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Jeffrey Wright - Hunger Games Catching Fire NYC Premiere - New York, New York, United States - Wednesday 20th November 2013

Jeffrey Wright

Jeffrey Wright - New York Screening of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" - Red Carpet Arrivals - Manhattan, New York, United States - Thursday 21st November 2013

Jeffrey Wright
Jeffrey Wright

Jeffrey Wright - NY screening of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - NY, New York, United States - Thursday 21st November 2013

Jeffrey Wright

Jeffrey Wright - Lionsgate Present the NY Special Screening of The Hunger Games Catching Fire at AMC Lincoln Square Theater - NYC, New York, United States - Thursday 21st November 2013

Jeffrey Wright

Jeffrey Wright - 2013 CNN Heroes: An All Star Tribute - Red Carpet Arrivals - Manhattan, New York, United States - Wednesday 20th November 2013

Jeffrey Wright
Jeffrey Wright

Jeffrey Wright - The world premiere of 'Hunger Games' held at the Odeon Leicester Square - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Monday 11th November 2013

Jeffrey Wright
Jeffrey Wright
Jeffrey Wright

Francis Lawrence, Jena Malone, Sam Claflin, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Hemsworth, Willow Shields, Stanley Tucci and Jeffrey Wright - 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' photocall at the Corinthia Hotel London - London, United Kingdom - Monday 11th November 2013

Francis Lawrence, Jena Malone, Sam Claflin, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Hemsworth, Willow Shields, Stanley Tucci and Jeffrey Wright
Sam Claflin, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Hemsworth and Francis Lawrence
Francis Lawrence, Jena Malone, Sam Claflin, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Hemsworth, Willow Shields, Stanley Tucci and Jeffrey Wright
Sam Claflin, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Hemsworth and Francis Lawrence
Francis Lawrence, Jena Malone, Sam Claflin, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Hemsworth, Willow Shields, Stanley Tucci and Jeffrey Wright
Sam Claflin, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Hemsworth and Francis Lawrence

Jeffrey Wright - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" Mall Tour - Cherry Hill, NJ, United States - Monday 4th November 2013

Jeffrey Wright
Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Jeffrey Wright, Meta Golding and Bruno Gunn
Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Jeffrey Wright, Meta Golding and Bruno Gunn
Bruno Gunn, Meta Golding, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone and Jeffrey Wright
Bruno Gunn, Meta Golding, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone and Jeffrey Wright
Jeffrey Wright

Jeffrey Wright - Premiere of 'Lucky Guy' at the Broadhurst Theatre -Arrivals - New York City, NY, United States - Monday 1st April 2013

Jeffrey Wright

Jeffrey Wright - Opening night of 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' at the Cort Theatre - Arrivals - Wednesday 20th March 2013

Jeffrey Wright

Broken City Review


Good

While this thriller plays with themes of political ethics and ambition, it merely lets them simmer in the background. Director Hughes is clearly much more interested in macho posturing and the convoluted scandal-based plot, so he lets the cast members merrily chomp on the scenery but neglects to give us anything that engages our brains.

The broken city of the title is New York, where Mayor Hostetler (Crowe) covered up a shooting involving cop Billy (Walhberg) to protect himself seven years ago. Acquitted but disgraced, Billy is now working as a low-rent private detective when the mayor calls in a favour. He hires Billy to find out who his wife (Zeta-Jones) is having an affair with before it derails his re-election campaign against the passionate rising-star Valliant (Pepper). It doesn't take Billy long to get the incriminating photos, but clearly there's something much bigger at stake here, so he continues to investigate the situation, which uncovers such high-reaching corruption that Billy's life is in danger.

Demonstrating how little the film cares about its characters, Billy's long-time girlfriend (Martinez) is dispatched suddenly after a series of arguments during which she refuses to put up with his boorish, chauvinistic stupidity. Why she stuck with him this long is the real question. But this and other eccentric relationships in the plot are much more interesting than the dull property-development boondoggle that Hughes instead decided to focus on. The problem is that this leaves Wahlberg with the only remotely complex character, an intriguing mess of a man who overreacts wildly to everything and yet seems to want to do the right thing.

