1990’s

[6] What if a widowed U.S. president started dating again during an election year? This question is the premise for director Rob Reiner (Stand By Me, Misery) and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, Moneyball) in The American President. Michael Douglas stars as the leader of the free world, who begins seeing an environmental protection lobbyist played by Annette Bening. While the relationship is perfectly …

[5] Sigourney Weaver plays an agoraphobic expert on serial killers summoned to help a San Francisco detective played by Holly Hunter when a murderer starts imitating serial killers of the past. The two phenomenal stars of Copycat are its greatest attributes. Weaver’s part is a terrified paranoid — a little one-note, but certainly within her wheelhouse. Hunter gives the more remarkable performance, giving nuance and …

[4] Kevin Costner headlines this big summer popcorn muncher about the legendary archer-turned-rebel who rallies his outcast merry men to battle the greedy Sheriff of Nottingham (Alan Rickman) and fall in love with the fair maid Marian (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio). The script covers the familiar plot markers, the sets are grand, the score rousing, and many of the supporting cast give it their all. Yet …

[6] One night in the Big Apple, two young gay guys — one a timid writer of musicals, the other a go-go dancer — try to hook up for a one night stand. With both their apartments otherwise occupied, where can two horny young lads find some privacy? Trick isn’t high-concept or the least bit provocative, and that’s okay. It’s a simple romantic comedy for …

[5] Edward Norton (Fight Club) plays a reformed neo-nazi trying to stop his younger brother (Terminator 2‘s Edward Furlong) from following in his ugly footsteps in American History X. But breaking free from the skinheads who idolize him turns out to be a bigger challenge than expected. Norton shows commitment and range in a flashy role that earned him an Oscar nomination, but I can’t …

[6] Ben Affleck stars as an indie comic book artist who falls in love with a fellow artist (Joey Lauren Adams), despite the fact that she’s a lesbian. She decides to give him a chance, but when he discovers her sexual past, he panics and throws their relationship in peril. Chasing Amy is written and directed by Kevin Smith of Clerks fame, who makes up …

[7] Following in the tradition of Irwin Allen disaster movies like The Towering Inferno and The Poseidon Adventure comes this tornadic thrill ride from director Jan de Bont (Speed). Helen Hunt (As Good As It Gets) and Bill Paxton (Frailty) star as estranged scientists who fall back in love with each other while chasing tornadoes during an especially stormy couple of days in Oklahoma. Their …

[7] A group of teenaged computer ‘hackers’ are blamed for unleashing a virus that will capsize oil tankers. Before they’re all captured by police, they band together and seek the aid of hackers worldwide to help unmask the real bad guys — a pair of corporate embezzlers working from inside the company. The premise of Hackers requires a hefty suspension of disbelief regarding what teenagers …

[7] A burglar evades police by taking a bickering couple hostage in their own home on Christmas Eve in this dark comedy from director Ted Demme (Blow, Beautiful Girls) and co-screenwriter Richard LaGravenese (The Fisher King). The Ref is nothing if not a casting coup. Stand-up comic Denis Leary headlines as the burglar, but the film is really much more of an ensemble piece than …

[7] In this adaptation of Stephen King’s book, a mysterious shop opens in a coastal town where customers can buy anything they desire — but at a cost far higher than they realize. When the sheriff (Ed Harris) realizes the shop owner (Max von Sydow) accepts horrible ‘favors’ in lieu of cash, he starts to understand why his once peaceful town suddenly has a rising …

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