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Fences Review

Very Good

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film version of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play. First staged in 1983 (the Washington-Davis revival was in 2010), the story explores the experience of an African-American working class family in the 1950s. And its most powerful kick is in the balance of power between husband and wife, something that easily transcends the racial themes.

In Pittsburgh, trash collector Troy (Washington) is proud to be able to support his wife Rose (Davis) and teen son Cory (Jovan Adepo), who wants to attend university on a football scholarship. But Troy thinks this is unnecessary, forbidding him from playing on the team. Troy and Rose's other son Gabriel (Mykelti Williamson) is disabled but living on his own, and Troy has an older son, Lyons (Russell Hornsby), who regularly needs cash to top up his income as a musician. As he slowly builds a fence in the back yard, Troy is beginning to resent having to give in to all of these people, blaming his problems on white-majority culture. But Rose has had enough of his complaining.

Wilson's dialogue is heightened and gorgeous, with a poetic ring like modern-day Shakespeare as it explores enormous issues using clever wordplay and epic monologues. While Troy continually rants at how hard life is for a black man, the interaction points out that his main problem is actually his need to be in control of everyone around him. This makes Troy increasingly unlikeable, and Washington goes for broke in the performance. It often feels like he's playing to people sitting in the top of the theatre balcony, but it's impossible not to be moved by his words. By contrast, Davis' much more intimate Rose is the film's heart and soul. As the story progresses, she becomes the lead character, and Davis delivers a series of devastating scenes with raw power.

Continue reading: Fences Review

Fences Trailer


Troy Moxson works hard as a garbage collector to support his family. He has two sons, one who lives in his home with his wife and one from a previous marriage who is older but still turns to his father for support. Set in the 1950's, racial discrimination is still rife and Troy and his family are just one of thousands of families who live a life surrounded by enforced limitations.

In his younger years, Troy was scouted to be a baseball player but being a black man once again worked to his disadvantage and his dream was over before it even really began. Despite everything, Troy stands strong in adversity and instils a few words of wisdom in to his son, 'Don't go through life worrying about if someone likes you or not, you best be sure they're doing right by you.'

Troy's wife, Rose is a strong woman who's stuck by her husband's side through many hardships, she's also a constant support for their son Cory who wishes to gain a place on the football team.

Continue: Fences Trailer

The Magnificent Seven Review

Good

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic 1960 Western, itself a remake of the masterful 1954 Japanese original Seven Samurai. Reteaming with his Training Day stars Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke, Fuqua injects some very manly grit into the tale of a ragtag gang of mercenaries who find themselves trying to save a town in peril. It's a great story, and Fuqua delivers plenty of punch in the action set-pieces. But the characters and situations never quite rise beyond the usual Wild West cliches, and toning everything down for the required PG-13 rating creates an oddly celebratory tone, as if the brutality isn't that bad, really.

In a peaceful village in the middle of nowhere, greedy corporate baron Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) has discovered gold, so he decides to buy up everyone's land. When the homesteaders resist, Bogue turns vicious, and the newly widowed Emma (Haley Bennett) refuses to go quietly. Instead, she hires notorious gunslinger Chisolm (Washington), who in turn rustles up six more desperados: hard-drinking sharpshooter Faraday (Chris Pratt), fading legend Goodnight (Hawke), burly bear-man Horne (Vincent D'Onofrio), blade expert Billy (Byung-hun Lee), Mexican outlaw Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) and Native American warrior Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier). Not only do they need to become a team, but they need to teach these timid farmers how to fight against Bogue's approaching army.

Screenwriters Nic Pizzolatto and Richard Wenk have reduced the plot to the bare basics: scrappy good guys versus a slick, well-organised villain. There's never a compelling reason why Bogue wants the farmland (is there gold under the cornfields?), but he's clearly willing to kill everyone and level the entire town to get it. In this sense, Sarsgaard has the least subtle role in the film, but he has a great time snarling and shouting and generally being the devil incarnate. But then all of the roles are fairly simplified, with each of the seven teammates having a basic trait to combine with their general heroism: cool, cheeky, weary, quirky, flashy, rambunctious and lethal, respectively.

Continue reading: The Magnificent Seven Review

Washington And Pratt Ignore The Serious Themes In The Magnificent Seven


Denzel Washington Chris Pratt

Both are playing against type, and they say they avoided rewatching the 1960 version, although they did make a point of sitting down to see the original 1954 Japanese film Seven Samurai. Pratt says that he enjoyed playing a character who was less innocent than his other movie roles. "I think he carries around some major heavy stuff inside his heart that's convinced him that he is less than savoury," he says. "And when you think you're a bad guy, you let yourself do bad things. That is all deeper stuff to play as an actor than [Guardians of the Galaxy's] Peter Quill."

Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt in The Magnificent Seven

Even so, Washington enjoyed the fact that while their characters are flawed, they're clearly the good guys. "Audiences like to know who they're rooting for," he says. "I remember going to the movies and having that feeling, 'I wanna be that guy.' Unfortunately, that was the 1970s so it was usually drug dealers."

Continue reading: Washington And Pratt Ignore The Serious Themes In The Magnificent Seven

'The Magnificent Seven' Unites Chris Pratt And Denzel Washington In A Modern Western


Denzel Washington Chris Pratt

'The Magnificent Seven' returns in, thankfully, not another sequel but a remake starring Chris Pratt and Denzel Washington. It's a semi-modern twist on a frequently revisited and retold tale that mixes Western wonder with gargantuan gun-power, and it's set to be released in theaters this Fall.

Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt in 'The Magnificent Seven'Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt star in 'The Magnificent Seven'

It's a re-boot of John Sturges' Oscar nominated 1960 classic, this time directed by Antoine Fuqua who has previously worked alongside Washington on 'Training Day' and 'The Equalizer'. And with a modern spin comes new characters, because replacing the likes of Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen is impossible, as we saw with the last two sequels of the 'original' movie (we say 'original', but the original is actually 1954 Japanese film 'Seven Samurai'). 

Continue reading: 'The Magnificent Seven' Unites Chris Pratt And Denzel Washington In A Modern Western

The Magnificent Seven Trailer


After the murder of her husband, a widow and resident of the town of Rose Creek finds herself seeking revenge over the brutal methods of Bartholomew Bogue, the man responsible for the death of her partner. Bartholomew is a ruthless industrialist and has his sights set on the town of Rose Creek and will go to any lengths to take it from the residents.

The widow makes contact with a bounty hunter named Sam Chisolm who agrees to help her look for gun fighters to help protect the town. Though the money is little, Chisolm begins his search for skilled gun slingers who might be able to help lead the resistance against Bogue. Amongst the recruits are Josh Farraday, Goodnight Robicheaux, Jack Horne, Billy Rocks, Vasquez and Red Harvest. What begins as purely a monetary commitment for the men soon turns into something far more personal when they experience first-hand the lengths Bogue is willing to go to.