Continue reading: Broken City Review

Jeffrey Wright Arrivals Everything or Nothing:The Untold Story of 007 held at the Muesum of Modern Art Wednesday 3rd October 2012

Jeffrey Wright
Jeffrey Wright
Jeffrey Wright

Okello Sam and Jeffrey Wright - Okello Sam; Jeffrey Wright, Tuesday 18th September 2012 at the Conde Nast Traveler Celebration of 'The Visionaries' and 25 Years of Truth In Travel at Alice Tully Hall.

Okello Sam and Jeffrey Wright

Jeffrey Wright and Brooklyn Monday 6th August 2012 Jeffrey Wright dressed as a homeless veteren on the filmset of 'The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete' in Brooklyn. The film portrays two inner city youths who are left to fend for themselves over the summer after their mothers are taken away by the authorities.

Jeffrey Wright and Brooklyn
Jeffrey Wright and Brooklyn
Jeffrey Wright and Brooklyn
Jeffrey Wright and Brooklyn
Jeffrey Wright and Brooklyn
Jeffrey Wright and Brooklyn

Jeffrey Wright and Central Park Monday 18th June 2012 50th Anniversary Gala to Honour Al Pacino held at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, Manhattan - Departures

Jeffrey Wright and Central Park
Jeffrey Wright and Central Park
Jeffrey Wright and Central Park

Stephen Daldry, Jeffrey Wright, Max Von Sydow, Sandra Bullock, Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks, Viola Davis and Ziegfeld Theatre - Stephen Daldry, Tom Hanks, Thomas Horn, Sandra Bullock, Max Von Sydow, Viola Davis, Jeffrey Wright New York City, USA - The New York Premiere of 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' held at The Ziegfeld Theatre - Arrivals Thursday 15th December 2011

Stephen Daldry, Jeffrey Wright, Max Von Sydow, Sandra Bullock, Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks, Viola Davis and Ziegfeld Theatre
Stephen Daldry and Ziegfeld Theatre
Stephen Daldry, Jeffrey Wright, Max Von Sydow, Sandra Bullock, Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks, Viola Davis and Ziegfeld Theatre
Stephen Daldry, Jeffrey Wright, Max Von Sydow, Sandra Bullock, Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks, Viola Davis and Ziegfeld Theatre
Stephen Daldry and Ziegfeld Theatre
Stephen Daldry, Jeffrey Wright, Max Von Sydow, Sandra Bullock, Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks, Viola Davis and Ziegfeld Theatre

The Ides Of March Review


Excellent
As a writer-director, Clooney delivers another complex exploration of American politics in this lively drama about the pressures of the campaign trail. The plot is somewhat theatrical, but the stellar cast brings it to life.

Steve (Gosling) is working with campaign director Paul (Hoffman) on the presidential campaign of Pennsylvania Governor Mike Morris (Clooney), and the current focus is the pivotal Ohio primary. As Steve starts to fall for young intern Molly (Wood), he is invited to meet with rival campaign manager Tom (Giamatti). And soon he finds his idealistic world disintegrating around him: Molly reveals information that could destroy Morris' campaign, while meeting with Tom jeopardises Steve's job. Meanwhile, backroom deals with an ambitious senator (Wright) call everyone's integrity into question.

Continue reading: The Ides Of March Review

Jeffrey Wright and Grace Hightower - Jeffrey Wright and Grace Hightower New York City, USA - New York premiere of 'The Ides of March' at the Ziegfeld Theater - Arrivals Wednesday 5th October 2011

Jeffrey Wright and Grace Hightower

Video - Martha Stewart Joins Stars On Red Carpet - Ides Of March New York Premiere Part 3


New York recently held the premiere of political drama 'The Ides of March', with the stars of the film making an appearance, along with a few other famous faces. Evan Rachel Wood looked elegant and enigmatic dressed in a Gucci dress and matching hat. Her co stars Paul Giamatti and Jeffrey Wright also posed for photos on the red carpet. TV personality Martha Stewart was also at the premiere, following in the footsteps of Philip Seymour Hoffman by bringing a digital camera onto the red carpet to snap the photographers.

