian Bale Casey Affleck Woody Harrelson Zoe Saldana

Christian Bale doesn’t stop for long; before he’d announced his decision to step down as Gotham City’s savior, the actor was working his way towards another type of hero. This time, he’s a working class hero without a fancy costume as Russell Baze – a steel worker forced to go in search for his ex-soldier brother who falls in with a criminal gang, headed by Curtis DeGoat (Woody Harrelson).

Christian BaleBale is faced with finding his brother in Out of The Furnace

An incredible cast of Academy Awards winners and nominees sees Bale and Harrelson joined by Casey Affleck, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe, Zoe Saldana and Sam Shepard. It’s good to see Bale back in a more human role, despite his best efforts to attribute that aspect to Batman in the popular Dark Knight trilogy.

Continue reading: Christian Bale, Out Of Gotham And 'Out Of The Furnace' [Trailer + Pictures]

Out Of The Furnace: Christian Bale Is Working Class Hero After Leaving Batman Behind


Christian Bale Casey Affleck Scott Cooper

Christian Bale is moving away from Batman – a rich superhero with unlimited resources, to Russell Baze – a working class hero with nothing but his grit and determination to find his brother in Scott Cooper’s new drama, Out of The Furnace.

Christian Bale Batman PremiereChristian Bale recently gave up the Batman mantle

“You often find superheroic people wearing capes and costumes in film today," says Cooper. "But working-class Americans are the real heroes. This is the story of this man who works in a blast furnace, but with themes of justice, retribution and courage." Bale plays a steelworker who has to confront tough criminals while searching for his missing brother, an Iraq War veteran played by Casey Affelck.

Continue reading: Out Of The Furnace: Christian Bale Is Working Class Hero After Leaving Batman Behind

Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx Sign On For Adaptation Of Unpublished Book


Leonardo Dicaprio Jamie Foxx Christian Bale Zoe Saldana Woody Harrelson Casey Affleck

Leonardo Dicaprio will re-team with his Django Unchained co-star Jamie Foxx for an adaptation of S. Craig Zahler's crime novel Mean Business on North Ganson Street. Zahler is set to write the script, with DiCaprio and his Appian Way partner Jennifer Davisson Killoran acting as producers, according to Deadline.com.

Leonardo DiCaprioLeonardo DiCaprio At The Tag Heuer Party

The book is yet to be published and is currently in galley form, being shopped around some of the big houses. DiCaprio will play a hardened detective who, after being told that his beautiful wife is missing, is also told she is a hooker who has taken off with his money. His character commits a desperate act in the squad room and is sent to work in a hellhole town called Victory, where violent crime is skyrocketing.

Continue reading: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx Sign On For Adaptation Of Unpublished Book

Casey Affleck - Celebrity sightings Park City UT United States Sunday 20th January 2013

Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck

Big Names Announced For Sundance 2013: Rooney Mara, Daniel Radcliffe, Jessica Biel


Rooney Mara Casey Affleck Daniel Radcliffe Jessica Biel Kristen Bell

Next year’s Sundance Film Festival will reflect an on-going trend in the movie world, for big name actors to seek out challenging and rewarding roles in independent films. The competition line-up for Sundance 2013 has been announced and Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, Daniel Radcliffe, Jessica Biel and Kristen Bell are all amongst the big names headlining next year’s festival, which is considered a highlight of the international film festival calendar.

John Cooper, the director of Sundance, told The Hollywood Reporter “It’s a reflection of the landscape… We notice that there's a very, very vital community of actors taking roles in independent films - well-known actors in particular.” There are 27 films in competition at the 2013 festival, which will be screening 113 feature-length movies in total. These were whittled down from 12, 146 submissions – an increase of 429 from last year.

Taking a look at those big names in competition, then; Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara both appear in Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, a story about two outlaws, situated in the hills of Texas. Daniel Radcliffe, meanwhile, continues his attempt to break free of the clutches of Harry Potter, by playing Allen Ginsberg in Kill Your Darlings, which brings together the great beat poets of the 1940s. Elizabeth Olsen and Jennifer Jason Leigh also star in this movie, centered on David Kammerer’s murder by Lucien Carr. Kristen Bell stars in The Lifeguard and Jessica Biel leads the cast in Emanuel and the Truth about Fishes, a dramatic thriller directed and written by Francesca Gregorini.