The Magnificent Seven is a remake of the 1960 movie which originally starred Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach and Steve McQueen. The new version of the movie follows a similar plot which has been adapted and written by True Detective writer Nic Pizzolatto and Richard Wenk. The score was composed by James Horner shortly before his death in 2015.

Denzel Washington Is As Humble As Ever As The 2016 Cecil B. DeMille Award Recipient - Video


Denzel Washington

Sunday's Golden Globes saw the announcement of the 2016 Cecil B. DeMille Award winner, and never has the acceptance of it been more humble and downright adorable as it was when Denzel Washington got up on stage on January 10th accompanied by his wife and three of his children.

Denzel WashingtonDenzel Washington's acceptance speech was a Golden Globes highlight

After an incredibly flattering speech from Tom Hanks who was presenting the award, and who put Washington's name among some of Hollywood's greats like Bogart and Gable, the 'Equalizer' star brought wife Pauletta, daughters Katia and Olivia, and son John David on to the stage to help him make his acceptance speech. His son Malcolm, a filmmaker and graduate from the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania, was missing from the group, with Washington explaining that he was currently working on a thesis for the AFI (American Film Institute).

Continue reading: Denzel Washington Is As Humble As Ever As The 2016 Cecil B. DeMille Award Recipient - Video

Johnny Depp Tops List Of Hollywood's Most Overpaid Actors For 2015


Johnny Depp Denzel Washington Will Ferrell Liam Neeson Will Smith Adam Sandler

Johnny Depp has received the unfortunate honour of topping Forbes' annual list of Hollywood’s most overpaid actors. Last year Depp was ranked number two on the list, but thanks to recent films Mortdecai and Transcendence he’s managed to dethrone Adam Sandler who has previously topped the list two years in a row.

Johnny DeppJohnny Depp has been crowned Hollywood’s most overpaid actor.

According to Forbes, Depp’s Mortdecai grossed just $47 million at the box office, on a $60 million budget. While Transcendence barely made back its $100 million production costs, meaning Depp returned a mere $1.20 for every $1 he was paid.

Continue reading: Johnny Depp Tops List Of Hollywood's Most Overpaid Actors For 2015

Denzel Washington Is 2016 Golden Globes Cecil B. DeMille Award Honouree


Denzel Washington

Double Oscar winner Denzel Washington is about to have his hard work recognised yet again at next year's Golden Globe Awards, where he is deservedly set to receive the annual honour of the Cecil B. DeMille Award for his services to the film and entertainment industry.

Denzel WashingtonDenzel Washington gets lifetime achievement award

The talented actor has continuously been honoured for his films at the Golden Globes, winning awards for his 1999 boxing biopic 'The Hurricane' and 1989's historic war drama 'Glory'. He has been nominated for awards for a further five of his films at the Globes, most recently in 2013 when he was recognised for his part in Robert Zemeckis' 'Flight'.

Continue reading: Denzel Washington Is 2016 Golden Globes Cecil B. DeMille Award Honouree

"Gone Girl" Wins Weekend Box Office. Barely.


Ben Affleck Rosamund Pike David Fincher Denzel Washington

Over the weekend, David Fincher’s suspenseful thriller Gone Girl breezed past box office competition, including the supernatural prequel Annabelle. Fincher's mystery flick about a husband, who finds himself the prime suspect in the disappearance of his wife, did better than any of the director’s previous films and scored a $38 million debut – much hire than industry experts originally predicted.

Gone Girl, Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck plays the anti-hero in Fincher's Gone Girl.

Gone Girl easily blew past Fincher’s previous personal best – the Jodie Foster starrer Panic Room, which opened to $30 million in 2002. Starring Affleck as Nick Dunne and Britain’s Rosamund Pike as missing wife Amy, with Neil Patrick Harris and Emily Ratajkowski in supporting roles, the film was a favorite of critics and a commercial hit for the time of year.

Continue reading: "Gone Girl" Wins Weekend Box Office. Barely.

'The Equalizer' Takes A New Approach To The Remake


Denzel Washington Chloe Moretz

It's hardly surprising that filmmakers raised on TV series in the 1980s are now turning them into movies. Some of these end up as faithful adaptations (Miami Vice, The Dukes of Hazzard), while others take a more knowingly pastiche approach (Charlie's Angels, 21 Jump Street). What we haven't seen before is a film that only takes the barest hint of an idea to make a very different kind of movie. But that's exactly what's happened with The Equalizer.

Denzel Washington in The Equalizer
Robert McCall is played by Denzel Washington in this new film

The television series ran for four seasons from 1985 to 1989, starring British actor Edward Woodward as retired intelligence officer Robert McCall, who quietly goes about helping people who are in trouble. The show's theme centres on McCall's efforts to atone for his violent past by doing good in his golden years, mainly working as an investigator or bodyguard who takes on drug dealers, murderers, rapists and kidnappers.

Continue reading: 'The Equalizer' Takes A New Approach To The Remake

The Equalizer - Featurette and Clip


Director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Olympus Has Fallen) talks about what makes The Equalizer (Denzel Washington) different from other action movie heroes. The name comes from how he spends his days as a "regular Joe", but uses hand-to-hand combat in order to fight his way through legions of bad guys "levelling the playing field". Producer Todd Black (A Knight's Tale, The Pursuit of Happiness) goes on to explain The Equalizer's skill set. He uses impeccable awareness of his surroundings to manipulate his environment into a weapon - this leads to stunt coordinator Keith Woulard discussing Washington's desire to make the fight scenes "dirty and gritty, but he want[ed] it smart". 

Continue: The Equalizer - Featurette and Clip

A Week In Movies: Awards Season Gathers Pace, Superhero Movie Rumours Abound, Expendables 3 Drops A Teaser


Mark Wahlberg Taylor Kitsch Idris Elba Naomie Harris Joaquin Phoenix Dwayne Johnson Denzel Washington Harrison Ford Antonio Banderas Mel Gibson

Lone Survivor

Things always go quiet in the film industry over the holidays as everyone takes one last break before the full onslaught of awards season campaigning. Nominations for both Oscars and Baftas come in the next two weeks, and there's also action for the influential writers, directors, producers and actors guilds. 

Awards-worthy movies expanding into cinemas this weekend include Mark Wahlberg's Lone Survivor, Spike Jonze's Her, the biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and the Cambodia documentary The Missing Picture. All have picked up attention from critics groups over the past month and are looking to catch the eye of Oscar voters. Read our review of 'Lone Survivor', watch the trailer for Spike Jonze's 'Her', read our review of 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom' or our review of 'The Missing Picture'.

Continue reading: A Week In Movies: Awards Season Gathers Pace, Superhero Movie Rumours Abound, Expendables 3 Drops A Teaser

Mark Wahlberg Has The Thirst For Knowledge After Gaining Diploma


Mark Wahlberg Denzel Washington

For Marky Mark Wahlberg, growing up wasn’t exactly the drama-school adventure a lot of today’s Oscar hopefuls were lucky enough to enjoy. No, he dropped out in the ninth grade, and not because he wasn’t turning up or getting the grades: he was charged with attempted murder.