The Ides of March also stars George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Marisa Tomei and Jennifer Ehle

Jeffrey Wright Saturday 3rd September 2011 at the 2011 'Mr. Abbott' award in the American theatre, held at the Edison Ballroom. New York City, USA

Jeffrey Wright

Jeffrey Wright Saturday 10th September 2011 36th Annual Toronto International Film Festival - Celebrity Sightings Toronto, Canada

Jeffrey Wright
Jeffrey Wright
Jeffrey Wright
Jeffrey Wright

Jeffrey Wright Friday 9th September 2011 36th Annual Toronto International Film Festival - 'Ides Of March' - Premiere held at The Roy Thomson Hall. Toronto, Canada

Jeffrey Wright
Jeffrey Wright
Jeffrey Wright

Jeffrey Wright and Ne-Yo - Actor/Filmmaker Jeffrey Wright and Ne-Yo backstage Miami, Florida - Marriott Hotel and Resort's Out of Office Workshop during Black Enterprise Celebrity Golf and Tennis Challenge at Doral Golf Resort And Spa Sunday 4th September 2011

Jeffrey Wright and Ne-yo
Jeffrey Wright
Jeffrey Wright and Ne-yo

Source Code Review


Excellent
Sharply intelligent and also viscerally entertaining, this pacey "Groundhog Day meets the War on Terror" thriller keeps us (and the characters) guessing where it might go next. And after the terrific Moon, director Jones shows that he's ready for the big league.

Colter Stevens (Gyllenhaal) is a helicopter pilot in Afghanistan who wakes up into a perplexing new mission: he's on a commuter train heading into Chicago with a woman, Christina (Monaghan), who keeps calling him Sean. Then a huge explosion tears the train apart and he wakes up in another reality, where an officer named Goodwin (Farmiga) is talking to him, asking questions and ultimately sending him back into the train to relive the same eight minutes and find the bomber. Over the next several cycles, Colter makes some startling discoveries.

Continue reading: Source Code Review

Source Code Trailer


Captain Colter Stevens is a respected soldier and is involved in a government project set up as a counter terrorist strategy. The science is new and it's very experimental but scientists have found they can enter lives of others 7 minutes before the die by entering into a source code computer programme.

Continue: Source Code Trailer

Cadillac Records Review


Good
The story about how the white man cheated the African-American out of his rhythm and blues heritage for the cash cow known as rock and roll is by now the stuff of legend. Heck, Little Richard's been living off that storyline for the last 20 years. Still, the truth about how misplaced immigrants teamed up with the marginalized minorities to create the soundtrack to our post-modern life is rife with obstacles, contradictions, and more than a little anecdotal fantasy. Now comes Cadillac Records, hoping to shed light on Leonard Chess and his Chicago blues-based label. Yet by leaving one essential character out, and manufacturing more than little of its so-called truth, it's hard to tell fact from fiction.

Sick of working in the junk business, Leonard Chess (Adrien Brody) decides to open a nightclub on Chicago's predominantly black South Side. When he discovers a Mississippi bluesman named Muddy Waters (Jeffrey Wright), he burns down the club and uses the insurance money to buy a record studio. Soon, Chess has drawn in the likes of Waters, Little Walter (Columbus Short), Howlin' Wolf (Eamonn Walker), Willie Dixon (Cedric the Entertainer) and, famously, Chuck Berry (Mos Def). But when the architect of rock-&-roll ends up in prison for violating the Mann Act, Chess has to find another star. She arrives in the person of Miss Etta James (Beyoncé Knowles), a fiery young singer with a world of pain in her voice. Yet the changing times and shifting musical landscape may just spell the end for Chess, once and for all.

Continue reading: Cadillac Records Review

Quantum Of Solace Review


OK
When Daniel Craig was announced as the next 007, the collective groan from the Ian Fleming faithful was almost loud enough to drown out the uniform shrug of the post-modern moviegoer. Where once he was the mightiest of Cold War icons, Britain's own James Bond has been marginalized by a combination of contemporary moviemaking and PC social posturing. Every few years, producers retrofit the franchise to match the perceived interest level of the ever-shrinking demo. After the excellent reboot in Casino Royale, Craig's second stint as the celebrated secret agent, Quantum of Solace, is as confusing as its title.