Casey Affleck Saturday 20th October 2012 2nd Annual Reel Stories, Real Lives benefiting The Motion Picture & Television Fund - Arrivals

Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck

Casey Affleck Tuesday 21st August 2012 tries to avoids the paparazzi while out and about in New York

Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck

Tower Heist Review


Weak
With a high concept and a lazy script, there isn't much to this caper comedy at all. But it does have a few solid laughs scattered here and there, mostly in random one-liners that make up for the lacklustre plotting and strained slapstick.

After billionaire Arthur Shaw (Alda) is sent to prison for fraud, the manager of his insanely posh Manhattan apartment building, Josh (Stiller), is furious that his staff's pensions have been lost. So he teams up with his employees (concierge Affleck, chef Sidibe and lift operator Pena), a disgruntled ex-tenant (Broderick) and a local crook (Murphy) to steal back what they're owed. But they have to be careful, because an FBI agent (Leoni) is poking around Arthur's penthouse. And then there's the question of where all of those stolen millions are hidden.

Continue reading: Tower Heist Review

Casey Affleck and Ziegfeld Theatre Monday 24th October 2011 World premiere of 'Tower Heist' held at the Ziegfeld Theatre - Arrivals New York City, USA

Casey Affleck and Palladium Saturday 25th September 2010 arrives to the PETA's 30th Anniversary Gala And Humanitarian Awards at the Hollywood Palladium Hollywood, California

Casey Affleck and Palladium
Casey Affleck and Palladium

Casey Affleck and Palladium Saturday 25th September 2010 PETA's 30th Anniversary Gala and Humanitarian Awards held at the Hollywood Palladium Hollywood, California

Casey Affleck and Palladium
Casey Affleck and Palladium

Casey Affleck and Joaquin Phoenix Monday 22nd October 2007 at Beverly Hilton Hotel

Casey Affleck and Joaquin Phoenix

The Killer Inside Me Review


Good
Being based on the Jim Thompson novel, this could never be a cheery romp.

Indeed, Winterbottom keeps Thompson's bleakness intact, leaving us little to engage with. But the film has an earth beauty and is a haunting look at the dark side of being human.

Lou Ford (Affleck) is a small-town deputy in 1950s West Texas, where he's still struggling with childhood demons and feelings of inadequacy. Even though he has an adoring girlfriend (Hudson), he starts a torrid fling with a prostitute (Alba) who lives on the edge of town. And as he sets in motion an elaborate revenge plot, we discover that underneath his nice guy exterior Lou is a sadistic murderer. And he's only barely staying one step ahead of the investigators (including Bower, Koteas and Baker).

Continue reading: The Killer Inside Me Review

The Killer Inside Me Trailer


Lou Ford leads -what looks to be a pretty unremarkable existence, he's the deputy Sheriff of a small town but has two girlfriends one who works as a schoolteacher and the other a prostitute. When murders start happening in the sleepy West Texas town, no one is quite sure who's committing the murders. As investigators lean toward Lou as their prime suspect, he finds himself in a spiral of death as he struggles to clear his name. Things are never as they seem, the unassuming person the townsfolk thought they knew in Lou soon unravels and it becomes clear that all they were seeing was a facade.

Continue: The Killer Inside Me Trailer

Casey Affleck Tuesday 27th April 2010 The Tribecca Film Festival 2010 premiere of 'The Killer Inside Me' held at the School of Visual Arts Theater New York City, USA

Casey Affleck

Casey Affleck and Ben Affleck - Casey Affleck and Ben Affleck Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Opening Night Gala of The 5th Annual Dubai International Film Festival held at the Madinat Jumeriah Complex Thursday 11th December 2008

Casey Affleck and Ben Affleck

Casey Affleck Monday 27th October 2008 Benefit for the Painted Turtle at the Davies Symphony Hall San Francisco, California

Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck

Casey Affleck Friday 5th September 2008 Stand Up 2 Cancer held at the Kodak Theater Los Angeles, California

Casey Affleck

Casey Affleck Wednesday 28th May 2008 'The Return Of The Salon' hosted by Esquire Magazine at Suka Restaurant at the Sanderson Hotel. London, England

Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck

Casey Affleck Wednesday 28th May 2008 The return of the salon, bringing together London's creative elite, held at the Sanderson hotel London, England

Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck

Michael Moore, Meghan O'Hara and Casey Affleck - Michael Moore, Meghan O'Hara, and Casey Affleck Saturday 2nd February 2008 at Beverly Hilton Hotel Los Angeles, California

Michael Moore, Meghan O'hara and Casey Affleck

James McAvoy, Amy Ryan, Ellen Page, Casey Affleck and Marion Cotillard - James Mcavoy, Amy Ryan, Ellen Page, Casey Affleck and Marion Cotillard Wednesday 30th January 2008 at Santa Barbara International Film Festival Santa Barbara, California

James Mcavoy, Amy Ryan, Ellen Page, Casey Affleck and Marion Cotillard
James Mcavoy

Casey Affleck - Sunday 27th January 2008 at Screen Actors Guild Los Angeles, California

Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck
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Casey Affleck

Casey Affleck Thursday 24th January 2008 Casey Affleck joins Niche Media to celebrate Los Angeles Confidential's newest issue, held at One Sunset - Arrivals West Hollywood, California

Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck
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Casey Affleck Tuesday 15th January 2008 2008 National Board of Review Awards at Cipriani - Outside Arrivals New York City, USA

Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck

Casey Affleck Tuesday 15th January 2008 2008 National Board of Review Awards at Cipriani - Inside Arrivals New York City, USA

Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck

Casey Affleck - Monday 7th January 2008 at Critics' Choice Awards Los Angeles, California

Casey Affleck

The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford Review


OK
SPOILER ALERT! Brad Pitt dies.

Shocking? Well. Anyone who reads Andrew Dominik's revealing sentence fragment of a title in its entirety already understands what's going to happen in this movie.

Continue reading: The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford Review

Ocean's Thirteen Review


Very Good
The jazzy music, saturated-to-bleeding colors, and even the credits font make it clear from the outset: Ocean's Thirteen is more variety show than heist thriller. The gang of thieves from Ocean's Eleven and Ocean's Twelve is re-assembled, and while their new scam is more of a group effort than the scattered riffing of Twelve, its building-block cons are as cool and varied as ever.

Returning to the stage, the Ocean crew: Rusty (Brad Pitt) puts on scraggly facial hair to play a seismologist. Linus (Matt Damon) prepares to seduce a casino employee (Ellen Barkin), a task that, he insists, requires a prosthetic nose. Basher (Don Cheadle) mostly minds a giant piece of construction equipment, but impersonates a motorcycle daredevil on the fly as an elaborate distraction. The brothers Malloy (Casey Affleck and Scott Caan) are off to Mexico. George Clooney's Billy Ocean, as usual, acts as ringleader, which means a lot of standing around looking fabulous in suits, as well as one spectacularly well-timed eyeroll.

Continue reading: Ocean's Thirteen Review

Oceans Thirteen Trailer


Oceans Thirteen
Trailer Stream

Continue: Oceans Thirteen Trailer

Lonesome Jim Review


Very Good
If you were to saddle Garden State with a far less likeable lead and set it in Indiana, you might end up with this small gem, the latest from actor-cum-director Steve Buscemi. The Lonesome Jim in question (Casey Affleck) returns home ostensibly to find himself, but really he's just there to mooch off his folks until he can plan his next move. The fact that he finds himself in spite of himself saves this film from being a mere installment of "Profiles in Schmuck-itude," even if it ups the cheese factor as a result.

The movie begins with Jim's surprise arrival at his parents' house. His brother, Tim (Kevin Corrigan), still lives there but is less than pleased to see him. His mother, Sally (Mary Kay Place), is overjoyed but clueless as to Jim's unhappiness, even as he breaks down within minutes of walking through the door. And his father, Don (Seymour Cassel), in response to Jim's claim that his breakdown is due to "dehydration," simply suggests a cup of water.

Continue reading: Lonesome Jim Review

Lemon Sky Review


Excellent
You can't choose your family. And even if you could, chances are all the good ones would already be taken. So, as young Alan (Kevin Bacon) learns in this film presentation of Lanford Wilson's play, you might as well try to squeak by until the dysfunction reaches critical mass.

Alan is a hopeful young man in a hopeless situation. After years estranged from his father Doug (Tom Atkins), he heads to San Diego for a long overdue reunion with the hope of starting anew. But as soon as he arrives, he sees that things are different in this late-1950s household. His new stepmother Ronnie (Lindsay Crouse), is warm and welcoming, but the house is already full and brimming with conflict.