Mark Wahlberg and Denzel WashingtonMark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington in 2 Guns... surrounded by money

Now, aged 42 and with nearly a billion movies under his belt, Wahlberg finally has his high school diploma having taken online classes while filming his latest picture, 2 Guns alongside Denzel Washington.

Continue reading: Mark Wahlberg Has The Thirst For Knowledge After Gaining Diploma

Mark Wahlberg's '2 Guns' Shoots Up 'Wolverine' At The Box-Office


Mark Wahlberg Denzel Washington Hugh Jackman Shailene Woodley Woody Allen Lindsay Lohan

The Mark Wahlberg vehicle 2 Guns - co-starring Denzel Washington - topped the US box office over the weekend with estimated takings of $24.4 million. Based on the graphic novel of the same name, the movie sees both actors teaming up as cops battling drug traffickers.

It toppled the strong performing The Wolverine, Marvel's latest blockbuster starring Hugh Jackman which was knocked back to second with $21.7 million. The Smurfs 2 appeared to suffer from a plethora of awful reviews and took just $18.2 million, according to the reliable guys over at Hollywood.com.

The animated sequel failed to meet expectations in the US, though earned $52.5 million from 43 markets.

Continue reading: Mark Wahlberg's '2 Guns' Shoots Up 'Wolverine' At The Box-Office

'2 Guns' Shoots Straight To No. 1 In Box Office After Strong Opening Weekend


Mark Wahlberg Denzel Washington Hugh Jackman Lindsay Lohan Woody Allen

The battle for the number one spot at the box office wasn't quite so one sided as it was last week, but like last week, our number one this time around was a clear victor, with 2 Guns beating it's nearest competitor by some distance. With The Wolverine dominating cinemas last weekend, it was time for Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington to take their share of the box office takings, with Hugh Jackman's latest turn as Logan falling short of the top spot in it's second week.

Watch the trailer for 2 Guns

2 Guns managed to bring in a cool $27.4 million over the weekend, a paltry sum by some weekend standards, but enough to make it to the top of the film charts at least and an amount that will be reassuring to the movie's producers. Meanwhile, The Wolverine led an impressive second week charge to remain in the top two despite the two big name releases coming this week in the shape of 2 Guns and Smurfs 2. With overall weekend takings of $21.7 mil., the superhero film has managed to draw in almost $100 million in the domestic market alone, whilst it continues to perform well overseas, with the overall foreign total now standing at $160.2 mill.

Continue reading: '2 Guns' Shoots Straight To No. 1 In Box Office After Strong Opening Weekend

Reviews For "2 Guns" Much Like The Film Itself, Are Violent


Denzel Washington Mark Wahlberg

With a cast boasting Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg in the main roles, there’s little a movie like 2 Guns could do to mess it up. And yet this brass tax action flick apparently didn’t quite work for a most critics.

Watch the 2 Guns trailer below.

Continue reading: Reviews For "2 Guns" Much Like The Film Itself, Are Violent

'2 Guns'? 2 Positive Reviews Would Be Nice, Critics Weigh In On Washington And Wahlberg


Denzel Washington Mark Wahlberg

Perhaps there’s a reason Denzel Washington doesn’t do comedy films. He’s established himself as one of the finest dramatic actors of a generation, played our favorite maverick cops, unlikely heroes and even thrown in a couple of brilliant antagonist performances.

Mark Wahlberg
Are Wahlberg and Washington - a comedy duon't?

Comedy, perhaps, isn’t his strong suit.

Continue reading: '2 Guns'? 2 Positive Reviews Would Be Nice, Critics Weigh In On Washington And Wahlberg

Video - Bill Paxton And James Marsden Arrive At The Premiere Of '2 Guns' - Part 2


'Big Love' star Bill Paxton and James Marsden from 'X-Men' were among arrivals at their world premiere of the movie '2 Guns' at the SVA Theatre, New York.

Continue: Video - Bill Paxton And James Marsden Arrive At The Premiere Of '2 Guns' - Part 2

Video - Mark Wahlberg And Denzel Washington Spotted At '2 Guns' World Premiere - Part 1


The stars of crime comedy '2 Guns' including 'Ted' actor Mark Wahlberg and 'The Book of Eli' actor Denzel Washington attend the world premiere of the movie at the SVA Theatre in New York City. In stark contrast to everyone else, Denzel has decided to dressdown in a black t-shirt, black jeans and trainers.

Continue: Video - Mark Wahlberg And Denzel Washington Spotted At '2 Guns' World Premiere - Part 1

Meet Robert Downey Jr, Forbes' Highest Paid Actor In The World


Robert Downey Jr Channing Tatum Steven Soderbergh Hugh Jackman Mark Wahlberg Adam Sandler Denzel Washington Tom Cruise Leonardo Dicaprio Liam Neeson Jon Favreau

Robert Downey Jr, the star of The Avengers and Iron Man 3 - two of the biggest grossing movies in history, has been named Forbes' highest paid actor on the planet with annual estimated earnings of $75 million.

The 48-year-old - who's enjoyed somewhat of a career resurgence over the past decade thanks to Marvel's big-budget blockbusters - pulled in more than $1 billion at the box-office.

Though Downey Jr is the predictable No.1, perhaps most surprising is the entry of Channing Tatum in second place on this year's list. The new father who both financed and starred in Steven Soderbergh's Magic Mike, made around $60 million.

Continue reading: Meet Robert Downey Jr, Forbes' Highest Paid Actor In The World

Denzel Washington And Mark Wahlberg Team Up In '2 Guns' (Trailer)


Mark Wahlberg Denzel Washington Bill Paxton

Ok, so Denzel Washington's push for Oscar glory with 'Flight' didn't quite work out, but he's dusted himself down and got back in the saddle for '2 Guns' - a fairly standard though entertaining looking heist-action movie, also starring Mark Wahlberg. The famous duo play Marcus Stigman and Bobby Trench, two cops sent undercover by their respective departments to investigate separate drug organizations. They don't realise the other is also a cop, though soon figure it out after uncovering millions of dollars from a Mexican drug cartel.

The oddball pair realise they must work together to bring down the real criminals while they themselves are wanted dead or alive. The trailer hints at something half-decent with some nice touches of humor, though it's likely to be your average cop movie. Adapted from the graphic novel of the same name by director Baltasar Kormakur (Contraband) and screenwriter Blake Masters (Blake Masters), 2 Guns sees Wahlberg in familiar territory, though his recent output has been commercially successful despite not appealing to the critics.