While still on the hunt for the people responsible for the death of his gal pal Vesper (this installment picks up mere minutes after the end of Royale), James Bond (Craig) discovers a plot by energy tycoon Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric) to corner the market on the world's most precious natural resource. It is part of a much bigger scheme by Quantum, a notorious criminal syndicate, to influence events in the world. They include the overthrow of the current Bolivian government, the installation of former military dictator General Medrano (Joaquin Cosio) there, and a continued stranglehold on world intelligence. Under the suspicious eye of MI6 director M (Judi Dench), Bond sets out to uncover the plot, determine the purpose of Quantum, and get revenge. He is helped by a young Russian girl named Camille (Olga Kurylenko). She has her own personal motives for getting even with these villainous bad men.

Continue reading: Quantum Of Solace Review

W. Review


Terrible
As President Bush's second term winds down and the race for 2008 spins at fevered pace, now is the time to make a statement -- reflecting on the failures of the current administration and projecting our hopes for the next.

Oliver Stone's W. is not that statement.

Continue reading: W. Review

Chicago 10 Review


OK
The story of the 1968 Democratic Convention riots and the trial that followed would seem to have it all, with no need for sexing up. There were riots in the streets (broadcast live on TV, even), youthful heroes with a zest for the theatrical, scowling villains with little regard for decency, and the sense that the future of America was hanging in the balance. That wasn't enough, though, for director Brett Morgen (The Kid Stays in the Picture), who said that with Chicago 10 he wanted to make a film that "resonates with kids today" by being done "in a language they understand... without talking heads and a narrator and all those trappings." Thus: Animation and Rage Against the Machine on the soundtrack. The first sign, of course, that somebody will be wholly unable to effectively communicate with kids today is when they refer to them as "kids today."

Morgen's conceit with Chicago 10 -- mixing archival footage of the riot and its aftermath with animated recreations of the trial -- is not the film's problem. In fact, by breaking away from the well-worn documentarian's path of narration and flashback, Morgen does opens interesting doors for other filmmakers to follow. But the filmmakers (Morgen's main backer was Vanity Fair editor and occasional political dilettante Graydon Carter) have such a lack of faith in their own subject's inherent power that it all ends up more a gimmick than a bold new direction in non-fiction filmmaking. Medium Cool 2008 it's not.

Continue reading: Chicago 10 Review

The Invasion Review


Weak
Many will look at Oliver Hirschbiegel's The Invasion, the fourth film treatment of the '50s novel The Body Snatchers, with an eye towards what came from the director of Downfall and what was added later by a series of studio-mandated reshoots, supervised by the Wachowski Brothers and their V for Vendetta surrogate James McTeague. They'll have to look hard, and then hopefully write detailed analyses on the internet. If McTeague and the Wachowskis ran major interference for the studio, they did so with mafia-level efficiency and brutality; hardly a trace of European art-movie evidence remains.

The finished product doesn't even particularly resemble V for Vendetta, which at least gave plenty of screen time over to stylish allegory; frankly, I'm not sure if there was much left to ruin here. McTeague and company may have called a redo on over half the film, as some reports claim, but that figure doesn't match with my own informal statistical data: well over 80 percent of The Invasion is pure (if slick) boilerplate. If Hirschbiegel was up to something smart or thought-provoking, Warner Brothers should have a whole other movie on its cutting-room floor.

Continue reading: The Invasion Review

Casino Royale (2006) Review


Excellent
After four decades, 20 feature films and five actors in the leading role, the James Bond franchise finally gets... an origin story?

You'd think it unnecessary, as 007's trademarks by this point have been burned into our memory. We know the trained assassin's drink of choice, his preferred mode of transportation, and his willingness to invoke the hard-earned license to kill when dangerous situations arise.

Continue reading: Casino Royale (2006) Review

Casino Royale (2006) Review


Excellent
After four decades, 20 feature films and five actors in the leading role, the James Bond franchise finally gets... an origin story?

