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items tagged with Tom Cruise

Secrets and Lies: “J. Edgar,” “Immortals,” and “Jack & Jill”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-11-13 19:56:39

Armie Hammer and Leonardo DiCaprio in J. EdgarJ. EDGAR

Pretty much everything that’s bothersome about director Clint Eastwood’s biographical drama J. Edgar is only bothersome for the movie’s first half hour. That may sound like a lot of time spent bothered. But the film does run 135 minutes, even its weakest moments are by no means awful, and in the end, it emerges as a really fine work with a really fine central performance. So as a nod to J. Edgar (the movie, not the man), let's just get it out of the way and address its failings at the start.


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Contract Highs: "Moneyball," "Killer Elite," and "Abduction"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-09-25 17:32:32

Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill in MoneyballMONEYBALL

On paper, the casting of Brad Pitt as Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane in Moneyball must have seemed inspired. On screen, it’s so, so much better than that. Pitt has, of course, given many wonderful performances over the past two decades (and just as many blandly acceptable or downright dreary ones). But to my mind, his Billy Beane – driven, hopeful, cocky, incensed, funny, tender, and smart as hell – is the actor’s first chance to employ all of his gifts in the service of an emotionally expansive, fully shaped character, and Pitt’s beautiful and generous work here is truly a sight to behold. Director Bennett Miller’s last feature film was his 2005 debut Capote, which netted Philip Seymour Hoffman a Best Actor Oscar. With Moneyball, Miller might find himself batting 2-for-2 for his stars in that category.


Read More About Contract Highs: "Moneyball," "Killer Elite," And "Abduction"...


Fate Accompli: “Final Destination 5” and “30 Minutes or Less”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-08-14 18:12:15

Nicholas D'Agosto and Emma Bell in Final Destination 5FINAL DESTINATION 5

Because the quality has been noticeably, if not altogether damagingly, dipping with each new installment, there was reason to expect Final Destination 5 to be the horror series’ most tired and underwhelming entry to date. Yet like some long-running TV series that suddenly finds new life after years of going through the motions, this fifth in the popular Death-has-been-cheated-and-he’s-pissed franchise is a terrific return to sick-joke form, the most enticingly queasy and legitimately funny Final Destination since the second outing in 2003.


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If He Had a Hammer ... : "Thor" and "Something Borrowed"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-05-08 22:53:36

Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman in ThorTHOR

Prior to the film’s release, I wouldn’t have thought any director a worse candidate for helming the hugely budgeted comic-book adaptation Thor than Kenneth Branagh, that frequent interpreter of Shakespeare whose one foray into Hollywood-blockbuster(-wannabe) terrain was 1994’s monstrously terrible Frankenstein. In retrospect, I’m not sure any director would have proved a better choice. Two days after seeing Branagh’s grandly produced yet subtly frisky entertainment, I’m still a bit shocked at how strong the results are; against all logic, Thor’s director has successfully melded his movie’s wildly disparate elements into an action-packed thrill ride (in 3D!) that, incredibly, also manages to be emotionally satisfying, and oftentimes funny as hell.


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Brainy Acts: “Limitless,” “The Lincoln Lawyer,” and “Paul”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-03-20 21:01:52

Bradley Cooper in LimitlessLIMITLESS and THE LINCOLN LAWYER

At some point during my double-feature of Limitless and The Lincoln Lawyer, I was reminded, as I frequently am, that we filmgoers don’t really need more great movies from Hollywood. We just need more good movies – smart, strong, satisfying releases that only want to entertain, but manage to do so without attempting to overwhelm you, or demanding that you first check your intelligence at the auditorium door.


Read More About Brainy Acts: “Limitless,” “The Lincoln Lawyer,” And “Paul”...





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