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  • The Little Things

    The Little Things

    ★★★½

    Here's a synopsis of John Lee Hancock's directorial career:

    'The Alamo'
    'The Blind Side'
    'Saving Mr. Banks'
    'The Founder'
    'The Highwaymen'

    Not the most dynamic, outstanding or idiosyncratic resume. But also, not the worst either. Whenever I sit down to watch a John Lee Hancock movie, I always get the feeling that I'm in safe storytelling hands. And that's not nothing. Hancock seems to have assumed the mantle once held by the likes of John Badham or Roger Donaldson, those…

  • Con Air

    Con Air

    ★★★½

    John Malkovich did not enjoy making 'Con Air' one little bit. Even on the publicity tour for the movie, he made his misgivings pretty plain, telling Empire Magazine that 'the character that I'm assaying could just as well be a Martian by the time we get to page eighty. I say 'fuck that'. I say that it's without interest'. Not much ambiguity there. And his frustration with a script that, in typically freewheeling Jerry Bruckheimer fashion, was in a constant…

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  • Sound of Metal

    Sound of Metal

    ★★★★★

    A devastating fusion of humanistic empathy and second-to-none technical craft.

    My most notable takeaway from 'Sound Of Metal' is that it isn't a film about deafness. Rather it's a film about overcoming addiction and finding peace and inner grace, and Riz Ahmed's magnificent performance always helps us to remember exactly that. Let's ponder the physical details. Look at his gestures, his constantly wired, twitching posture. Look at Ruben's constant need to be involved in some sort of physical activity, from…

  • The Dig

    The Dig

    ★★★★

    'The Dig' is the life-affirming movie that we need right now. So it's a bit of a shame that some of the early reviews have tried to pigeonhole it as kind of a lost Miramax Oscar-bait epic from the late-90's. You know, the kind of well-behaved, slightly sterile exercise in tastefulness that used to get directed by Lasse Hallstrom or John Madden and unleashed just in time for the awards to be collected. And the presence of Ralph Fiennes (the…