You'd think it unnecessary, as 007's trademarks by this point have been burned into our memory. We know the trained assassin's drink of choice, his preferred mode of transportation, and his willingness to invoke the hard-earned license to kill when dangerous situations arise.

Continue reading: Casino Royale (2006) Review

Lady In The Water Review


Good
Is it possible for a film to be cheesy and interesting all at once? That's the question posed by M. Night Shyamalan's latest effort, Lady in the Water, a film that manages to throw in enough twists and turns to keep you engaged until the last schmaltzy drop.The film begins, appropriately enough, with a fable. A cave-painting style animation lays the groundwork for the fairy tale that's about to play out in a sleepy apartment complex called The Cove. After this ultimately unnecessary introduction, we meet Cleveland Heep (Paul Giamatti), caretaker of the complex, and a gaggle of eccentric residents. One night Cleveland spies someone in the residential pool who isn't supposed to be there. Slipping and falling in, he's saved from drowning by the mysterious stranger, a young woman named Story (Bryce Dallas Howard). Like its heart, the film wears its post-modernism on its sleeve.Through a legend meted out in fits and starts by an elderly, vaguely stereotypical Chinese woman and her daughter, Cleveland learns that this woman is, in fact, a narf, which is not, as one might suspect, some kind of undercover DEA pixie, but is instead a water nymph meant to bring great change and awakening and yadda, yadda, yadda. But before you can say "ancient Chinese secret," Cleveland finds out that there are monsters in this legend, as well, and must spend the rest of the film trying to negotiate safe passage home for Story by enlisting help from the motley tenants.Finding out who these helpers are and just how they will help is part of the fun and frustration of the film. Although Shyamalan manages to find neat and clever ways to fit them into his puzzle, the puzzle itself seems to be manufactured as the film progresses. Every ten or fifteen minutes, the plot stops so that the woman and her daughter can, in often clumsy exposition, reveal another part of the myth that they inexplicably left out before. A game like this is much less fun if it seems like the rules are just being made up as you go along.At the same time, the elements that make for any good Shyamalan film are here. There are very few directors (Spielberg and Scorsese among them) who virtually shot for shot find the most interesting place to put the camera, and Shyamalan is one. He also knows how to cast a film, and Giamatti's performance here ranks easily with Willis' in The Sixth Sense or Gibson's in Signs. In what should be one of the film's most saccharine moments, he delivers a nearly tear-worthy speech.Which brings us, inevitably, to the cheese. Being a fairy tale, Lady in the Water is susceptible to moments of artifice, and with lines like "The great Elon is coming," it can be hard not to chuckle. On the other hand, writers like Joss Whedon manage to bring the fanciful into the modern without taking the viewer out of the moment (and it would be very interesting to see him write and Shyamalan direct a project like this).There is maybe half of a great film here. In many ways, this is Shyamalan's Close Encounters, in which in an ordinary man discovers he's living in an extraordinary world. And many of the themes of faith, purpose, and self-discovery explored in Signs and The Sixth Sense are all touched upon here, but are posited in a far less convincing way. Lady in the Water is not without its magical moments, but you really have to want them.Let's narf tonight!

Syriana Review


Good
Never send a writer to do a director's job. That, more than the addictive evils of easy oil and cozy government/business corruption, is the true lesson of Syriana. When Steven Soderbergh took on Stephen Gaghan's byzantine script for Traffic, he utilized a few simple tricks to keep it all making sense, everything from grouping stories by color scheme to casting vivid character actors for minor roles so that they wouldn't get lost in the shuffle. Gaghan doesn't have these skills to bring to bear and though he beats his sprawling epic somewhat into shape, it leaves one wishing for the film that could have been, given a better director.

Like Traffic, Syriana is a messy Gordian knot of plot, only with no Soderbergh to slice it neatly open. Instead of drug trafficking, the subject this time is the nexus where oil corporations, the U.S. government, Islamic extremism, and Middle East dictatorships come together in an unholy fusion of polity and greed. The characters are introduced at a leisurely pace, Gaghan laying it all out with perhaps a little too much care. Once things start to cohere, the film shunts into a political thriller about an unnamed Gulf State where the ailing king's two sons are jockeying for control; one is a lazy playboy beloved by U.S. interests and the other is an educated reformer who wants to modernize his country and stop kowtowing to the west.

