Becca and Howie (Kidman and Eckhart) are a wealthy couple in the New York suburbs, but their life is coloured by intense grief after the accidental death of their 4-year-old son. Unable to move on, they struggle to integrate their loss into their daily routine, attending group-counselling sessions that Becca can't bear due to other parents' religious platitudes. Meanwhile, her mother (Wiest) and sister (Blanchard) add both comfort and stress, and Becca's chance encounter with the teen (Teller) who was driving the fateful car sparks her to take unusual action.
Continue reading: Rabbit Hole Review
Becca And Howie Corbett have a perfect life, they live in a nice house with their son Danny and their dog. When Danny runs out of the garden and is hit by a car their existence is thrown into turmoil. Struggling to deal with the loss, the couple find very different ways of dealing with their pain.
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Aaron Eckhart, Nicole Kidman and Sandra Oh - Aaron Eckhart, Nicole Kidman and Sandra Oh New York City, USA - New York premiere of 'Rabbit Hole' held at the Paris Theatre - Arrivals Thursday 2nd December 2010
Aaron Eckhart Adriana M. Barraza / "2#115#Source="
Aaron Eckhart and Nicole Kidman - Aaron Eckhart and Nicole Kidman Toronto, Canada - The 35th Toronto International Film Festival - 'Rabbit Hole' press conference held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Tuesday 14th September 2010
Aaron Eckhart, Blair Underwood, Fearless, Maria Menounos, Mario Lopez and Timbaland - Aaron Eckhart, Ali Larter, Mario Lopez, Timbaland, Blair Underwood, Maria Menounos, Chase Crawford, Bradley Cooper, Adam Levine Beverly Hills, California - Cosmopolitan Honors Its Fun Fearless Males of 2009 at the SLS Hotel Monday 2nd March 2009
The advance word percolating out of festivals was that Ball's adaptation of Alicia Erian's novel of sexual and racial angst in the suburbs during the Gulf War was just shy of a disaster. Shocking, in-your-face, inappropriate, the rumors said, and not in a good way. An indie film community, that just a few years ago would have embraced this film as a brave slap in conformity's face, was now seeming to turn its collective back. Some of the advance negativity was well-informed, at least about Ball. This is a wildly manipulative and immature film, a sort of adolescent fever dream looking to tick off as many taboos as possible. But amidst the campy twists and unbelievable outbursts there can also be felt an indefinable honesty; something in far shorter supply these days than mere outrage.
Continue reading: Towelhead Review
At its core, Any Given Sunday is the story of Miami Sharks coach Tony D'Amato (Al Pacino - The Godfather, Dog Day Afternoon) and his two quarterbacks, Willie Beamen (Jamie Foxx - The Great White Hype, Booty Call) and Cap Rooney (Dennis Quaid - The Big Easy, Innerspace). The quarterback is the most vital position in the game. He is the team spokesperson and field chief, and he serves as a crucial link between coaches, administration, and players. When legendary two-time Pantheon Cup (aka: Super Bowl) champion Cap Bowman ruptures a disk after a bone crushing hit, coach Tony is left with Willie Beamen (Foxx), an athletic, yet untested QB. His team has lost four straight and appears to be plummeting in a downward spiral with the playoffs right around the corner. He's got delusional team owner Christina Pagniacci (Cameron Diaz) and sports analyst Jack Rose (John McGinley, doing his best Jim Rome impersonation) breathing down his neck because of his outdated coaching style, and a team of players he's losing control of.
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If only Howard and screenwriter Ken Kaufman could pony up a story worthy of Cate's efforts. Working from Thomas Eidson's novel, Kaufman has penned an abduction case that plays out along a surprisingly linear course. Any time he attempts to branch out in a valuable subplot - whether exploring the ineffective nature of authority in the Wild West, or staging one of many dramatic escape sequences - he does so without confidence. Missing occasionally teases us with relevant character and plot development, then rapidly turns tail and scurries back to the central pursuit story, a slender narrative that can't hold our interest for the film's elongated 147-minute run time.
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Continue reading: In The Company Of Men Review
From the opening shot, where we see the top of Nicholson's half-bald, hair-transplanted head, The Pledge is an exercise in stomaching an ugly truth. Body parts, pony-tailed girls splotched with blood and bruises -- this isn't a film about happy endings and human triumph. Suspected sex perverts lurk down every road in The Pledge, causing Nicholson's character, a retired homicide detective, so much angst that he becomes his own worst enemy.
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Neil LaBute does exactly that with this highly anticipated follow-up to In the Company of Men, a film so anti-humanity it's practically a sequel.
Continue reading: Your Friends And Neighbors Review
It won't be for its aura of jurisprudence. As a primer on the U.S. legal system, Erin Brockovich is not terribly compelling. The legal mumbo-jumbo is all there and feels accurate enough, but the heart of the movie simply doesn't rest with the details of the case, which features Pacific Gas & Electric poisoning 600 people in a small California town with chromium (and then telling them it's good for them).
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Sporting a back-combed, two-tone mane, spike-heeled Candies and the wardrobe of a trailer park tart, Julia Roberts has somehow never been more appealing and charismatic than she is as "Erin Brockovich."
The heroine of inventive auteur Stephen Soderbergh's latest Hollywood-deconstructing dynamo, Brockovich is real-life law office file clerk who in 1993 rallied a small desert town against the Goliath public utility that had for decades knowingly poisoned its water supply.
Brazen, tactless and utterly magnetic in Roberts' increasingly talented hands, this struggling single mom is short on job skills and long on lip. She starts the movie in the middle of a frustrating job hunt in which she keeps giving interviewers a piece of her mind.
