FBI agent Tom Hanks chases check forger Leonardo DiCaprio in Steven Spielberg’s lively take on the true story of a con man who successfully passed himself off as a pilot, a lawyer, and a doctor, and passed over $4 million in forged checks, all before his 21st birthday.
Jason Segal scripts and stars in the big screen return of the iconic puppet characters, a comedy that recaptures the whimsical charm and goofy humor of their best work.
The bouncy little screwball romance Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008) is a fizzy cocktail of a movie set in depression-era London, where the beautiful people dance away in fabulous fashions and decadent distraction. Frances McDormand is the dowdy Guinevere Pettigrew, a buttoned-down yet free-thinking governess whose unorthodox ways have landed her on the […]
In the 2000s, Will Ferrell had an enviable run of hit comedies. To my mind, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006) is the funniest of the batch. Set in the NASCAR culture, Ferrell plays a race car driver with two first names who outraces his own intellect in a comedy that features neither […]
Arrival (2016) is the most cerebral of first contact films, a science fiction drama about communicating across cultures and across species and even across time without a common language, while failing to communicate within our own world. It is a film that looks out beyond our galaxy and inward to our own souls, to challenge […]
If you think it was Rambo who led the American support of Afghan rebels against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the early eighties, here’s a hilarious reality check. Charlie Wilson’s War (2007) is the story of an otherwise minor Texas congressman who worked behind the scenes to create a coalition of Arab states, secretly […]
The smartest thing about Zach Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) is its revisionist take on the destruction that concluded his Superman reboot Man of Steel. After an unnecessary (but at least relatively brief) recap of the Batman story, we are plunged back into the battle but this perspective comes from the ground. […]
Take the title at face value: Doubt (2008), directed and adapted for the screen by playwright John Patrick Shanley, does not offer answers. Rather, it challenges us to understand our own instincts to believe in the absence of proof. Sunny, optimistic idealist Sister James (Amy Adams), a young nun teaching history to junior high boys […]
Mark Wahlberg is Mickey Ward, The Fighter (2010) of the title in this true-life late-career comeback story. The younger half-brother of could-have-been contender Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale), the man who once knocked down Sugar Ray Leonard and is now wasting away as twitchy crack addict lost in fantasies of his own comeback, Mickey is the […]
Big Eyes (2014) is Tim Burton’s second foray into strange but true stories of American termite art culture. Where Ed Wood was a valentine to artistic oddballs and eccentrics on the fringes told with an optimism that was certainly not mirrored in Wood’s real life, this is a story about the pain behind the façade of […]