Continue reading: Denzel Washington And Mark Wahlberg Team Up In '2 Guns' (Trailer)

Seth MacFarlane At The Oscars: How Denzel Washington Will Help Him Cope


Seth Macfarlane Academy Of Motion Pictures And Sciences Denzel Washington

Hosting The Oscars is one of the biggest hosting jobs a person can do in their lifetime, unless you hosted the royal wedding, or... well, that's pretty much the only thing bigger than the Oscars. With the world's biggest stars all under one roof and the opinions of the Oscar judges held in such high esteem, Seth Macfarlane has let himself in for something major, and he knows it. 

In an interview with USA Today he revealed that he's been doing plenty to prepare himself for the big day (this Sunday, February 24th). He got "good advice from Billy Crystal" who "took about an hour out of his day, [to talk] through some of the dos and the donts" of hosting the Oscars. Apparently, Crystal told MacFarlane to "get comfortable with [his] shoes before [he] gets out there." 

"They say look and find a friendly face in the audience. I'm probably going to find Denzel Washington or maybe Joaquin Phoenix," he added. As well as discussing his preparations, he also said that there'll be a musical element to the show on Sunday! Although he couldn't elaborate further on how, when or with whom that might occur, but it has to happen. "It's the Oscars, there's an orchestra, it would be a shame to not use it." 

Denzel Washington On 'Flight' And Drink


Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington's turn as a pilot with a penchant for a drink in Flight has raised many eyebrows. Most critics praised the film, while some commentators weren't sure about the film's message.

Aside from that, and as is the case with every film he's in, Washington's performance has been unanimously praised. He's been talking to Scotsman.com about how the experience of filming Flight hasn't changed his views on the mode of transport.

"I was once on a private plane and it was so rough I had to sit down the flight attendant and calm her down," he says. "I remember thinking at the time, 'Aren't you supposed to be helping me?' But I think the time to worry about flying is while you're still on the ground. Once you're in the air, there isn't much you can do."

Continue reading: Denzel Washington On 'Flight' And Drink

Denzel Washington Compares Flight's Whip To Lance Armstrong


Denzel Washington Lance Armstrong

Denzel Washington has drawn comparisons between his character Whip in Flight, and the disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, as he continues the promotional build for what he hopes will be a crowning moment at the Oscars next month.

Washington is nominated in the best leading actor category at the Academy awards, which take place on February 24, 2013, and he was talking to members of the press, including the Daily Telegraph about his character, who successfully crashed landed a plane, only to register positive for having alcohol in his blood just moments after crashing. Armstrong, of course, has been found to have doped in each of his seven Tour De France wins between 1999 and 2005, and looks like being banned from his sport for life.

“I was watching this Lance Armstrong interview and, man, and talk about life imitating art. His interview is like the hearing scene [in Flight]” Washington exclaimed. Talking about Armstrong’s similar reactions, he commented “He’s wiggling and he’s crossing his legs and the jig is up … and he’s got Oprah on the other side of the room, and she’s saying ‘yes or no? yes or no? Did you or did you not?’ and he’s like ‘Well…’” Continuing, he added “Maybe Whip that had same kind of an ego on him and the same drive … just the fact he thought, well not thought could get away with it – he was getting away with it!”

Continue reading: Denzel Washington Compares Flight's Whip To Lance Armstrong

What Do The Lakers Have To Do To Impress Denzel Washington, Jay Z And Jack Nicholson!? (Pictures)


Jay Z Denzel Washington Jack Nicholson

Jay Z at the Lakers game

Jay Z seems bored despite the Lakers racking up an 105-96 win over Thunder

We had to go back and double check the score of the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Lakers match; as we thought, the Lakers took a high scoring game 105-96, but it didn't seem to excite the bevvy of celebrities who turned up at the weekend to witness it. Jay Z, Denzel Washington and Jack Nicholson were among the stars in attendance at the Staples Center in Los Angeles to watch the game, and their expressions ranged from bored, to listless, to uninterested. Which are all quite similar to be honest. 

Continue reading: What Do The Lakers Have To Do To Impress Denzel Washington, Jay Z And Jack Nicholson!? (Pictures)

Final Ballots For Screen Actors Guild Awards In Today


Daniel Day Lewis Denzel Washington John Hawkes Hugh Jackman Bradley Cooper Marion Cotillard Jennifer Lawrence Naomi Watts Louis C.K. Amy Poehler Jeff Daniels

We won't know who'll walk away with the top prizes on offer at this year's Screen Actors Guild until Sunday (Jan 27), but there are a few people who might know already as the deadline for the final ballots for this years awards ceremony is today.

At noon (PT) the members of SAG will have their final say in who wins what at the 19th annual awards show at the weekend and it really is anyone's race to take home the top prizes (except for Best Actor, because Daniel Day-Lewis does not lose these awards).

Feel-good Brit-hit The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is the surprise entrant to the Best Picture Category, facing stiff competition from Lincoln, Argo, Les Miserables and Silver Linings Playbook. Meanwhile, Day-Lewis is against Denzel Washington (Flight), Hugh Jackman (Les Mis), Bradley Cooper (SLP) and Oscar-snub John Hawkes (The Sessions), whilst the Actress section looks a little more familiar, with Jessica Chastin (Zero Dark Thirty), Helen Mirren (Hitchcock), Jennifer Lawrence (SLP), Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone) and Naomi Watts (The Impossible) are battling it out for the top acting prize.

Continue reading: Final Ballots For Screen Actors Guild Awards In Today

A Week In Movies: Oscar Predictions For Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Denzel Washington, Daniel Day-Lewis And Anne Hathaway While Iceman And Mud Trailers Hit The Web


Jessica Chastain Jennifer Lawrence Kathryn Bigelow Anne Hathaway Denzel Washington Daniel Day Lewis Robert Zemeckis Michael Shannon James Franco Winona Ryder Reese Witherspoon

Golden Globes
Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence battle over Best Actress, Denzel Washington and Daniel Day-Lewis meet over Best Actor And Anne Hathaway favorite for Best Supporting Actress. While Iceman (James Franco, Winona Ryder) and Mud (Matthew McConnaughey and Reese Witherspoon) Trailers Hit The Web.

It's awards season for the film industry, so it's no coincidence that most stories this week centre on actors and filmmakers who are up for a variety of statuettes. Last Sunday's Golden Globes are increasingly seen as a little more than a promotional opportunity for hopeful Oscar nominees, and since they have winners in both drama and musical/comedy categories, they can spread the love around more than other groups. Unlike most years, there is no movie poised to sweep the Oscars this year.

Although Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty is gaining on her, Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook is the front-runner for Best Actress. Facing a huge crowd of fans, she stopped to sign autographs and pose for photos on her way to David Letterman's show this week.

Continue reading: A Week In Movies: Oscar Predictions For Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Denzel Washington, Daniel Day-Lewis And Anne Hathaway While Iceman And Mud Trailers Hit The Web

Broken City, Broken Career? Where Did It All Go Wrong For Mark Wahlberg?


