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George Lucas - 56th San Francisco International Film Festival honoring Harrison Ford with the Peter J. Owens Award at Bimbo's 365 Club - San Francisco, CA, United States - Tuesday 7th May 2013

At The 2012 Writers Guild Awards At The Hollywood Palladium.

Eric Roth - Eric Roth Screen Laurel Recipient, Sunday 19th February 2012 at the 2012 Writers Guild Awards at the Hollywood Palladium.

Eric Roth
Eric Roth

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close Review

Based on the Jonathan Safran Foer novel, this film holds its heavy emotional weight in check right up to a rather overwrought conclusion. But along the way, its characters worm their way under our skin.

Oskar (Horn) is the son of a jeweller (Hanks) who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11. A year later, he's still struggling to make sense of what he calls "the worst day", worrying that his sense of his father is fading away. So when he finds a key in his father's things, Oskar embarks on a quest to find the lock. His mother (Bullock) is lost in her own grief, but Oskar finds companionship in the mute stranger (von Sydow) who rents a room from his granny (Caldwell).

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8th Annual VES Awards Held At The Hyatt Regency Century Plaza - Arrivals

Eric Roth, Dr. Ed Catmull and Jeff Okun - Eric Roth, Dr. Ed Catmull and Jeff Okun Los Angeles, California - 8th Annual VES Awards held at The Hyatt Regency Century Plaza - Arrivals Sunday 28th February 2010

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button Review

Every great filmmaker is allowed one bad film. For David Fincher, his first was his worst.

An intelligent director, Fincher cut his teeth on television commercials and music videos before making his feature debut in 1992 with a forgettable and regrettable installment in the Alien franchise. It was all uphill from there. Fincher's next five films arguably are modern classics, each impressively different from its immediate predecessor. Gen X fanboys idolize him for the basement-dwelling aggressions of Fight Club. The director brought flash -- and a needed backbone -- to pulp thrillers like The Game and Panic Room. And cineastes found plenty to appreciate in the meticulous musings of Fincher's cold-case police procedural, Zodiac.

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Lucky You Review

The characters in Curtis Hanson's Lucky You waste so much breath explaining their every move at the card table that the movie ultimately works better as a Texas Hold 'Em tutorial than a down-on-your-luck melodrama.

Completed in 2005, Lucky legendarily shuffled around Warner Bros.' release schedule (bad sign) before the studio dropped it on the summer's first massive weekend (good sign) where it could compete with Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3 for an audience (suicidal sign). Watching it, you easily forget the picture's age and subsequent shelf life until Drew Barrymore's character -- an aw shucks rube from Northern California trying to make it as a lounge singer in Las Vegas -- tosses off a Dr. Laura Schlesinger reference. Hanson even opens with Bruce Springsteen's "Lucky Town," an old-school track off The Boss' similarly titled album that brought me back a few years, but which actually fits the story well.

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The Good Shepherd Review

Starting in the hot mess of the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, reaching back to the 1930s and then hopscotching back and forth between those dates whenever the mood strikes it, the pleasingly complex espionage epic The Good Shepherd tries to tell the story of the birth, rise, and (in a sense) death of the Central Intelligence Agency through the fictional composite character Edward Wilson (Matt Damon). It's a monumental piece of history to bite off, but Eric Roth's ambitious, multilayered script certainly makes a good attempt at digesting it for us.

While the CIA's roots in the WWII-era OSS (Office of Strategic Services) are well established, very few films have rooted the American spy service as firmly as this one does in its starched, prim and proper WASP world. Wilson, played by Damon as a tight-lipped, practically invisible cipher, comes from one of that world's better families, and so is a shoo-in for Yale's secret Skull & Bones society once he does a little snooping for the FBI on his pro-Nazi poetry professor (Michael Gambon). Smart and stoic, Wilson shoots up the OSS ranks and soon is masterminding the CIA's global subterfuge against the Soviets.

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Munich Review

It's been a long, tough road watching Steven Spielberg grow up. Too often, the great Hollywood money machine seemed to flip self-consciously back and forth between his serious work (Schindler's List) and the popcorn flicks (The Lost World, The Terminal). For better or for worse, though, 2005 will be remembered as the year when Spielberg finally and resoundingly merged these twin desires into unified works of serious entertainment, first his stunning War of the Worlds, and now Munich, a less complete piece of work, perhaps, but the most ambitious of Spielberg's career and truly something to behold.

What makes Munich even more ambitious than films like List or even Empire of the Sun is that it's not as recognizable a film as those classically-structured epics. This film is part spy thriller and part meditation on violence but not completely either. The result comes out as somewhat scrambled by the end, with the pieces of about a half-dozen lesser movies mixed around inside, but there's rarely a moment when it's not grabbing you by the collar and demanding your undivided attention. We should have more of this kind of thing.

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Forrest Gump Review

Run, Forrest, run! It sure seemed great at the time, but Gump is aging, and it's starting to show a wrinkle or too. Recently I sat down to watch the double-disc DVD release, and I still found it fresh and smile-provoking, but boy if it isn't a sickly sweet experience.

But what a crazy chain of events Forrest Gump has spawned: a poorly-received book sequel, a restaurant chain, and hordes of imitators -- not to mention a critical backlash.

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The Postman (1997) Review

When picking a protagonist for a movie as massively pulp as this filmwas, a good idea is to make a character that the audience can have some connection with. In order to do this, it might be a good idea to not associate said character with anything that alienates the character. In other words: if you want to choose your basic pulp protagonist, please do not choose their occupation as something that has become synonymous with psychopath.

Yes, I'm talking about The Postman. Post-millennial, post-apocalyptic, and post-intelligence, The Postman is the story of patriotism being reborn (ironically, the patriotism is in opposition to nationalism, which is the flip side of the patriotic coin) in the form of Postal Carriers. OK. It's dumb. The United States has become defunct, a racist psychopath holds all of the power, and the first thing that the new US Government is trying to get working is the mail.

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The Insider Review

Listen up! A movie adapted from a magazine article about the making of a four-year old segment of a television program: Does this pitch have you hooked yet? No? Well, despite a potentially dry-as-dust premise, The Insider manages to rise above its inherent limitations and provides a compelling look inside the politics of 60 Minutes and the tobacco industry.

They say you should never see two things being made: Sausage and legislation. Add journalism to that list. I've been in this racket long enough to know that objectivity is painfully lacking in the places you expect to find it the most. Backroom deals make strange bedfellows of interest-conflicted parties (e.g. Time-Warner owns Entertainment Weekly magazine, which reviews Warner Bros. films, etc.) So when 60 Minutes producer Lowell Bergman (Pacino) decided to do a story about the hazards of cigarettes in 1996, he found himself embroiled in controversy.

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The Horse Whisperer Review

An atrocity in the grand history of films like The Bridges of Madison County. This is yet another grown-up romance, overblown, sappy, sentimental, and just plain stupid -- featuring Redford as a guy who is strangely in tune with horsies. Yee haw! Turn off your brain before you watch it.

Ali Review

It saddens me to think that when most kids today see the name "Ali," they probably think of whipped-cream-bikini babe Ali Larter, not Muhammad Ali, "The Greatest," as he was wont to call himself -- as in the greatest fighter of all time.

Now, with Michael Mann's lengthy biopic of the heavyweight king hitting theaters, kids can think of former "Fresh Prince" Will Smith. And I'm still not sure if that's a good thing.

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