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Nov 09,2007
If you had to name the American film director who best used actors in the last 50 or 60 years, you'd start with Elia Kazan. But very soon you would name Sidney Lumet.   'BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD' - Gina (Marisa Tomei) has too many problems on her mind in Sidney Lumet's tough crime film 'Before the Devil Knows You're Dead.' CNS Photo courtesy of Will Hart.  RATINGS 4 STARS - Excellent. 3 STARS - ... [full story]
1348 times read - No comment posted

Nov 09,2007
HOLLYWOOD - Hello, Jerry. That greeting can only be for "Bee Movie" king bee Jerry Seinfeld, yada, yada, yada.   'BEE MOVIE' - In 'Bee Movie' Jerry Seinfield is back as the animated voice of Barry B. Benson. CNS Photo courtesy of Dream Works Animation.  RATINGS 4 STARS - Excellent. 3 STARS - Worthy. 2 STARS - Mixed. 1 STAR - Poor. 0 - Forget It (a dog.) Who doesn't like "Seinfeld," the iconic TV sitcom that ran ... [full story]
1515 times read - No comment posted

Nov 09,2007
NEW RELEASES BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD - If you had to name the American film director who best used actors in the last 50 or 60 years, you'd start with Elia Kazan. But very soon you would name Sidney Lumet. No currently working director has stacked up more imposing performances (nor more great adaptations). Probably "Before the Devil Knows You're   'BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD' - In 'Before the Devil Knows You're ... [full story]
2395 times read - No comment posted

Nov 09,2007
It is amazing what you can accomplish in a world without the distraction of television. Consider the 19th century social crusader William Wilberforce (Ioan Gruffudd) in the moving bio-picture "Amazing Grace" (Fox, 3 1/2 stars). In his lifetime, we learn in the DVD's extras, Wilberforce spearheaded no less than 65 distinct social initiatives.   'AMAZING GRACE' - Ioan Gruffudd portrays social activist William Wilberforce and Romola Garai his wife, Barbara, in the period drama 'Amazing Grace.' ... [full story]
2351 times read - No comment posted

Nov 09,2007
It takes a lot of something to make a movie - even an animated one - about a rat that becomes a five-star chef. Don't get me wrong. A lot of chefs are rats.   'RATATOUILLE' - Remy the rat gives Linguini some gourmet cooking advice in the animated family movie 'Ratatouille.' CNS Photo courtesy of Pixar Animation Studios.  DVD RATINGS 4 stars: Don't miss: rent it/buy it 3 stars: Worth the risk: rent it 2 stars: ... [full story]
1337 times read - No comment posted

Nov 02,2007
Things were different in the 1970s. For instance, daily life didn't meander along randomly. It flashed by in exciting or poignant sequences of scenes, generally set to righteous music.   'AMERICAN GANGSTER' - Russell Crowe is a cop on a mission to bag an elusive drug lord in 'American Gangster.' CNS photo by David Lee.  RATINGS 4 STARS - Excellent. 3 STARS - Worthy. 2 STARS - Mixed. 1 STAR - Poor. 0 - Forget It (a ... [full story]
2300 times read - No comment posted

Nov 02,2007
When is John Cusack not credible? Never putting forward a foot wrong, even when a script goes squish, Cusack is one of the sure resources modern directors have learned to rely on.   'MARTIAN CHILD' - Amanda Peet, Bobby Coleman and John Cusack start to form a family connection in the intimately dramatized 'Martian Child.' CNS Photo by Alan Markfield.  RATINGS 4 STARS - Excellent. 3 STARS - Worthy. 2 STARS - Mixed. 1 STAR - Poor. ... [full story]
1888 times read - No comment posted

Nov 02,2007
“Bella," a bilingual arrival with a strong Latin flavor, doesn't quite settle for being sweet and simple. An excellent cast, keenly used New York locations and basic, human situations give the film some grip.   EDUARDO VERÁSTEGUI - Star of the family movie, "Bella" that won the People's Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival in 2006  RATINGS 4 STARS - Excellent. 3 STARS - Worthy. 2 STARS - Mixed. 1 STAR - Poor. 0 - Forget ... [full story]
1614 times read - No comment posted

Oct 26,2007
Quirky, odd, impish, fey, weird, daffy - the adjectives arrive with wee squeals, eager to describe "Lars and the Real Girl."   'LARS AND THE REAL GIRL' - Lars (Ryan Gosling) leaves church with Bianca (a dummy), his sister-in-law Karin (Emily Mortimer) and his brother Gus (Paul Schneider) in 'Lars and the Real Girl.' CNS Photo by George Kraychyk.  RATINGS 4 STARS - Excellent. 3 STARS - Worthy. 2 STARS - Mixed. 1 STAR - Poor. 0 ... [full story]
1818 times read - No comment posted

Oct 26,2007
The two good things in "Dan in Real Life" are right at the center: Steve Carell and Juliette Binoche. They are winsome and winning, but the script is taffy custard.   'DAN IN REAL LIFE' - Juliette Binoche (right) and Marlene Lawston share some quality vacation time soon after meeting in 'Dan in Real Life.' CNS Photo courtesy of Merie W. Wallace.  RATINGS 4 STARS - Excellent. 3 STARS - Worthy. 2 STARS - Mixed. 1 STAR ... [full story]
1496 times read - No comment posted

Oct 26,2007
There isn't much point in remaking Anthony Shaffer's stage hit "Sleuth," filmed with very busy stagecraft in 1972 by Joseph Mankiewicz.   'SLEUTH' - Jude Law gets to oppose Michael Caine in the role once played by Caine in Kenneth Branagh's frosty remake of 'Sleuth.' CNS Photo courtesy of David Appleby.  RATINGS 4 STARS - Excellent. 3 STARS - Worthy. 2 STARS - Mixed. 1 STAR - Poor. 0 - Forget It (a dog.) Proof: Kenneth Branagh's remake, ... [full story]
1178 times read - No comment posted

Oct 26,2007
"30 Days of Night" has the two things a horror movie most needs: strong atmosphere and creepy monsters. Unfortunately, it also has the common bane of horror movies: stark implausibility.   '30 DAYS OF NIGHT' - The isolated Alaskan town of Barrow is invaded by vampires led by Danny Huston in the horror film '30 Days of Night.' CNS Photo courtesy of Kirsty Griffin.  RATINGS 4 STARS - Excellent. 3 STARS - Worthy. 2 STARS - Mixed. ... [full story]
1813 times read - No comment posted

Oct 26,2007
Ben Affleck, who put some reviving luster on his faltering career as an actor with "Hollywoodland," has done a remarkable job directing "Gone Baby Gone." And if any movie can still make a star, the film could do it for Affleck's younger brother, Casey. Often engagingly light in movies, Casey Affleck is lithely boyish but full of aspiring and forceful manliness as Patrick Kenzie, living the role fully.   'GONE BABY GONE' - Casey Affleck, Ed ... [full story]
1046 times read - No comment posted



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