Mark Wahlberg Russell Crowe Denzel Washington

Broken City, Mark Wahlberg's latest crime-drama hits cinemas this weekend on the back of dismal reviews. The movie, boasting a solid cast including Russell Crowe, sees Wahlberg play a police officer turned private investigator who is hired by the mayor of New York City to look into the personal life of his wife.

It all reads as pretty standard stuff and it's difficult to understand why actors of Wahlberg and Crowe's calibre are accepting these roles. The script is written by debutant Brian Tucker, while director Allen Hughes hardly has a glittery track-record, with or without his brother Albert. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone magazine said of Broken City, "Another January dud. Broken City drops hot-shot actors in a quicksand of clichés and watches them sink," while Scott Foundas of the Village Voice suggested, "The actors look generally unhappy to be here, most of all Crowe, who seems even more miserable than he did in Les Misérables." It's likely Crowe was unhappy to be there, trying to figure out why he signed on to yet another bog-standard crime drama. Wahlberg was probably having a whale of a time, though he lost his way years ago. The defence that he's made the foray into directing and producing is irrelevant, given that he still keeps making bad movies. In 2006 - just 6 years ago - Mark Wahlberg gave the finest performance of his career in Martin Scorsese's all-conquering The Department. A near-perfect movie held together by Wahlberg's Dignam, an instantly dislikeable and immoral character though one that scored the 41-year-old an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. He lost out to Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine). Though a solid turn as legendary boxer Mickey Ward in The Fighter won Wahlberg some acclaim, he failed to capitalize on the fanfare for The Department and instead fell back into the same good-guy with guns roles.

The future looks bleak. Wahlberg recently starred opposite Dwayne Johnson in gym-drama Pain & Gain and will line up alongside Denzel Washington in another crime-drama, 2 Guns. After that, it's the comedy Good Time Gang, before beginning work on another totally unnecessary Transformers movie.

Continue reading: Broken City, Broken Career? Where Did It All Go Wrong For Mark Wahlberg?

Oscars 2013 Nominations: Best Lead Actor Category Sees Daniel Day-Lewis, Denzel Washington, Hugh Jackman, Bradley Cooper & Joaquin Phoenix In Contention


Daniel Day Lewis Ben Affleck Denzel Washington Daniel Craig Christian Bale

The Oscars 2013 nominations are in! As expected, Daniel Day Lewis is named amongst the list for Best Lead Actor, but surprise nominations for Bradley Cooper and Joaquin Phoenix shuffle the deck nicely. 

It all happened so fast: months of speculation, buzz-talk and predictions for 10 minutes of average jokes from Seth McFarlane and Emma Stone. But here they are, the Oscar 2013 nominations are in, so now at least the predictions will be slightly more accurate.

Before we go on, here are the Best Lead Actor nominees in full.

Continue reading: Oscars 2013 Nominations: Best Lead Actor Category Sees Daniel Day-Lewis, Denzel Washington, Hugh Jackman, Bradley Cooper & Joaquin Phoenix In Contention

The Golden Globes Nominations, No Surprises For A Great Year Of Film


Quentin Tarantino Leonardo Dicaprio Daniel Day Lewis Rachel Weisz Naomi Watts Helen Mirren Richard Gere John Hawkes Joaquin Phoenix Denzel Washington Maggie Smith Michelle Dockery Ben Affleck Marion Cotillard Christoph Waltz Ang Lee

The Golden Globes are one of the biggest film and television awards in the world. Winning an award from them will almost always top the C.V.s of anyone involved in film. 2012 has been one of the best years in film for a long time, with many films being deemed 'instant classics'. Although, of course, that's said every year, with just a quick glance at the calibre of performances, narrative and cinematography this year it's easy to see why it's being said.

2012's nominations were revealed today with few surprises. The favourites during speculation included Argo, Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty and The Master, and they haven't failed to impress in the Globes' nominations. Lincoln's set to be a big winner with seven nominations, while Argo has 5 nominations, Zero Dark Thirty has 4 and The Master has 3. All four, except The Master, are also in the running for Best Motion Picture, competing alongside Ang Lee's Life of Pi and Quentin Tarantino's re-envisioning of a slave narrative, Django Unchained

Tarantino's film received 5 nominations, which included two in the category for Best Supporting Performance by an Actor, for Christoph Waltz and Leonardo Dicaprio, which proves to us that it's more than worth the watch. Best Director nominations mirrors the Best Motion Picture, and include Ben Affleck (Argo), Stephen Spielberg (Lincoln), Ang Lee (Life of Pi), Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) and Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained), which is no surprise really. 

Continue reading: The Golden Globes Nominations, No Surprises For A Great Year Of Film

007 Shoots Twilight Down To Third In The U.S Box Office Chart


Daniel Craig Kristen Stewart Robert Pattinson Denzel Washington Steven Spielberg

It's been a two way battle between the latest Bond film, Skyfall, and the final instalment of the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, for the top spot of the U.S Box Office chart. However, things have been shaken up a bit. Here's our Box Office roundup.

Skyfall has proved to have staying power, as it overtook Twilight into first place this weekend, managing $11m in its 5th week. And it got worse for the Vampire franchise, as it dropped out of the top 2 for the first time since it's Thanksgiving release, placing 3rd with $9.2m. Breaking Dawn - Part 2 is still leading in terms of cumulative gross though, with $268.7m in four weeks compared to $261.6m in Skyfall's 5. Dreamworks Studios' Rise of The Guardians managed to upset the top 2, placing 2nd with $10.54m. Steven Spielberg's Lincoln - a strong contender for Oscar nominations right across the board - is 4th with $9.1m, with fellow Academy Award hopeful, Ang Lee's Life of Pi in 5th with $8.3m. 

Playing For Keeps opened to $6m, and takes 6th spot, while Disney's latest animated treat; the videogame comedy Wreck it Ralph stays in the top 10 in its 6th week, $4.9m earns it 7th spot. Red Dawn lands just above Denzel Washington's Flight in 8th with $4.26m; the aviation tale of a pilot with alcohol problems continues to underperform in 8th with $3.13m, although Washington's performance continues to hold an outside chance for an Oscar nomination. Brad Pitt's Killing Them Softly, which didn't fair too well with the critics, rounds off the top 10 with $2.78m and a cumulative $11.8m after two weeks of showings. 

Continue reading: 007 Shoots Twilight Down To Third In The U.S Box Office Chart

Forget Best Paid Actor; Is Being The Most Overpaid Actor Is Where It's At?


Eddie Murphy Denzel Washington Reese Witherspoon Adam Sandler Nicolas Cage

The mantle of most overpaid actor sounds good, doesn't it? It suggests that Eddie Murphy, who has been awarded the title by Forbes, is just sitting around in his huge mansion and getting paid for it. But it's not that simple...

