Gay Republicans and their mind-boggling support for the party that despises them + the horrors of the Rwanda genocide are this year’s disturbing AFI FEST winners.
The London Film Festival’s Satyajit Ray Award has gone to Nicole Kassell’s U.S. drama The Woodsman, starring Kevin Bacon as a child molester.
The Carthage Film Festival Award has gone to Mohammed Asli’s socially conscious Moroccan drama In Casablanca Angels Don’t Fly.
Robin Williams is the Golden Globes’ next recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement - despite less than 25 years in movies.
Starring an over-the-top Al Pacino and a mannered Russell Crowe, The Insider movie shows that corporate greed + simplistic narratives are bad for you.
Stephen Daldry’s uneven drama The Hours is immensely helped by the performances of Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman + Philip Glass’ haunting score.
Potential Oscar contenders include weeping camel, Howard Zinn and slain Civil Rights activist. But polemical Iraq War features have been thoroughly bypassed.
Alexander Payne’s road movie comedy Sideways suffers from a much too ardent desire to pander to its audience - to the detriment of its characters.
Foreign Language Film Oscar get entries from 49 countries, but 2 internationally acclaimed Gael García Bernal movies have ended up as Academy Award orphans.
The last of the Romanovs are at the center of Nicholas and Alexandra, a lavish but appallingly conventional Oscar-nominated historical drama.
Starring Liam Neeson as the polemical sex researcher, Bill Condon’s otherwise well-made Kinsey movie biopic suffers from an excess of scruples.
Robert Siodmak’s 1957 political drama The Devil Strikes at Night asks whether serial killers are any worse than socially sanctioned mass murderers.
A first-rate Tom Hanks learns no one is indispensable in Cast Away, Robert Zemeckis’ adventure flick exalting the Triumph of the Human Spirit nonsense.
Valerie Perrine overshadows a badly miscast and painfully unfunny Dustin Hoffman in Bob Fosse’s problematic 1974 Lenny Bruce biopic Lenny.
Stagy screenplay and 3 of its 4 leads hinder Fred Zinnemann’s early drug addiction drama A Hatful of Rain. Eva Marie Saint is the sole standout.
Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks can’t save Nora Ephron’s unromantic and unfunny (but commercially successful) 1993 romantic comedy Sleepless in Seattle.
Paul Schrader’s well-made and great-looking Affliction movie adaptation is marred by absurd situations and Nick Nolte’s overwrought performance.
In a difficult role, Oscar nominee Joan Allen delivers a masterful performance in Rod Lurie’s engrossing but unconvincing 2000 political drama The Contender.
Miscast cast (Michael Douglas, Tobey Maguire et al) + heavy directorial hand hinder Curtis Hanson and Steve Kloves’ Wonder Boys movie adaptation.
Oliver Stone opts to ignore the facts in his brazenly dishonest yet engrossing political thriller JFK, an account of the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination.
Best Actress Oscar nominee Gena Rowlands and John Cassavetes’ A Woman Under the Influence is seriously marred by its own inauthentic ‘rawness.’
Starring Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thornton, Marc Forster’s 2001 drama Monster’s Ball offers quality moments that fail to amount to a satisfying whole.
Alejandro González Iñárritu and Guillermo Arriaga’s overreaching psychological drama 21 Grams is immensely helped by 5 stellar performances.
Naomi Watts delivers an exceptional performance - or rather, two of them - in David Lynch’s unsettling Hollywood horror tale Mulholland Dr..
John Cassavetes’ landmark and widely admired 1968 independent drama Faces is a narrative wreck and a long-winded cinematic chore.
An animated Pixar hit, a costly motion-capture fantasy and an ‘end of the world’ disaster flick are among eligible entries for next year’s Academy Awards.
The 1977 Oscar-nominated political thriller Operation Thunderbolt is a dismal failure as both cinema and propaganda. Klaus Kinski star.
Imelda Staunton delivers a superb performance as a mid-1950s abortionist in Mike Leigh’s socially conscious family drama Vera Drake.
John Frankenheimer and Dalton Trumbo’s anti-Semitism drama The Fixer is ruined by a preachy and simple-minded script, and by badly miscast lead Alan Bates.
Best Actor Oscar nominee Johnny Depp is flawlessly weird in the surprisingly entertaining Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
The Oscar-nominated The Grandfather works both as a Fernando Fernán Gómez showcase and as an irresistible message movie.
Gaping narrative issues hinder Sam Mendes’ gangster noir Road to Perdition, otherwise a great showcase for stars Tom Hanks and Paul Newman.