Continue reading: Lemon Sky Review

200 Cigarettes Review


Weak
The bad news: This story of a bunch of New Yorkers on New Year's Eve, 1981, is so trite and stupid that it doesn't merit any attention whatsoever. The cast (playing uber-NYCers) are uniformly grating and obnoxious -- and Courtney Love as ringleader makes it even worse.

Continue reading: 200 Cigarettes Review

Lonesome Jim Review


Very Good
If you were to saddle Garden State with a far less likeable lead and set it in Indiana, you might end up with this small gem, the latest from actor-cum-director Steve Buscemi. The Lonesome Jim in question (Casey Affleck) returns home ostensibly to find himself, but really he's just there to mooch off his folks until he can plan his next move. The fact that he finds himself in spite of himself saves this film from being a mere installment of "Profiles in Schmuck-itude," even if it ups the cheese factor as a result.

The movie begins with Jim's surprise arrival at his parents' house. His brother, Tim (Kevin Corrigan), still lives there but is less than pleased to see him. His mother, Sally (Mary Kay Place), is overjoyed but clueless as to Jim's unhappiness, even as he breaks down within minutes of walking through the door. And his father, Don (Seymour Cassel), in response to Jim's claim that his breakdown is due to "dehydration," simply suggests a cup of water.

Continue reading: Lonesome Jim Review

Gerry Review


Very Good
Gus Van Sant's Gerry is a minimalist buddy film about two guys getting lost in the desert. Matt Damon and Casey Affleck play the only characters, and the two wander aimlessly for days, obligingly dwarfed by the barren landscape.

This is a slow movie, and intentionally so. The entire film comprises less than 100 shots -- one of which is a sunrise in real time. The rest of it is nearly as prolonged; the young men walk in utter silence for about ten minutes, and we get a similarly extended view of Affleck lost in thought.

Continue reading: Gerry Review

Soul Survivors Review


Terrible
In my opinion, a movie reviewer's most important task is to offer an explanation for his opinion. But with Soul Survivors, I'm so full of critical rage that this review is liable to turn into a venomous, uncontrollable rant, obligations damned.

However, protocol forces me to do otherwise. Soul Survivors tells the story of four college-bound friends: Cassandra (Melissa Sagemiller) is sweet and innocent. Party girl Annabel (Eliza Dushku of Bring It On) is dating world-weary Harvard student Matt (Wes Bentley). Matt still has feelings for Cassie, who is now dating Sean (Casey Affleck).

Continue reading: Soul Survivors Review

Ocean's Twelve Review


OK
Danny Ocean and his crew of master thieves are back on the hunt in Ocean's Twelve, but damn if you won't have a hard time mustering up an opinion about it.

Twelve picks up 3 1/2 years after the surprisingly delightful original (er, remake), with our heroes living high on the hog on the spoils from robbing Terry Benedict's (Andy Garcia) Bellagio casino. Abruptly, Benedict finds them all -- Danny (George Clooney) is married to Tess in the suburbs, Frank (Bernie Mac) is running a nail salon, and so on -- and demands his money back in two weeks.

Continue reading: Ocean's Twelve Review

Drowning Mona Review


Terrible
If you've ever found yourself in a theater watching a movie like Throw Momma from the Train or Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead, then you'll understand my experience with Drowning Mona. Drowning Mona is one of those films that you might hear about and shrug it off as a bad idea. Then you'll see a trailer and realize that your first instinct was right. There is no logical reason for you to ever see this movie. It looks unfunny, moronic, and you have already crossed it off the list of all the movies you are potentially interested in ever investing your time in. But despite all of that, you somehow end up forking over eight bucks for the privilege to see it. And your worst fears are realized.

Suffice it to say that Drowning Mona is a bad film. It is a very bad film. Let us count the ways.

Continue reading: Drowning Mona Review

Ocean's Eleven (2001) Review


Extraordinary
In the words of George Peppard from his immortal role on TV's The A-Team, I love it when a plan comes together, and, man, does it ever come together in nearly every possible way in Steven Soderbergh's very clever, stylish, slick, and engrossing remake of the Rat Pack ensemble heist film Ocean's Eleven.

