Drama

[7.0] Two high school relay racers (Gijs Blom and Ko Zandvliet) develop a same-sex attraction, but one of the boys is afraid to make their relationship public. This Dutch drama/romance features a likable, competent cast and is shot in several beautiful locations around the Netherlands. As a ‘coming out’ story, it doesn’t break the mold in the slightest, but director Mischa Kamp does a fine …

[7.5] Joaquin Phoenix stars in writer/director Spike Jonze’s sci-fi romance about a divorced man who falls in love with a computer operating system. Her takes place in a not-so-distant future in which society has become increasingly reliant on technology to fulfill our emotional needs. Phoenix’s operating system, named Samantha and voiced by Scarlett Johansson, is constantly evolving. Like a human being, she learns from trial …

[7.5] A six-year-old girl lives on a small island called “The Bathtub” in Louisiana, where she lives in squalor with her dying, tough-love father until flooding drives them into their makeshift boat to find food and stable shelter. They band together with other survivors and try to avoid government agencies who want them to vacate “The Bathtub” and submit to medical treatment at shelters on …

[7.0] Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous, Jerry Maguire) directs this family drama/comedy about a widower, played by Matt Damon, who buys a rural home that comes with a rundown zoo. Damon and his two young children help the ragtag team of zoo keepers, led by Scarlett Johansson, to bring the zoo up to code so that it can re-open to the public — and along the …

[6.5] Visionary director Julie Taymor (Titus, Across the Universe) brings Shakespeare’s The Tempest to the big screen, with the lead role of Prospero played not by a man, as per tradition, but by Helen Mirren. Mirren’s Prospera is raising her daughter (Felicity Jones) on a barren, mystical island where she can practice the magic that got her banished from society. The film opens with Prospera …

[8.0] A surgeon kidnaps young women and removes their faces in hopes of successfully transplanting one on his horribly disfigured daughter in Eyes Without a Face. Released the same season as Hitchcock’s Psycho and years before Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, this French film from Georges Franju has earned an interesting place on the timeline of horror film history. Coming after decades of supernatural …

[4.0] Katharine Hepburn’s affection for director George Cukor began with this, her feature film debut. A Bill of Divorcement stars John Barrymore as a man returning home after five years in a mental asylum. During that time, his wife (Billie Burke) and daughter (Hepburn) have moved on with their lives and are planning their respective weddings. Imagine their surprise when Barrymore returns home and promises …

[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 …

[7.0] Joan Collins and Jon-Erik Hexum star in this made-for-TV movie about a young cowboy who moves to New York where a modeling agent believes he can hit it big in ads, commercials, and beyond. Naturally, the cowpoke (the insanely handsome Hexum) begins to fall in love with the agent (Collins) and his career begins to soar. But jealousy soon sets in when Collins sets …

[7.0] Humphrey Bogart stars in this taut mystery-thriller as a district attorney trying to keep a terrified witness alive until he can testify against the ringleader of a hit-squad. The Enforcer is largely told through a series of flashbacks told by various members of the hit squad — usually proximate to their untimely demises. That sort of movie is entertaining enough, but The Enforcer is …

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