The Hunt lacks the courage of its presumed convictions, displaying no more than a determination to make as much cash as possible by exploiting national divisions less covetous individuals are despairing of rather than monetizing.
Adapted apparently quite loosely from Atkins’ Robert B. Parker’s Wonderland, Spenser Confidential has ended up with a genially amusing script expertly tailored to its actors by Sean O’Keefe and the canny veteran Brian Helgeland. And, as smartly cast by the veteran Sheila Jaffe, Spenser Confidential gets spot on performances from a variety of actors, from household names including Alan Arkin to other less celebrated but undeniably talented folks.
Muscularly directed by Gavin O’Connor, whose facility with emotional dramas with sports connections goes as far back as 2004’s Miracle, The Way Back is elevated and transformed by one of Ben Affleck’s strongest and most convincing performances.
One of the unexpected pleasures of Ip Man 4 is a warm montage of highlights from the previous three films that plays at the close. Star Yen has said there are no more Ip films in his future, but no one would be upset if another one happened to come along.
Dealing with a personality this strong could not have been easy, and director Garver, whose background is in short films, does a balanced job, giving space to Kael’s partisans while finding time for the other side.
The key reason Richard Jewell works as well as it does is the perceptive nature of Hauser’s lead performance. His sense of who this character is, how he thinks about himself at his core, leads to scenes with both Rockwell and Bates that are unexpectedly powerful.
While some individuals are inevitably more compelling than others, as a whole the entire series, and 63 Up in particular, is completely enveloping as it draws us into the latest happenings of these people we’ve followed for so long.
The virtues of The Aeronauts are real but they are almost exclusively visual. Despite the hard work of acclaimed actors in what sounds on paper like a strong story, the drama presented is determinedly earth-bound.
More than anything, this is a film in love with its characters’ passions, a rich and effortlessly vibrant examination of the four March “little women” (so called by their father) and the ways, at least initially, they’re practically bursting with the innocent it’s-happening-right-now joy of being young and alive.
Citizen K uses Khodorkovsky’s story as a way to guide us through the thickets of modern Russian history, a tangled, through-the-looking-glass world that the film surveys from the days of Boris Yeltsin in 1991 to today’s increasingly autocratic reign of Vladimir Putin