Since his feature debut with sex, lies and videotape, Soderbergh has walked the tenuous line between art and entertainment. He very rarely insults his audiences' intelligence or sense of humor or style -- even when he busted into the Hollywood big time. Now, a year after picking up his Oscar for the epic Traffic, he shows his range by dipping back into his old cheeky, seductive comedic bag of tricks last seen in Out of Sight. He even brings back Sight leading man George Clooney as crew boss Danny Ocean.

Continue reading: Ocean's Eleven (2001) Review

Committed Review


Good
I walked into the screening of Committed with low expectations, having acquired some taste for Heather Graham though her appearances in Drugstore Cowboy, Swingers, Boogie Nights, and, perhaps most notably, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, but bearing little hope for a good story. After all, even Miramax's promotional synopses gave this picture about an over-zealous love junkie a lackluster pitch. The lesson here: Sometimes bad salesmen pitch good widgets.

As Forrest Gump might put it, Heather Graham is as Heather Graham does. In this flick, she does pretty good. Backed by the furrowed brow malaise of Luke Wilson (Home Fries, Dog Park and one of the best episodes of The X Files) and the way-cooler-than-his-brother Casey Affleck (200 Cigarettes), Graham's wide-eyed charm is disarming and convincing. You'll also find some great supporting performances from Patricia Velasquez (The Mummy--Don't worry; she's much wittier here.) and Alfonso Arau (Like Water for Chocolate, A Walk in the Clouds and--my favorite--El Guapo from The Three Amigos). The premise of the story is lame at best, but the combination of on-screen talent and resourceful writing and directing manage to pull off a better-than-mediocre movie. Committed is a perfect date movie, and I suspect it'll also be a winner among women whose men are too dumb to stay put.

Continue reading: Committed Review

Ocean's Twelve Review


Good

Casino boss Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) has caught up with Danny Ocean's merry band of hipster crooks, and he wants his $160 million back -- with interest.

As "Ocean's Twelve" begins, the disbanded gang that cracked Benedict's "impenetrable" Las Vegas vault in 2001's Rat Pack remake has been backed into a collective corner and given two weeks to pony up. But that's the least of their troubles.

A cunning, foxy Europol detective (Catherine Zeta-Jones) -- and former love of the group's card shark (Brad Pitt) -- is barely half a step behind them (and sometimes half a step ahead) as they reunite to execute a string of elaborate heists on the Continent, hoping to hold off Benedict with the proceeds. What's worse, the Night Fox (Vincent Cassel), the world's most notorious cat burglar, is making a spiteful habit of hitting every safe and museum on their itinerary just hours (if not minutes) before Ocean's would-be plunderers arrive to do their thing.

Continue reading: Ocean's Twelve Review

Drowning Mona Review


OK

A screwball whodunit set in an upstate New York hamlet full of highly motivated potential murderers, "Drowning Mona" is kind of a Robert Altman ensemble movie gone wrong.

Funny in fits and starts, the story opens with the tyrannical title character, played by Bette Midler, driving her Yugo off a cliff into a river. It's a tragedy that doesn't seem to have anyone in town all that broken up.

Upon hearing the news, her dimwitted, stoner, bully of a lay-about son (Marcus Thomas) only wants to know "What was she doing driving my car!" After making a half-assed attempt to feign grief, her cheatin' and brow-beaten husband (William Fichtner) drives off for a happier than usual rendezvous with his mullet-haired, diner waitress concubine (Jamie Lee Curtis). Everybody else in town tries -- although not very hard -- to stifle the fact that they're pleased as punch Mona has met her end.

Continue reading: Drowning Mona Review

200 Cigarettes Review


Good

At first I was highly dubious about "200 Cigarettes." From whatI'd seen before hand, it looked like mediocre script at which the producersthrew a lot of hip actors hoping the cast would hoist it up to their level.And after all, it's a soundtrack-driven product of MTV Films -- not exactlya proud pedigree.

I'm delighted to report I was very much mistaken.

An ensemble comedy with a cast of a dozen breakout starsall traipsing through Manhattan misadventures on their separate ways tothe same party on New Year's Eve 1981, "Cigarettes" has a capricioushum about it and the same non-stop brand of comedic timing (although adifferent brand of comedy) that was honed to perfection in "There'sSomething About Mary"

Although it's an unpolished effort from movie newbies ShanaLarsen (writer) and Risa Bramon Garcia (director), there are no wastedscenes, no busted jokes, and a number of comedic crescendos that will sendyou roaring over the back of your chair. This is funny stuff.