Continue reading: Syriana Review

Shaft (2000) Review


Weak
Who's the bad mutha -- shut yo mouth!

That's right. Just talkin' 'bout Shaft. The remake. Er, the sequel that is -- in what might very well be the first and only time a sequel has been given the same title as the original. And believe me, that's just where the stupidity of Shaft begins.

Continue reading: Shaft (2000) Review

The Manchurian Candidate (2004) Review


Extraordinary
I'm a huge fan of the original Manchurian Candidate, so naturally I approached Jonathan Demme's redo with some amount of trepidation. In this, the year of the shoddy remake, we've already seen such hack jobs as The Stepford Wives, The Big Bounce, and The Punisher, among a half-dozen or so updates. The catch of course is that the original Manchurian is a classic. If Demme screwed it up, it wouldn't be the same as if he'd botched a Dolph Lundgren movie.

With a heavy sigh of relief I'm happy to report that Demme's done right by the original. Demme takes the best of the 1962 movie, updates it appropriately for the corporate power-trip of the 2000s, and puts some spin into the plot, so even if you watched the original on DVD last week, you still won't be able to guess how this one will end.

Continue reading: The Manchurian Candidate (2004) Review

Crime Punishment In Suburbia Review


Weak
If you're seeking enlightenment on what you think would be a modern reverberation on the timeless Fyodor Dostoyevsky masterpiece, don't be misled by Crime + Punishment in Suburbia. While the film opens with a quotation from Crime and Punishment, which, I suppose, is intended to lead us to a new interpretation of the book, that's the only (tenuous) connection. In the novel, the protagonist, Raskolnikov, rebels against the morality imposed on him by a society and kills an innocent woman. He later discovers that the worst punishment for the murder was the one his guilty conscience made him to endure. And perhaps, if you concentrate hard enough, the suffering Raskolnikov could conceivably parallel that of a pudgy adolescent Roseanne (Monica Keena, ex of Dawson's Creek), one of the main characters in the movie.

Completed before American Beauty, this artificial little movie resembles it in every way possible, mainly because it examines the very same set of stereotypes about malfunctioning wealthy suburbanites. Vincent (Vincent Kartheiser), a sallow loner, follows Roseanne everywhere with his camera. Given the privilege to provide voice-over for most of the film, we hope that he is the voice of wisdom, or at least revelation in the story. Far from it: His philosophy is one of a self-possessed New Age spiritual guru who is convinced he can save Roseanne from hell she is living in. What Ricky was able to see with his lens in American Beauty revealed the hidden layers of human behavior. Vincent, by comparison, as well as the whole ensemble of characters in Crime + Punishment, goes through the plot's twists and turns without a single coherent thought in his head.

Continue reading: Crime Punishment In Suburbia Review

Ride With The Devil Review


Excellent
Hands down, this is the best Civil War movie since Glory. Ride with the Devil is captivating from the opening scene and its eclectic cast is shockingly powerful. Don't worry about Jewel ruining anything; she convincingly makes the transition from pop star to actress, and Jeffrey Wright's (Basquiat, Celebrity) performance of a former slave fighting for the Confederacy is unprecedented and chillingly realistic. I have no clue what they were thinking with such a misleading title -- Ride with the Devil isn't some supernatural, special effects-laden, cheesy line-filled, end-of-the-millennium dud; it's a movie about a perspective of American history rarely talked about in classrooms across the country. The plot sympathizes with the ideals of the Confederate bushwhackers fighting a guerilla-style war against the Union Jay Hawks- and to its credit; it almost makes you believe in their cause.

