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Movie Reviews Archives
Pick of the Week

State of Play

This thriller is lifted up by terrific acting by Russell Crowe, Helen Mirren, Rachel McAdams, and others; and by some terrific dialog from three of Hollywood's best screenwriters (and some people complain about my occasional collaborations...). So why doesn't this movie has audiences standing up and cheering? In my opinion, it's because somebody involved with the production doesn't think it's important for audiences to cheer at the movies. Good as it is in many respects, State of Play doesn't have terrific narrative power. And I don't think you can make a great thriller without it.

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Obsessed

This was a huge hit on its opening weekend. Idris Elba has a very powerful screen presence—and this story pushes the audience's buttons very, very effectively. On the negative side, I found the direction & prod values could have been much better.

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The Soloist

This is a tough one to talk about. At times, it's a powerful and effective movie. The acting is excellent, especially my friend, Jamie Foxx. For me though, the artiness of the film got in the way of the story. Joe Wright, the director, also did Atonement. I felt the artiness got in the way of that story as well. Hey, there's no accounting for taste.

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Fighting

This is a by-the-numbers story, but there's a lot of really terrific dialog and interesting direction. Channing Tatum is a young star on the rise.

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