The players and their plots shake out like this:

East Village misery-addict Paul Rudd ("Clueless")and his promiscuous, platonic pal Courtney Love battle long-buried romanticpredilections. Katie Hudson -- the 19-year-old daughter of Goldie Hawnwho has inherited her mother's looks and her pratfall proficiency -- losesher virginity to flabbergasted commitment-phobe Jay Mohr ("Mafia!").Gaudily over-dressed Christina Ricci sports an gloriously grating LongIsland accent as she and Gaby Hoffman get hopelessly lost in Alphabet Cityafter misplacing the party address.

Madonna wannabe Angela Featherstone (following "TheWedding Singer" with another '80s flashback) and petulant pal NicoleParker ("Boogie Nights") comb the bars in a superstitious frenzy,convinced if they don't wake up New Year's Day in bed with cute guys they'llspend the whole year alone. One of their candidates is a surprisingly self-mockingBen Affleck, playing a klutzy bartender and inept Casanova.

Meanwhile, the neurotic hostess of the party (Martha Plimpton)is in hysterics because midnight is rapidly advancing and her only guestsso far have been one fair-weather friend who abandons her for peppier pasturesand an ex-boyfriend in the middle of a sexual anxiety crisis.

And I haven't even mentioned the two best performancesin the picture: Janeane Garofalo as a bitter (naturally) budding rock starand Dave Chappelle, who plays the super-smooth, jive-talking cabbie thatties all the stories together.

Of course, the inevitable culmination of all this willbe happy endings and a successful party. But "200 Cigarettes"is not entirely predictable along the way and, unlike "The WeddingSinger," it doesn't depend on '80s shtick for its laughs.

Sure there's neon cowl necks sweaters, florescent fishnets,Aqua Net hair helmets, guys in eyeliner, chunky chokers, two-pound earringsand other New Wave fashion atrocities. There's also the occasional butsubtle pop culture icon (a shouldered boom box, a ring watch, Elvis Costelloin a cameo). But all of this is incidental. The comedy comes first, theself-aware goofs on Generation X, The Early Years come second, and that'swhy it will be just as funny in 2009 as it is in 1999.

And with this cast of edge-of-super-stardom players, "200Cigs" will definitely be remembered in 2009, like "American Graffiti,""Diner" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" are rememberednow for launching or accelerating humongous careers.

Ben Affleck and Christina Ricci have already become marquee-powerstars in the last 12 months, and Love, Garofalo, Hudson, Mohr, Rudd Chappelleand Plimpton (who already has a lucrative indie career) are hot on their

American Pie 2 Review


Bad

Back from their freshman year at college, the sex-crazed gang from "American Pie" rent a beach house and party hardy for the summer in the inevitable assembly-line sequel "American Pie 2."

Pastry-plugging loser Jim (the insufferable Jason Biggs) is waiting for a visit from Swedish exchange sexpot Nadia (the vapid Shannon Elizabeth), whose interest in him still isn't adequately explained. Loud-mouthed lecher Stifler (Seann William Scott) is still obsessed with nailing anonymous bimbos. Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) is still obsessed with bedding Stifler's mom (Jennifer Coolidge).

Oz (Chris Klien) is still hopelessly devoted to Heather (Mena Suvari), who only shows up about three times in the movie, calling on the phone from Europe. Freaky flutist Michelle (Alyson Haningan) is back at band camp, where Jim pays a visit for sexual advice. Former virgin Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) is pining for former virgin Vicki (Tara Reid), who has moved on.

Continue reading: American Pie 2 Review

Gerry Review


Good

An inexplicably compelling, far-outside-the-box excursion from director Gus Van Sant, "Gerry" is a modestly sweeping experimental movie -- one of very long takes and very little dialogue -- about little more than two buddies getting lost in the desert.

Having wandered off the trail on their way to some informal rest-stop attraction, at first the two road-trippers (Van Sant's co-writers Casey Affleck and Matt Damon) aren't too worried about their predicament. Flushed with the assumed immortality of youth, they're certain the freeway is just over this hill or that -- or at least they'll be able to see it from the next crest.

They walk with purpose and almost enjoy the adventure, even making light when Affleck scrambles up a rock outcropping to scout the area and can't find his way back down. As Damon rakes the ground with his foot to build a feeble "dirt mattress" to break his friend's fall, they snicker and bicker and troubleshoot the situation, debating the odds of a broken ankle if he jumps.

