Johnny Depp Transcends His New Sci-Fi Stinker, ‘Transcendence’

Johnny Depp remains one of the most puzzling and intriguing actors on the scene today. His latest film, “Transcendence,” won’t do a thing to change that perception. He delves into the science fiction mystery thriller with typical Depp intensity–profound, curious and 100 percent engaging. The movie marks the feature film directorial debut of Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister (“Inception,” “Dark Knight”), who works with a stellar cast that includes Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Cilliam Murphy, Cole Hauser and Morgan Freeman....

Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit Scores' on Superior Direction (video)

I never read The Hobbit nor the “Lord of the Rings” series, but when the opportunity came to see a screening of “The Hobbit,” I jumped at the chance. I was dazzled not so much by the story, but by director Peter Jackson’s epic work. Elijah Wood, who appears briefly as Frodo, was good. But Martin Freeman in the titular role as the young Bilbo Baggins is spot-on, Gollum is brilliantly essayed by Andy Serkis....

Ben Affleck's 'Argo' a Harrowing Tale Well Told, Well Acted

When actor Ben Affleck turned into a director of note with his brilliantly staged “The Town” two years back, audiences and Hollywood took note. It was a tense, tautly realized effort, with an exemplary cast. His latest effort, “Argo,” is another finely textured and nuanced story, with excellent performances by his coterie of actors. The movie is filled with excellent actors from John Goodman, Alan Arkin and Bryan Cranston to Tate Donovan....

Clint Eastwood's 'Trouble With Curve' Is No Empty-Chair Speech (video)

Clint Eastwood’s Republican National Convention antics two weeks back put an uncomfortable magnifying glass on all his recent activities. But at 82, he hasn’t lost his marbles yet, judging by his new movie “Trouble With The Curve.” Strong performances by the always-enchanting Amy Adams and Justin Timberlake, plus stalwarts like John Goodman, Robert Patrick and Matthew Lillard, give the film great rhythm. It worked like a charm....

Will Ferrell's 'The Campaign' Could Be Summer Sleeper Hit

“The Campaign,” starring an outrageously funny Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, rivals last year’s comedy movie of the summer, “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” a sleeper film starring Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, Julianne Moore and Emma Stone. What I liked about “Crazy” was the taut dialogue–relevant and funny–great acting and great direction by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. “The Campaign” scores on all those factors. ...

Lasse Hallstrom Scores With Salmon Fishing in Yemen

Lasse Hallstrom’s invigoratingly beautiful ode, “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen,” could be the best movie of the year. Hey, I know we’re just three months in, but Ewan McGregor; Emily Blunt and Kristin Scott Thomas are stellar. Based on a book (aren’t all these little movies always based on a book?), it concerns a filthy rich sheik from Yemen, who harbors a fascination with salmon fishing and wants to bring it to his fiefdom....
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