Sam Mendes

[7.5] Revolutionary Road explores the dark side of marriage, where husband and wife suffocate in the confines of traditional gender roles and start lashing out at one another. Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet (together again for the first time since Titanic) service the material very well. The movie wisely avoids too much pointed dialogue, which makes it more of an acting (reacting) showcase. I was …

[8.0] It’s so refreshing to watch heroes and villains who are over the age of 40. Skyfall repeatedly suggests that sometimes older is better, and I couldn’t agree more. Daniel Craig’s third turn as James Bond is at least as good as his first, Casino Royale. Javier Bardem makes an excellent villain and we also get to enjoy Judi Dench in a full co-starring role …

[7.0] James Bond returns for the 24th official time in Spectre. Know right away that this is not Skyfall. We were lucky to get a Skyfall — shit like that comes around in a franchise once a decade or two if it survives reinvention. Where Skyfall had the opportunity to mine a little backstory and emotion (thank you, Ms Dench), Spectre is a full-blown return …

[4.5] SPOILER REVIEW I really liked American Beauty when it was first released. Maybe I was wooed by its quirky introspection and aesthetic achievments. Or maybe it was screenwriter Alan Ball’s fresh new way of blending the real with the surreal. Or even the meditative lilt of Thomas Newman’s trend-setting score. But whatever the reason(s), watching the film ten years later, I realize — American …