The Fantastic Mr. Fox

Director: Wes Anderson Starring: George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Michael Gambon, Bill Murray Review: 5 stars (of five) Wes Anderson, the creator behind Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums, seems perfectly matched to author Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach). His deadpan humor and sly observations about modern relationships combine with Dahl’s wild, dark imagination to create one of the most enjoyable films of 2009. Both creators excel at entertaining while keeping the viewer slightly off-balance. This movie masters that maneuver from the start, with animation that has a stop-motion herky-jerkiness, a...

Red Cliff

Director: John Woo Starring: Tony Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Zhang Fengyi, Wei Zhao Review: 4.5 stars (of five) Red Cliff is 140 minutes of awesome — if your definition of awesome has room for heavy doses of combat theory and troop logistics. Masterful director John Woo turns to the third...

2012

Co-Writer/Director: Roland Emmerich Starring: John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt, Danny Glover Review: 2.5 stars (of five) Something 2012‘s makers get inexplicably wrong is their entirely (pseudo-)scientific plot. They’re hanging their story on...

The Men Who Stare At...

Director: Grant Heslov Starring: George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey Review: 3.5 stars (of five) A book and BBC documentary produced the story of research into psychic powers and hippie attitudes in the U.S. military, part of a soul-searching period in the wake of defeat...

The Fourth Kind

Writer/Director: Olatunde Osunsanmi Starring: Milla Jovovich, Will Patton, Elias Koteas Review: 3 stars (of five) The best way to say it is that your skepticism will directly affect how much this film can entertain you and freak you out. You’re told up front that the story is true, and...