Forbes have calculated that for every dollar Murphy was paid for his last three films, they returned an average of $2.30 at the box office, so, suddenly, the title becomes somewhat unwanted. So what happened for Murphy? His 90's classics; Trading Places and Beverly Hills Cop were huge, and his voice work in Shrek and Mulan and family-friendly roles in Norbit and Dr. Dolittle have prolonged his successful career into the noughties. But his recent films; Imagine That, A Thousand Words, Meet Dave, and Tower Heist, flopped at the box office, and have brought down his dollar average, propelling him to the top of the overpaid actors list. Still, one more smash hit and that could all change. So, you must be wondering who makes up the top 10, and not to worry, as we have it right here!

1. Eddie Murphy - Returns $2.30 for every $1 paid.

Continue reading: Forget Best Paid Actor; Is Being The Most Overpaid Actor Is Where It's At?

Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 Takes The Thanksgiving Weekend: Box Office Roundup


Kristen Stewart Robert Pattinson Daniel Craig Ang Lee Denzel Washington

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 wasn't only the longest film title vying for hard earned dollars this weekend, it was also the biggest, as it claimed the top spot on Thanksgiving weekend. Here's our American Box Office roundup. 

Outpacing 007 by $7m, Twilight earned $43,070,000 following the traditional pre-Thanksgiving weekend Wednesday release to bring its total to an impressive $227m. Daniel Craig as Bond in Skyfall brought some British style to proceedings, but was ultimately out-jousted, coming in second with $36m. Steven Spielberg's epic political drama Lincoln, with Daniel Day Lewis starring as the titular character, couldn't touch the top two, managing $25,020,000 and placing it third. The top three was a hotly contested spot, with Dreamworks Studios' Rise of The Guardians gleaning $24,025,000 and placing 4th. Ang Lee's Life of Pi struggled with the big-name competition, completing the top 5 in its opening weekend with $22m. The movie, adapted from the famous novel, is receiving a round of very positive critical responses, and will be battling for Oscar recognition come 2013.

The video game animation, Wreck It Ralph represents a stark drop in revenue in 6th place, with $16,760,000, although its overall performance has been good, with $149.5M in its 4th week of release. Red Dawn opened to $14,600,000 while Flight, starring Denzel Washington as a pilot battling alcohol issues chugs along with $8,600,000 and $74.9M overall; an average return for a film in its 4th week. Silver Linings Playbook and Argo round off the top 10 with $4,623,000 and $3,875,000 respectively. Figures according to Yahoo Movies. 

Is Sacha Gervasi's 'Hitchcock' Really Generating Oscars Buzz?


Anthony Hopkins Helen Mirren Sacha Gervasi Alfred Hitchcock Daniel Day Lewis Joaquin Phoenix Denzel Washington Jennifer Lawrence Sally Field

Read anything on Sacha Gervasi's new movie Hitchcock, starring Sir Anthony Hopkins as the legendary Hollywood director, and you'll probably come across the phrases "Oscars buzz" and "Oscar tipped." The movie has enjoyed decent reviews from critics, though the press seem to have it nailed on for a nomination. It may well not be that straight forward.

History suggests that Hitchcock is the type of the movie the Academy will reward and with Hopkins and Dame Helen Mirren in the lead roles, it certainly boasts an appealing cast. However, the concluding months of 2012 have thrown up several serious contenders for the golden statuettes and Hitchcock may well be the movie to make way. Hopkins - who won Best Actor for Silence of the Lambs - has already decided to stop playing "nauseating games" with the Academy in order to win an Oscar and told Entertainment Weekly that he was too busy making films to launch a serious awards' season campaign for Hitchcock. "People go out of their way to flatter the nominating body [the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences] and I think it's kind of disgusting. Having to be nice to people and to be charming and flirting with them. That's always been against my nature", he added.

So what do the bookmakers think of Hitchcock's chances?

Continue reading: Is Sacha Gervasi's 'Hitchcock' Really Generating Oscars Buzz?

Daniel Day-Lewis A Fan Of The Hangover, Says Bradley Cooper


Daniel Day Lewis Bradley Cooper Jennifer Lawrence Steven Spielberg Denzel Washington Joaquin Phoenix

They may be potential Oscar rivals, but that doesn't mean that Daniel Day-Lewis and Bradley Cooper don't respect each others work as Cooper admitted that the double Oscar winner told him that he is a fan of the hit comedy The Hangover, which Cooper stars in, and as it happens Cooper is quite the Day-Lewis fan himself.

Cooper was speaking with Metro when he mentioned that he bumped into the Brit actor during a telethon for Haiti when Day-Lewis told him: "oh, I loved The Hangover." 

Cooper wasn't quite so reserved in his praise however, describing him as "the greatest" and admitting that during the meeting Cooper told him "how much I loved him." Get a room guys.

Continue reading: Daniel Day-Lewis A Fan Of The Hangover, Says Bradley Cooper

US Box Office Roundup: Wreck It Ralph Is This Weekend's Hero


John C Reilly Denzel Washington Ben Affleck Liam Neeson Halle Berry

A turbulent week for U.S cinemas, for the East coast anyway, ended with the reopening of many theatres. What better way to dry off those Hurricane Sandy soaked souls than a trip to the movies? Here's our U.S Box Office roundup.

Shooting, collecting coins and levelling up to the top of the charts is Wreck It Ralph - Disney's videogame animation, which tells the tale of a villain with designs on a different role in life. With a hugely impressive $49m on its opening weekend, Wreck It Ralph has proved to be a tremendous success. And you can expect those figures to rise, as industry expects that return to swell to almost $200m before its run is out. With just over half that amount, Denzel Washington's latest project, Flight lands in with $25,01m. The critics have been kind this aviation flick, and don't be fooled by Wreck It Ralph's impressive haul; $25m is a healthy return for an opening weekend. Still going strong in its 4th week is Ben Affleck's Argo; the true story of a CIA extraction mission grabs the #3 spot with $10,245,000. Rapper turn director RZA breaks the top 5 with his debut behind-the-camera effort, The Man With The Iron Fists, which comes in at #4 with $8,219,200. The critically panned Taken 2 is at #5 with $6m - an impressive feat for a film in its 6th week, Liam Neesons thriller has amassed $125.7m so far. 

Cloud Atlas continues its disappointing commercial performance by pulling in $5,250,000, making it #6, while Hotel Transylvania's Halloween appeal wears off at #7 with $4.5m. Paranormal Activity 4, Here Comes The Boom and Silent Hill: Revelation 3D round off the top 10, with $4.3m, $3.6m and $3.3m respectively. Figures compiled from Yahoo Movies. 

Continue reading: US Box Office Roundup: Wreck It Ralph Is This Weekend's Hero

Is Denzel Washington An Oscar Contender, Once Again?


Denzel Washington

Three times Oscar winner Denzel Washington could be in the minds of the Academy once more, after his nuanced performance as an alcoholic hero in Flight won almost unanimous praise from critics. Though the movie itself has received good, if not spectacular, reviews, it is Washington's turn that is described as his best in years.

