2000’s

[7.0] Mike White (The Good Girl, Orange County) wrote and stars in this disturbing but poignant drama about an emotionally stunted young man named Buck who develops an obsession for an old childhood friend named Chuck (Chris Weitz). After Buck’s mother dies, the two men are reunited after years of estrangement and you can immediately tell Chuck is uncomfortable with old pal. While he and …

[5.0] Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, and Robert Downey, Jr. star in David Fincher’s film about the investigation of the so-called ‘Zodiac’ killer in the late ’60s through the early ’80s. Downey and Gyllenhaal’s characters work for the San Francisco Chronicle, which begins receiving letters from the killer. As he seeks fame in the press, Ruffalo and Anthony Edwards are the cops who try for years …

[7.5] Angelina Jolie stars in this gripping true story about a woman in 1920s Los Angeles whose young son vanishes without a trace one afternoon. When the L.A.P.D. notify her they’ve found him, she’s shocked to discover the returned boy is not her son. Despite teachers and doctors agreeing with her about the new boy’s mistaken identity, the police won’t continue the search for her …

[7.0] Writer/director Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri) explores the human side of hit-men in his darkly comic, occasionally horrific feature film debut. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson star as hired guns waiting in idyllic Bruges, Belgium, for their next assignment. Farrell’s character is reeling from accidentally killing a child in his last assignment. He hates Bruges and bickers with Gleeson’s character, who is …

[7.5] Leonardo DiCaprio stars as an American tourist in Thailand who follows a secret map to an island where a small community has gone off the grid in an island paradise. Of course, all paradises are destined to become lost ones. Romantic jealousy, need for medical supplies, and armed marijuana growers pose threats to the Utopian society, which is led by one of its founders …

[6.0] Sam Neill headlines this true story about a small Australian community that played a key role in the 1969 Apollo moon landing. Neill plays the manager of the Parkes radio satellite observatory, home of the largest steerable parabolic antennae in the southern hemisphere. The small team at Parkes worked with NASA to receive television signals from the moon and distribute that signal across the …

[5.0] Milla Jovovich (The Fifth Element) stars as a psychologist in Nome, Alaska, where patients begin telling her about terrifying experiences in the middle of the night — all of which start by seeing an owl in their bedroom window. Jovovich learns the patients are being abducted and controlled by aliens. The police don’t want to hear about it until Jovovich’s own daughter is abducted… …

[2.5] James Spader and Keanu Reeves star in this tired, busily boring, and wretchedly made thriller about a serial killer who likes to play games with the FBI agent on his trail. I can’t fault Spader for doing his best here as the agent, now retired and in psychotherapy with Marisa Tomei. Tomei, who I think is underrated, has precious little to do. It’s clear …

[7.5] Nicolas Cage stars as a neurotic con artist whose life is turned upside down when his teenaged daughter (Alison Lohman) enters his life and distracts him while he’s pulling off a big heist with his protégé (Sam Rockwell). While the summary may sound heavy, Matchstick Men is actually a pretty light, fluffy movie most of the time — an interesting change of pace for …

[7.0] Tom Hardy stars as Michael Peterson, one of Britain’s most notorious prisoners, in this film from director Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Only God Forgives). The film starts in 1974 with Peterson’s attempt to rob a post office with a sawed-off shotgun. That stint begins his life behind bars where violent behavior prolongs his sentence. Thirteen years later, he’s released and gets into the world …

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