Continue reading: Gerry Review

Ocean's Eleven Review


Good

Leave it to the sublimely inventive Steven Soderbergh to do a remake the right way around -- starting from a mediocre movie that didn't live it to its potential, then setting out to make it better.

Looking to have a little fun after his back-to-back successes of "Erin Brokovich" and "Traffic," Soderbergh gathered a gang of his favorite actors who were willing to work cheap and set his sights on a high-tech retooling of the forgettable Rat Pack casino heist caper "Ocean's 11."

Made in 1960, the original starred Las Vegas habituates Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Peter Lawford, who just showed up, said their lines and brought their joking, drinking and womanizing personalities with them. The movie had character and style, of course, but little else.

Continue reading: Ocean's Eleven Review

Soul Survivors Review


Terrible

In "Soul Survivors" a relatively inventive horror movie concept is used as a launching pad for a pathetic parade of standard-issue jumps and frights that can't raise a single goosebump.

The concept (which owes a debt to Adrian Lyne's mind-melting "Jacob's Ladder") is that an angelic coed (Melissa Sagemiller, "Get Over It") becomes haunted by nightmares and vision of her dead boyfriend (Casey Affleck) after he's killed in a car wreck while she was behind the wheel. The girl begins to lose her grip on what's real and what she imagines while her cryptic best friends (Wes Bentley and Eliza Dushku) try to keep her sane.

But two post-production revamps -- one without writer-director Steve Carpenter -- left the film with laughably conspicuous trims for the sake of a belated, teen-friendly PG-13 declawing (now that theaters are enforcing the R rating). All that remains of the story's slight creative promise is a transparent and very pedestrian chiller without chills.

Continue reading: Soul Survivors Review

Desert Blue Review


Good

Would you believe me if I told you someone has made a movie about teenagers that doesn't revolve around the sex lives of unrealistically urbane high school juniors?

I don't even remember the last time I saw a juvie movie like "Desert Blue," a very rural comedy featuring a ensemble cast of talented rising stars (as opposed to the WB variety) playing teenagers who (gasp!) act like teenagers.

They're bored and discontented. They hang out and drink beer for the sake of drinking beer. They toy with intellectualism, peppering their attempts at depth with the word "dude." They neck a lot because unlike those urbane movie teens, that's what most teenagers do far more often than they have sex.

Continue reading: Desert Blue Review

Casey Affleck

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Casey Affleck

Date of birth

12th August, 1975

Occupation

Actor

Sex

Male

Height

1.76


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Casey Affleck Movies

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

A Ghost Story Trailer

A Ghost Story Trailer

C and M are a married couple who love one another very much, they live...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Manchester By The Sea Trailer

Manchester By The Sea Trailer

Lee Chandler lives a life of self-imposed exile but that's not how he's always been....

The Finest Hours Movie Review

The Finest Hours Movie Review

With its rousing, old-fashioned tone, this fact-based epic is properly thrilling and inspirational, a tale...

Triple 9 Movie Review

Triple 9 Movie Review

After a post-apocalyptic dystopia (The Road) and Prohibition-era America (Lawless), Australian director John Hillcoat brings...

Triple 9 Trailer

Triple 9 Trailer

Terrell Tompkins and his team of officers are corrupt, finding ways to embellish their wage...

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The Finest Hours Trailer

The Finest Hours Trailer

It's 1952 and a routine shipment is being undertaken by the crew of an oil...

Interstellar Movie Review

Interstellar Movie Review

Brainy blockbuster maestro Christopher Nolan heads into deep space with this epic adventure, which is...

Interstellar Trailer

Interstellar Trailer

Mankind is doomed. Following generations of neglect and a lack of care, the planet Earth...

Interstellar Trailer

Interstellar Trailer

Cooper is a pilot and engineer with a huge ambition to save the world. With...

Interstellar Trailer

Interstellar Trailer

With the Earth facing a bleak future, pilot and engineer Cooper wants to know how...

Out of the Furnace Movie Review

Out of the Furnace Movie Review

Coarse and not exactly subtle, this dark drama might disappoint viewers expecting a more traditional...

Interstellar Trailer

Interstellar Trailer

At a time where scientists and explorers are on the verge of reaching a stalemate...

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