2000’s

[8.0] Jack Nicholson stars as Warren Schmidt, a recent retiree who tries to reconnect with his daughter after the sudden death of his wife. He embarks on an RV trip to stop the daughter’s wedding to an unworthy used car salesman, but the effort only succeeds in further alienating her and underscoring his own uselessness. About Schmidt is another wonderfully droll comedy from writer/director Alexander …

[8.0] Will Ferrell stars as a human adopted by Santa Claus and raised as an elf in this absurd but disarmingly sweet comedy from director Jon Favreau (Iron Man, The Mandalorian). At the ripe old age of thirty, Ferrell’s character learns he’s really a human and departs the North Pole to find his birth father in New York City. But convincing dear dad (James Caan) …

[7.0] Steven Spielberg passes the directorial reigns of the Jurassic Park franchise to the superbly capable Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer, Captain America: The First Avenger) for this second dino sequel. Sam Neill returns as Dr. Alan Grant, coerced by a wealthy couple (Téa Leoni and William H. Macy) to return to the prehistoric island for a personal guided airplane tour. But the wealthy couple turn …

[5.0] I watched this movie several weeks ago and I still don’t quite know how to review it. An assault on the senses? Psychotic in tone? Punishingly serendipitous? Insane?… Yes, it’s all those things. But it’s also a riveting in its own kind of way — completely bonkers, but I simply couldn’t turn away. Paul Walker is a thug (I guess?) who hides in his …

[4.5] Mark Ruffalo and Laura Dern play one couple, Naomi Watts and Peter Krause play another. Both couples are friendly, especially Ruffalo and Watts, who sneak away every possible moment to have sex with each other. Dern’s no dummy, though. She knows her husband is cheating with her friend — and it’s driving her nuts. Krause knows, too — but he’s just grateful someone else …

[8.0] Don Cheadle stars as Paul Rusesabagina in the true story of a Rwandan man who saved over a thousand lives by harboring refugees in his hotel during the Hutu slaughtering of the Tutsi in 1994. Hotel Rwanda takes about ten or fifteen minutes to set itself up before it becomes a non-stop terrifying fight for life. Once the Hutu begin killing his friends and …

[6.5] Cillian Murphy stars a young trans-woman who leaves Ireland in the 1970s to find her birth mother in London. Along the way, she has flings with a singer (Gavin Friday) and a comic magician (Stephen Rea), rough encounters with the IRA and London police, and an unexpected reconciliation with her birth father. Breakfast on Pluto reunites director Neil Jordan with material involving sexuality and …

[5.0] Josh Hartnett stars as a guy so obsessed with his ex-girlfriend, that it haunts any attempt to start a new relationship. So he gives up sex for Lent — right before accidentally meeting Mrs. Right (Shannyn Sossamon). While his friends and co-workers lay bets on how soon he’ll break his vow of celibacy, Hartnett struggles to find a way to win over Sossamon when …

[4.5] Tilda Swinton stars as a mother trying to cover-up the accidental death of her son’s aggressive gay lover. But things get even more complicated when a strong-arm (Goran Visnjik) tries to extort the dead man’s debts from her. Tilda Swinton can make the best of a lot of roles, but this character’s timidity and fecklessness are hard for me to deal with. Since the …

[7.0] Director Jay Roach and cast return, adding Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Steisand to the mix, for this sequel to Meet the Parents. In preparation for their big wedding, Ben Stiller and Teri Polo need for their parents to meet each other. We got to know her parents — Robert DeNiro and Blythe Danner — in the previous movie. The sequel brings all the characters …

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