Continue reading: Erin Brockovich Review
Here we go again with another brooding-cop-vs.-serial-killer cat-and-mouse thriller. So what makes "Suspect Zero" any different from "Taking Lives, " "Twisted," "Murder By Numbers," "Along Came a Spider," "The Watcher," "The Bone Collector," "Kiss the Girls, "Copycat,", "Se7en," etc., etc.?
Well, just enough to keep it interesting -- but not enough to make it memorable.
The story this time: Having recently botched a case in which a killer was set free on a technicality, FBI agent Tom Mackelway (Aaron Eckhart) has been banished to the backwaters of Albuquerque -- but it seems another killer has followed him there. Within days of his arrival, two bodies turn up with their eyelids cut off, the handiwork of a nutcase named Benjamin O'Ryan (Ben Kingsley) who keeps leaving taunting clues addressed to our hero.
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Heretofore known for his viciously incisive, very black socio-sexual satires, director Neil LaBute takes a joyride in antic comedy territory with "Nurse Betty." It's charming effort of pure entertainment about a gentle, bouncy Kansas waitress who becomes convinced she's a part of her favorite soap opera after being sent into post-traumatic shock by witnessing a murder.
The murder was that of her abusive, redneck husband (LaBute regular Aaron Eckhart in another amazing chameleon performance) -- a retribution for a shady business deal gone wrong.
The waitress, Betty Sizemore, is the kind of bona fide wide-eyed innocent most Hollywood actresses wouldn't be able to play without slipping into a hammy, ignorant hayseed routine and winking ironically at the audience. But in the hands of Renée Zellweger -- who proved her sweetheart credibility in "Jerry Maguire" -- Betty is 100 percent genuine sugar.
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Interweaving two hindrance-hurdling love stories that share a literary connection but take place more than a century apart, director Neil LaBute has taken another large and confident step into an unexpected genre with gratifying results.
"Possession," which is lovingly but sometimes loosely adapted from A.S. Byatt's novel of the same name, follows the germinating romance between two relationship-reluctant academics as they in turn follow a trail of evidence revealing a passionate secret affair between two Victorian poets.
A wild departure from LaBute's previous films -- the caustic, even cruel social satires "In the Company of Men" and "Your Friends and Neighbors," and the upbeat black comedy "Nurse Betty" -- this effort has the melodic trappings of a Merchant-Ivory romance. But it's also a perceptive musing on what has and hasn't changed between the two time periods in the emotional, practical and sometimes prohibitive logistics of love.
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Director Sean Penn and star Jack Nicholson must have been drawn to the complexity of the haunted ex-detective character at the center of "The Pledge," because he's just about the only thing at all uncommon in this largely conventional serial killer suspense flick.
Although, even calling him uncommon is a stretch. Reno homicide dick Jerry Black is pretty much an assembly-line character -- a freshly retired cop obsessed with finding the "real killer" in an officially closed murder case that was his last assignment. Having made a promise to the parents of the dead little girl, he's still following hunches on his own time because nobody in the precinct believes him.
Doesn't Jerry sound like a regulation Morgan Freeman character? But with Nicholson in the role, he's a bit more of a wildcard. Big Jack brings an element of instability to Jerry that leaves the audience concerned for his sanity when his ostensive retirement finds him buying a gas station at a High Sierra crossroads as his nest egg because it's at the center of a geographic pattern he's discovered for his suspect.
Continue reading: The Pledge Review
As a good ol' damsels-in-distress Western with picturesque frontier vistas, a handful of Winchester rifle shootouts and enough character conflict to keep the long horse rides interesting, Ron Howard's "The Missing" is reliable, if over-earnest, matinee fodder.
Unfortunately, the director has his eye on the Oscar, and the strain he puts on a perfectly serviceable story in an attempt to ratchet up the prestige factor makes the movie seem awfully pretentious for a kidnap-and-rescue sagebrush saga.
The always riveting Cate Blanchett perfectly embodies the stamina, bravery and grit of an 1885 frontier woman as Maggie Gilkeson, a widowed mom who has suffered a hard life both with and without husbands and lovers. She has passed on that strength and tenacity to her two daughters -- teenaged beauty Lilly (Evan Rachel Wood), snatched by a gang of Indian guides who have rebelled against the deceitful Army, and stubborn, tough young Dot (Jenna Boyd) who steadfastly refuses to be left behind when a pursuit is mounted. ("I won't stay behind," she wails with powerful determination in the picture's most memorable moment. "Wherever you put me, I'll follow you. You know I will!")
Continue reading: The Missing Review
After last year's botched bout with dour World War II drama in "Windtalkers," former Hong Kong action maestro John Woo is back to the far-fetched fun that is his trademark in "Paycheck," another too-Hollywood adaptation of a Philip K. Dick science fiction thriller.
Set in a stylish, chrome-and-glass near future where Ben Affleck is an in-demand high-tech engineering genius (yeah, right) who works as a hired gun on short-term top-secret projects, the plot turns on the fact that after each job he has his memory erased back to his hire date under the guise of what you might call extreme non-disclosure agreements.
Persuaded by a rich old friend (Aaron Eckhart) who runs a huge biotech conglomerate to take on a mysterious and illicit three-year job with a mega-bucks final payoff, when Ben wakes up after this latest gig, he discovers he's divested himself of a $93 million profit and left in its stead an envelope containing 13 cryptic items (strange sunglasses, hairspray, a paper clip, a fortune cookie fortune, a watch, etc.) that begin coming in suspiciously handy as he is hunted by assassins and the FBI.
Continue reading: Paycheck Review
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