Drama

[5.0] Eleanor Parker stars as a mail-order bride to a lonely South American cocoa plantation farmer played by Charlton Heston. When she first meets her husband, she’s taken back by his brutish behavior. The two decide maybe marrying each other without ever meeting was probably a bad idea. But before Parker can catch the next boat out of the jungle, a 20-mile wide army of …

[6.5] Maestro Billy Wilder directs Ray Milland as a drunk writer circling the drain in the multi-Oscar-winning The Lost Weekend. Milland’s character is supposed to begin recovery on a long holiday weekend with his brother (Phillip Terry) and gal pal (Jane Wyman), but after he steals money to spend at his favorite bar, he gets drunk and misses their departure time. Things get progressively worse …

[5.5] Cary Grant and Joan Blondell star as a private eye and a manicurist-turned-journalist who help solve a mystery that began as a jewelry theft ring and escalates to the accidental shooting death of a baby in Central Park. Yeah, Big Brown Eyes may not sound like the usual Cary Grant movie, but beneath some odd plot choices, it’s not too many shades off His …

[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 …

[7.5] Writer/director John Duigan (The Year My Voice Broke, Lawn Dogs) takes an earnest and engaging stab at the ‘boy meets girl and falls in love’ narrative with Flirting. Noah Taylor stars as an ostracized Australian boarding school student in the 1950s who becomes infatuated with a new Ugandan student (Thandie Newton) from a nearby girls’ school. As the two avoid their headmasters for clandestine …

[7.0] Charlie Sheen and Maxwell Caulfield (Grease 2) star as high school graduates who take a weekend car trip to L.A. where they start a killing spree. Sheen’s character slowly begins to wrestle with his lingering empathy, while Caulfield’s grows more homicidal. The film heads toward a climax where the boys turn on each other while the cops are hot on their tails. The Boys …

[6.5] A doctor visits a woman in an insane asylum to determine if she requires a lobotomy to forget the horror of seeing her cousin murdered, or if her aunt is pushing for the procedure to cover the truth. Tennessee Williams wrote the play, Joseph L. Mankiewicz (All About Eve, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir) directed the film, and the three leads are played by …

[9.0] Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall made their first pairing in this adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s novel about an American boatman (Bogart) who reluctantly sticks his neck out for the French Resistance in World War II Martinique. Along the way he falls in love with a sultry young singer (Bacall) and risks more lives than his own when he agrees to give a pair of …

[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 …

[6.0] Winona Ryder and Cher give us their take on the classic mother/daughter divide in this adaptation of a novel by Patty Dann, directed by Richard Benjamin (The Money Pit, Little Nikita). Ryder’s character is of high school age and tired of being moved from town to town by her colorful but slightly slutty single mom (Cher). Things become especially trying when the family (including …

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