The actor plays Whip Whitaker, a seasoned airline pilot who crash lands his plane after a mid-air catastrophe, saving nearly everyone on board. After the near-miss, he is rightly hailed as a hero, though Whitaker is slowly battling his own, inner personal problems. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone lauded the Hollywood star's performance, writing, "Flight reminds us of what Washington can do when a role hits him with a challenge that would floor a lesser actor. He's a ball of fire, and his detailed, depth-charged, bruisingly true performance will be talked about for years." It's certainly true that Washington - a fine actor with the right material - has appeared in far too many mediocre movies, though Flight appears to be able to match his standards, almost. Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "A solid, often engrossing film that doesn't engage us overall the way Denzel Washington's work does," while Manohla Dargis of the New York Times said, "To watch Mr. Zemeckis working fluidly in consort with Mr. Washington's ferocious performance is to regret this director's last, technologically determined decade." Very much from the Steven Spielberg School of filmmaking, Zemeckis' recent work has perhaps concentrated more on CGI than engrossing plotlines and characterization (See A Christmas Carol, Beowulf and The Polar Express)

Currently, Washington hovers around the 8/1 mark to take the award for Best Actor at the Oscars in February, so don't be surprised should he snag a nomination at the turn of the year.

Continue reading: Is Denzel Washington An Oscar Contender, Once Again?

Denzel Washington Soars In New Movie 'Flight'


Denzel Washington Don Cheadle Robert Zemeckis

Denzel Washington's latest flick 'Flight', sees him star as pilot Whip Whitacker, a quintessential anti hero, who crash lands a plane, managing to save almost everyone on board, but is later discovered to have been under the influence of a dangerous amount of alcohol. His union then sends him Don Cheadle's character Hugh Lang to fight his case. Amidst this thriller-esque plot, lies a sentimental and tortured undertone, in which Whitacker's strained relationships with his son and late-father are examined. The plot sounds great, but what are the reviewers saying?

Overall, everyone seems to be loving it, with particular high praise for Denzels' role, as well as the rejoice of director Robert Zemeckis returning to live action cinema, rather than the motion-capture cinematography that he had experimented with in movies such as Beowolf. USA Today says "Though the pilot is frustratingly self-destructive, the audience roots for him, which is a testament to Washington's nuanced performance." Rolling Stone praises the film's subtleties as well: "You might bitch that Flight levels off after its shocking, soaring start. But you'd be missing the point of an exceptional entertainment that Zemeckis shades into something quietly devastating." Movieline, however, was less impressed and referred to the "forced spirituality" of it, and considers the ending 'contrived'. The LA Times seems to sum-up the pros and cons of the film in their review: "[Washington's] ability to convey the agony of a soul in torment never lets us down, even if the film that surrounds him never rises to his heights".  

Despite the few negative comments, these are all counteracted by brilliant performances and good cinematography. If you want to check Flight out you wont have long to wait as it'll be released October 14th 2012 (UK) and then November 2nd in the US. 

There's A Storm Coming: Jimmy Kimmel Shuts Down 'Live'


Jimmy Kimmel David Letterman Denzel Washington

Jimmy Kimmel has shut down production of his 'Live' show ahead of Hurricane Sandy's predicted appearance in New York this week. The television star was set to go ahead with a first evening of a week-long taping schedule in Brooklyn, though the hurricane presented too great a risk, reports the Wall Street Journal.

In a statement on Monday, Kimmel's people said, "Due to stupid Hurricane Sandy and in the interest of the safety of our studio audience, Jimmy Kimmel Live! will not broadcast tonight from the Harvey Theatre at Brooklyn Academy of Music. We are hopeful to be back on the air tomorrow night with Howard Stern, Tracy Morgan and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings." Kimmel's show wasn't the only one to be affected by the hurricane, with ABC studios cancelling tapings of The View and The Chew. Good old David Letterman is attempting to brave the pretty angry looking storm, though doesn't expect the public to turn out with him. He'll shoot the Late Show without his usual live studio audience, though guest Denzel Washington will be on hand to answer his questions.

Elsewhere, the comedian Louis CK called off his live performance in New York City on Sunday, joking on his website, "that "stormatron 5000 is supposed to crush our empire."

Continue reading: There's A Storm Coming: Jimmy Kimmel Shuts Down 'Live'

Flight Trailer


When airplane pilot Whit makes an extraordinary landing following an engine failure which saves the lives of his passengers, he becomes a national hero mobbed by the press. It is only when he is introduced to an attorney that he discovers that he the one person he didn't manage to save was himself. The lawyer informs him that a blood test taken on the night of the crash revealed alcohol in system; an offence which is punishable by life imprisonment. An investigation follows and Whit reveals that he did drink the night before he was due for the flight, however, an experiment involving ten pilots in aircraft simulators with recreated circumstances from the crash revealed that, were any other pilot to land the plane in the way that Whit did, they would've killed every soul on board. Was Whit's risky landing a result of drunken recklessness, or was his decision made by the years of experience and general confidence in his area of expertise? This is the judgement the jury must make.

Continue: Flight Trailer

Safe House Review


Good
With a cool Cape Town setting and constant sweaty, kinetic violence, this entire film plays like a wildly thrilling segment from a Bourne movie. It's sharply well-made and acted, but nothing about it remotely scratches beneath the surface.

Matt (Reynolds) is a low-level operative watching over the CIA's Cape Town safe house. After months of sitting around waiting, he finally gets to host a notorious guest: most-wanted rogue agent Tobin (Washington). Then violent thugs assault the place and Matt takes Tobin on the run, calling his handler (Gleeson) in Langley to get help from senior agents (Farmiga and Shepard). But there's clearly a leak in the ranks, and Tobin is obviously carrying something both the good guys and bad guys want.

Continue reading: Safe House Review

Video - Ryan Reynolds And Denzel Washington Chat On The Red Carpet - Safe House New York Premiere Part 3


The SVA Theater housed the New York Premiere of 'Safe House', where stars of the film Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington were the focus of attention. While they stood for photos together, the two actors chatted to each other but what they were saying was indistinct.

Safe House also stars Vera Farmiga and Brendan Gleeson. Reynolds plays Matt Weston, a young CIA agent who has the seemingly boring task of looking after a fugitive in a safe house. However, the house is attacked, leaving Weston on the run with his prisoner

Video - Denzel Washington At Safe House New York Premiere


The SVA Theater housed the New York Premiere of 'Safe House', where stars of the film Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington were the focus of attention. While they stood for photos together, the two actors chatted to each other but what they were saying was indistinct.�

�Safe House also stars Vera Farmiga and Brendan Gleeson. Reynolds plays Matt Weston, a young CIA agent who has the seemingly boring task of looking after a fugitive in a safe house. However, the house is attacked, leaving Weston on the run with his prisoner. Safe House is directed by Daniel Espinosa, who also directed 2010 crime thriller Easy Money. Safe House will be released on February 24th, 2012.�

�Denzel will next appear in Robert Zemeckis' Flight, alongside John Goodman and John Cheadle. An airline pilot prevents his flight from crashing but when an examination into why it almost crashed reveals something unusual.