Our protagonist is Jake Roedel, (Tobey Maguire -- The Ice Storm) a young Missouri-raised son of a poor Dutch immigrant, and he along with his child hood buddy Jack Bull Chiles, the son of a Missouri plantation owner, (Skeet Ulrich -- As Good As It Gets, Chill Factor) join up as bushwhackers when their homes and families are seized by Union soldiers. They both become skilled gunmen and execute daring raids on Union soldiers and sympathizers. By 1862, their unit, headed by Black John (James Caviezel), includes George Clyde (Simon Baker) and Clyde's loyal former slave Daniel Holt (Jeffrey Wright). With a harsh winter looming, the Bushwhackers must disperse and find shelter. Several members hole up in a hidden hillside dugout. While in hiding, their food and supplies are provided by the young widow Sue Lee (Jewel). When casualties are taken from a Jay Hawk surprise attack the group is splintered and Jake and Holt are united as soldiers in solidarity. As the war rages on, most of their remaining Bushwhacker compatriots are either dead or lost on the Southern cause, so Jake and Holt must decide whether to keep the fight alive or flee west.

Continue reading: Ride With The Devil Review

Ali Review


OK
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.

Continue reading: Ali Review

Basquiat Review


Weak
Basquiat -- or "Sasquiatch," as I am becoming increasingly fond of calling this film -- may teach you a thing or two. Now you may not want to know any of the stuff you learn during its two long hours of running time, but like it or not, you will learn something.

That something is a base level of information about Jean Michel Basquiat, a Haitian artisté in the early '80s who became Andy Warhol's favorite son. (What is it with Warhol movies this year?) Basquiat rose from living in a cardboard box and decorating the streets of New York with cryptic graffiti to a high-profile yet short-lived career in the highest of art circles. All before his not-too-untimely death at the age of 27 from a (take a guess) heroin overdose.

Continue reading: Basquiat Review

Broken Flowers Review


Good

After 30 years as a film comedian, Bill Murray has found a brilliant second wind as a character actor, playing deeply soulful middle-aged sad sacks. In "Broken Flowers," he gives an ennui-driven, understated performance every bit as good as his weary movie star from "Lost in Translation" and his weary oceanographer from "The Life Aquatic" -- this time playing Don Johnston, a graying suburban lothario who receives an anonymous letter from a long-ago lover telling him he has a 19-year-old son.

This sets him off on a journey to find the mother and meet his progeny, but the investigation (and resulting self-examination) isn't Don's idea. He would just as soon let this knowledge eat away at him as he rots hopelessly on the leather couch in his living room, which looks like a museum to the moment in the late 1970s when he stopped paying attention to the changing world around him (track suits are his preferred attire). It's his wannabe-gumshoe next-door neighbor (the always sublime Jeffrey Wright) who begins Googling Don's ex-girlfriends, digging up their home addresses, printing out maps from the internet, planning an itinerary and buying his friend plane tickets.

Reluctantly traveling around the country (always ending up with the same nondescript rental car in every city) and dropping in on these exes, non-confrontational Don tries to divine if each woman is the furtive mother, stirring up a whirlpool of uncomfortable old feelings in the process.

Continue reading: Broken Flowers Review

The Manchurian Candidate Review


OK

Director Jonathan Demme's remake of "The Manchurian Candidate" is eerily effective in bringing the 1962 masterpiece of chilling dark satire and dangerous political corruption up to date for a world in which corporations seemingly pocket candidates, terrorists threaten freedom and fear-mongering has virtually become a campaign platform.

In this new film, the original's stiff, communist-brainwashed war hero and would-be presidential assassin Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey) has become an unstable war-hero vice-presidential candidate (Liev Schreiber) made very susceptible to suggestion by a defense-contracting conglomerate (modeled on the Carlyle Group and Halliburton). And his controlling, calculating, daunting and devious behind-the-scenes mother (the brilliantly ominous Angela Lansbury in '62) has become a bulldozing, hawkish senior senator in her own right (played slightly more shrill by Meryl Streep).

An obligatory girlfriend role filled by Janet Leigh 42 years ago is refashioned into someone altogether more pivotal to the plot (a seeming good Samaritan played by Kimberly Elise). And Maj. Bennett Marco, the nightmare-haunted central character (then Frank Sinatra, now Denzel Washington) who pieces together a startling conspiracy, has become a victim of Gulf War Syndrome and at times hangs onto his own sanity by a very thin thread.

