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Director Alexander Payne and actor Bruce Dern have notched a quiet accomplishment in this black-and-white film of Midwestern decline – making an American asshole sympathetic and full-bodied.
As star of this hokey, grand but ultimately empty tale of rebellion, Jennifer Lawrence (and a couple of other well-chosen actors) keeps us engaged until new director Francis Lawrence can get to the Games themselves and his usual fantastical mayhem.
Even the novel on which “The Book Thief” is based is little more than a safe, PG-rated watering down of the horrific events of the Holocaust. That said, this film adaptation has much in its corner.
It’s pretty graphic and full of insight into the inner workings of young Parisian lesbians, and all at the fingertips of a 70-plus-year-old Tunisian director with a gift for steam and pointed ambiguity.
This silly rescripting of history for an obligatory Thanksgiving animated flick features death and violence prominently in nearly every frame, and that’s a fairly big miscalculation for a kiddie flick.
This movie may seem very familiar, but this time it’s Ridley Scott rather than the Coen brothers guiding us and Michael Fassbender’s sleazy lawyer deeper into the deadly ground of a Cormac McCarthy original.
The stain of slavery on American history has seen many renderings on celluloid, but director Steve McQueen goes at the matter in “12 Years a Slave” in a fashion that gets under the viewer’s skin in stunning, unexpected ways.
Terrence Malick emerged in the auteur 1970s with “Badlands” and was still at it – with a new, trippy take – with the 2011 film “The Tree of Life.”
In his sophomore effort, “All is Lost,” young filmmaker J.C. Chandor employs the sea as a beauteous hell and Robert Redford as a grizzled pleasure cruiser who is calm in the face of an all but certain, lonely death.
There was already a documentary this year that got at Assange and the WikiLeaks story satisfactorily. What “The Fifth Estate ” is aiming for is unclear, and so is its hero.