Safe House Trailer


Matt Weston is a young CIA agent who, for the past year, has been bored by his inactive post in Cape Town. Matt is a "housekeeper" who aspires to be a full-fledged agent, a loyal company man who is waiting for an opportunity to prove himself. That opportunity seems to present itself when Matt's new 'guest' proves to be the most dangerous man he's ever met.

Continue: Safe House Trailer

The Book Of Eli Trailer


Watch the trailer for The Book Of Eli

Continue: The Book Of Eli Trailer

American Gangster Review


OK
There's something dead in Denzel Washington's eyes nearly all of the way through Ridley Scott's American Gangster, which takes what should have been a mesmerizing slice of urban historical grit and grinds it into roughly two hours of standard issue cinema. Washington is playing Frank Lucas, a real-life crime boss who for a period lasting from the late 1960s into the following decade, ran Manhattan "from 110th to 155th, river to river." A real slick character who doesn't need to strut his worth on the street, Lucas hates flash like a junkie hates rehab: It reminds him of all he truly is but doesn't want to be. Facing off against him is New Jersey narc Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe), a womanizing tough guy with a short fuse but a heart of gold (aren't they all), who's so clean that when he and his partner come across $1 million in untraceable cash he had the bad manners to turn it all in without taking a single bill for himself. In a big-city police department in the 1970s, boy scout behavior like that will just plain get you killed -- the guy who's not on the take is the guy who could very well sell you down the river when the grand jury comes sniffing around for who is on the take.

Ridley Scott has a good thing going here, tossing these two Hollywood bigshots into the ring and letting them play cops and robbers while he slathers on the period detail with a trowel. There's some serious Superfly outfits (including a godawful $50,000 chinchilla coat that plays a surprisingly key part in a plot twist), a generous helping of soul music, enough fantastic character actors to choke a horse (Idris Elba, Jon Polito, Kevin Corrigan, an incredibly sleazy Josh Brolin, and so on), the specter of Vietnam playing on every television in sight, and the odd enjoyment one gets from watching cops in the pre-militarized, pre-SWAT days take down an apartment with just revolvers, the occasional shotgun, and a sledgehammer to whack down the door. Scott's smart enough to let the story cohere organically and without rush, keeping his main contenders apart for as long as could possibly be borne, making them fully developed characters in their own right and not just developed in opposition to the other. But there's something in this broad and expansive tale that can't quite come together, and it seems to start in Denzel's eyes.

Continue reading: American Gangster Review

Hard Lessons Review


Weak
Poor Denzel. Before he won an Oscar or two, he had to work on TV movie stuff like The George McKenna Story, a docudrama promptly forgotten and now being reissued with the street-friendly title Hard Lessons.

Typical of any mid-1980s after-school special, Washington stars as the (real person) George McKenna, who cleaned up notorious, gang-infested, drug-addled Los Angeles High School with such tricks as mandating a dress code and enforcing homework.

Continue reading: Hard Lessons Review

Out Of Time Review


OK
Approximately 106 times over the course of 106 playfully passionate minutes, Carl Franklin's Out of Time threatens to jump the rails of logic and careen off course. With a steady Denzel Washington at the helm, the film never does. But after a while, you start to realize there are only so many grains of salt we can swallow to help a sultry suspense picture like this go down.

Chief of Police Matt Lee Whitlock (Washington) monitors the comings and goings of Banyan Key, an intimate beach community located several miles south of Miami. His private life is plagued by failed relationships and love triangles. A pending separation from his wife Alex (Eva Mendes) doesn't stop Whitlock from sleeping with Anne (Sanaa Lathan), a married townie with an abusive husband (Dean Cain).

Continue reading: Out Of Time Review

Man On Fire (2004) Review


Good
An overstuffed, pricey, and smashingly gorgeous bag for a variety pack of clichés, Man on Fire represents director Tony Scott taking somewhat of a step backwards after fun, spry thrillers Spy Game and Enemy of the State; but damn if he doesn't try his hardest to make it all mean something.

In the film (a remake of a 1987 flick of the same name) Denzel Washington coasts through his role as John Creasy, your average ex-undercover operative now saddled with a drinking problem and a yen for his own death. His buddy from the bad old days, Rayburn (Christopher Walken), now a wealthy Mexican businessman of ill repute, gets Creasy a job as bodyguard for the nine-year-old daughter of Mexico City industrialist Samuel Ramos (Marc Anthony). The average parent might have noticed that Creasy might not have been the best man for the job, seeing as he drinks, is temperamental with the daughter, and tries to off himself one lonely night. But the girl herself, Pita (Dakota Fanning), takes to crusty old Creasy anyway, saying to her mother (Radha Mitchell) that "he's like a big, sad bear" and filling her notebook with moony scribblings about how much she loves him. Creasy finally warms up to Pita, an irresistibly personable ball of energy as played by Fanning, who also brings a powerfully adult presence to her scenes with Washington, complementing his character's world-weariness: they're like the only two adults in a world full of corrupt, venal teenagers.

Continue reading: Man On Fire (2004) Review

Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington Quick Links

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Denzel Washington

Date of birth

28th December, 1954

Occupation

Actor

Sex

Male

Height

1.85


Denzel Washington Movies

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

Fences Trailer

Fences Trailer

Troy Moxson works hard as a garbage collector to support his family. He has two...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

The Magnificent Seven Trailer

The Magnificent Seven Trailer

After the murder of her husband, a widow and resident of the town of Rose...

The Equalizer Movie Review

The Equalizer Movie Review

Little more than a paint-by-numbers action thriller, it's anyone's guess why the filmmakers have bothered...

The Equalizer Trailer

The Equalizer Trailer

Director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Olympus Has Fallen) talks about what makes The Equalizer (Denzel...

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The Equalizer Trailer

The Equalizer Trailer

Robert McCall has a modest job at a hardware store in Boston where he longs...

2 Guns Movie Review

2 Guns Movie Review

What looks like a rather standard buddy action comedy is elevated by a smarter-than-normal script,...

2 Guns Trailer

2 Guns Trailer

Marcus Stigman and Bobby Trench have, for the last year, been working together as part...

Flight Movie Review

Flight Movie Review

With another deeply committed performance, Washington brings badly needed complexity to what is otherwise a...

Flight Trailer

Flight Trailer

When airplane pilot Whit makes an extraordinary landing following an engine failure which saves the...

Safe House Movie Review

Safe House Movie Review

With a cool Cape Town setting and constant sweaty, kinetic violence, this entire film plays...

Safe House Trailer

Safe House Trailer

Matt Weston is a young CIA agent who, for the past year, has been bored...

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