16movies -- done twj
‘Babel’ (R) HHHH
Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga have fashioned a complex, ambitious narrative about a planet that has been made small by global communication, but remains divided by vast chasms in culture and language (hence the biblical title). It's one of the most challenging and saddest movies of the year -- and also one of the most memorable. With Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. Violence, some graphic nudity, sexual content, language and some drug use. Reviewed by Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times.
‘Borat’ (R) HHHH
A leading television personality (Sacha Baron Cohen) of the glorious but socially backward nation of Kazakhstan travels to America, and discovers it's almost like Kazakhstan. Pervasive strong crude and sexual content including graphic nudity and language. Reviewed by Jim Emerson of www.rogerebert.com.
‘Casino Royale’ (PG-13) HHH
This is Ian Fleming’s Bond, a no-nonsense sort who responds to a "shaken or stirred?" query from a bartender with a dismissive sneer and a sharp retort: "Do I look like I give a damn?" Meet Daniel Craig as the new Bond, not the same as the old Bond -- and thank God for that. The franchise is born again. Intense sequences of violent action, a scene of torture, sexual content and nudity. Reviewed by Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times.
‘The Departed’ (R) HHHH
Martin Scorsese’s film is an instant gangster classic, a gritty, intense and electrifying work from a master who knows this turf better than any director who ever lived. With Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matton Damon, Martin Sheen, Mark Wahlberg, Vera Farmiga. Strong brutal violence, pervasive language, some strong sexual content and drug material. Reviewed by Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times.
‘Flags of Our Fathers’ (R) HHHH
Clint Eastwood’s film stands with his Oscar-winning "Unforgiven" and "Million Dollar Baby" as an American masterpiece. It is a searing and powerful work from a 76- year-old artist who remains at the top of his game. "Flags" is a World War II movie -- about perhaps the most famous war photograph ever captured, the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima -- but it’s not a war movie in the traditional sense. This is the story of ordinary men who became reluctant, semi- manufactured heroes, the government that polished them up and used them as salesmen, and the public that worshipped them for a brief time before turning its back on them. Graphic war violence and carnage, and language. Reviewed by Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times.
‘Flushed Away’ (PG) HHH
A delightful story of a pampered pet mouse out of his element in the sewers of London from the creative minds of Aardman Features ("Wallace & Gromit," "Shrek"). It's a winner all the way with an original look for the world of computer-generated animation. Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet and Ian McKellen supply voices. Crude humor and some language. Reviwed by Bill Zwecker, Chicago Sun-Times.
‘A Good Year’ (PG-13) HHH
Russell Crowe teams up with his "Gladiator" director Ridley Scott in a film that couldn't be more different than that earlier collaboration. Workaholic London stock trader Max Skinner (Crowe) inherits a vineyard in the south of France from his rich uncle (Albert Finney) and embarks on a pleasant jaunt through one of the most beautiful places on the planet in a story that ends up making you feel that all is right with the world. Language and some sexual content. Reviewed by Bill Zwecker, Chicago Sun-Times.
‘Happy Feet’ (PG) HH 1/2
Yet another animated offering in a year full of them, "Happy Feet" follows a misfit penguin and his attempts to blend into his frozen environment. It’s a generally entertaining film, with a somewhat forced, environmentally conscious message. Voices provided by Elijah Wood, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman and Robin Williams. Some mild peril and rude humor. Reviewed by Bill Zwecker, Chicago Sun-Times.
‘Let’s Go To Prison’ (R) N/A
Felon John Lyshitski has figured out the best way to get revenge on the now-dead judge who sent him to jail: watch the official's obnoxious son, Nelson Biederman IV, survive the clink. John strikes gold when Nelson is wrongly convicted of a crime and sent to the pen he used to call home. Starring Dax Shepard, Will Arnett, David Koechner, Chi McBride, Dylan Baker. Language, sexual content, some violence and drug material. Not reviewed.
‘The Return’ (PG-13) N/A
Joanna Mills is a tough young Midwesterner determined to learn the truth behind the increasingly terrifying supernatural visions that have been haunting her. She has made a successful career for herself, as sales representative for a trucking company; but her private life has been difficult. Starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Kate Beahan, Peter O’Brien, Adam Scott and Sam Shepard. Violence, terror and disturbing images. Not reviewed.
‘The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause’ (G) N/A
It's Christmas time once again and Scott Calvin juggles a full house of family and the mischievous Jack Frost, who is trying to take over the "big guy's" holiday. At the risk of giving away the secret location of the North Pole, Scott invites his in-laws to share in the holiday festivities, and upcoming birth of baby Claus with expectant wife, Carol. Starring Tim Allen, Elizabeth Mitchell, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson and Eric Lloyd. Not reviewed.
‘Saw 3’ (R) N/A
Jigsaw has disappeared; and with his new apprentice Amanda--the puppet-master behind the cruel, intricate games that have terrified a community and baffled police--he has once again eluded capture and vanished. While city detectives scramble to locate him, Dr. Lynn Denlon is unaware that she is about to become the latest pawn on his vicious chessboard. Starring Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, Bahar Soomekh, Angus MacFadyen and Dina Meyer. Strong grisly violence and gore, sequences of terror and torture, nudity and language. Not reviewed.
‘Stranger Than Fiction’ (PG-13) HHH 1/2
Will Ferrell is a habit-bound IRS auditor who one day finds his own life being narrated to him by a voice in his head. This leads to a fantastical odyssey through the mind of an author (Emma Thompson), the theories of an academic (Dustin Hoffman) and the heart of a baker (Maggie Gyllenhaal). An uncommonly intelligent film about our feelings on life, love and art. Some disturbing images, brief language, sexuality and nudity.
‘Sweet Land’ (PG) N/A
When Lars Torvik's grandmother Inge dies in 2004, he is faced with a decision--sell the family farm on which she lived since 1920, or cling to the legacy of the land. Seeking advice, he turns to the memory of Inge and the stories that she had passed on to him. Starring Alan Cumming, Ned Beatty, Lois Smith, Tim Guinee and Elizabeth Reaser. Brief partial nudity and mild language. Not reviewed.
All reviews by Roger Ebert, unless otherwise noted.