Continue reading: The Manchurian Candidate Review

Shaft Review


OK

More a cookie-cutter tough- cop- who- plays- by- his- own- rules shoot-'em-up than an updated Blaxploitation action flick, John Singleton's "Shaft" revival features loud hand cannons with endless rounds of ammunition, handsomely gritty five boroughs photography, a killer pimp soundtrack (naturally) and Samuel L. Jackson appropriately cast as that bad-ass cultural icon, the private dick who's a sex machine to all the chicks.

Writer-director Singleton -- who at age 23 made the powerful portrait of day-to-day urban danger "Boyz in the 'Hood" then went into a career slide with "Rosewood," "Higher Learning" and "Poetic Justice" -- chose to bring back the series rather than remake this genre classic. Instead he updated it by having Richard Roundtree revive his role as John Shaft and have Jackson play his nephew -- a New York cop whose disregard for the rule book gets the job done but makes him a nightmare for his superiors.

As such, the new "Shaft" doesn't have much to offer creatively. The witness-protection plot is utterly generic stuff (crooked cops, vato gangsters, etc.) and Singleton, smelling a potential franchise here and not about to rock the boat, plays the picture 100-percent by the book (ironically).

Continue reading: Shaft Review

Ali Review


Good

The opening shot of Michael Mann's masterfully crafted boxer biography "Ali" is an image from behind a punching bag being pounded by the champ in rapid musical rhythm. As the bag flashes by with a strobe-like effect, that intensely focused gaze Muhammad Ali is famous for -- that laser beam look that means he's tuned out the world, that stare as steely as a freight train bearing down on you -- beams out of Will Smith's eyes.

It is the one and only time in the film you'll even remember the star's name, because for the next two and a half hours Smith inhabits Ali -- his power, grace, ego, humor and body language, inside and outside the ring -- as well as any actor could.

Choosing to focus on ten momentous years in Ali's life, Mann's round by round, bobbing and weaving narrative style assumes at least a passing knowledge of the fighter's life, merely dropping in on pivotal events without spending much time catching the audience up on the particulars of who, when and where.

Continue reading: Ali Review

Jeffrey Wright

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Jeffrey Wright Movies

Game Night [2018] Trailer

Game Night [2018] Trailer

What kind of idea do you cook up for a social game night when you're...

The Good Dinosaur Trailer

The Good Dinosaur Trailer

What if the asteroid that destroyed the dinosaurs missed? Well in Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur,...

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Movie Review

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Movie Review

Suzanne Collins' saga comes to a suitably epic conclusion in a climactic series of battles...

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 Final Trailer

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 Final Trailer

Katniss Everdeen is determined to take down President Snow once and for all. Too many...

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 - Join The Revolution Trailer

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 - Join The Revolution Trailer

Having successfully rescued Peeta and the other Hunger Games victors, Katniss Everdeen is feeling the...

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Movie Review

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Movie Review

This four-part franchise, based on the Suzanne Collins novels, turns very dark with this strikingly...

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 Trailer

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 Trailer

With the incredible ramifications of the end of the yearly ritualistic sacrificial televised Hunger Games,...

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 'Our Leader The Mockingjay' Trailer

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 'Our Leader The Mockingjay' Trailer

Katniss Everdeen has survived the latest political disaster of Panem following the shocking 75th Hunger...

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 - 'Mockingjay Lives' Teaser Trailer Trailer

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 - 'Mockingjay Lives' Teaser Trailer Trailer

Following Katniss Everdeen's escape from the catastrophic 75th Hunger Games with mentor Haymitch and two...

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 Trailer

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 Trailer

President Snow has a message for the people of Panem in a mock propaganda clip...

Only Lovers Left Alive Movie Review

Only Lovers Left Alive Movie Review

It's hardly surprising that laconic filmmaker Jim Jarmusch (Broken Flowers) has created such an inventively...

Only Lovers Left Alive Trailer

Only Lovers Left Alive Trailer

An ancient vampire named Adam is desperate to remain hidden from the world in his...

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Movie Review

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Movie Review

After 2012's The Hunger Games caught us off-guard with its subtle themes, this sequel more...

Only Lovers Left Alive Trailer

Only Lovers Left Alive Trailer

Adam is a centuries old vampire who has a deep passion for music of all...

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