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12 Years a Slave 2013

12 Years a Slave 2013

    

Released

IMDB: /10 votes

Based on an incredible true story of one man's fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty personified by a malevolent slave owner, as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon's chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist will forever alter his ...

Son of God 2014

Son of God 2014

    

Released

IMDB: /10 votes

The life story of Jesus is told from his humble birth through his teachings, crucifixion and ultimate resurrection.

The Good Shepherd 2006

The Good Shepherd 2006

    

Released

IMDB: /10 votes

Laconic and self-contained, Edward Wilson heads CIA covert operations during the Bay of Pigs. The agency suspects that Castro was tipped, so Wilson looks for the leak. As he investigates, he recalls, in a series of flashbacks, his father's death, student days at Yale (poetry; Skull and Bones), recruitment into the fledgling OSS, truncated affairs, a shotgun marriage, cutting his teeth on spy craft in London, distance from his son, the emergence of the Cold War, and relationships with agency, ...

Frantz 2016

Frantz 2016

    

Released

IMDB: /10 votes

In the aftermath of WWI, a young German who grieves the death of her fiancé in France meets a mysterious Frenchman who visits the fiancé's grave to lay flowers.

King Charles III 2017

King Charles III 2017

    

Released

IMDB: /10 votes

Prince Charles' accession to the throne following the Queen's death. When he refuses to sign a controversial bill into law, political chaos ensues: a constitutional crisis, rioting on the streets and a tank in front of Buckingham Palace.

The Founder 2016

The Founder 2016

    20 January 2017 (USA)

1h 55minReleased

7.2
IMDB: 7.2/10 40,322 votes

1954. Having worked as a salesman most of his adult life, Ray Kroc has been a hustler in most senses of the word. That hustling has made him the target of derision among certain circles for peddling what have ended up being more novelty or faddish than useful products, but it has also placed more than a comfortable roof in Arlington Heights, Illinois over his and his wife Ethel's heads. Ethel, however, wishes that he placed as much effort into ...

The Zookeeper’s Wife 2017

The Zookeeper’s Wife 2017

     7 April 2017 (USA)

2h 7min Post Production

7.2
IMDB: 7.2/10 3,773 votes

The Zookeeper's Wife tells the account of keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, Antonina and Jan Zabinski, who helped save hundreds of people and animals during the German invasion.

Charlie Wilson’s War 2007

Charlie Wilson’s War 2007

    21 December 2007 (USA)

1h 42min Released

7.1
IMDB: 7.1/10 92,815 votes

In the early 1980s, Charlie Wilson is a womanizing US congressional representative from Texas who seemed to be in the minor leagues, except for the fact that he is a member of two major foreign policy and covert-ops committees. However, prodded by his major conservative supporter, Houston Socialite Joanne Herring, Wilson learns about the plight the people are suffering in the brutal Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. With the help of the maverick CIA agent, Gustav "Gust" Avrakotos, Wilson dedicates his ...

World Trade Center 2006

World Trade Center 2006

    9 August 2006 (USA)

2h 9minReleased

6.0
IMDB: 6.0/10 69,693 votes

World Trade Center begins with a sunrise montage of police officers waking and preparing for the forthcoming day, director Oliver Stone alternating between images of early morning routines and the iconic, immense Manhattan edifices (the George Washington Bridge, downtown’s skyscrapers, the Statue of Liberty) that surround New Yorkers as they head to work. It’s a warm, quiet sequence that subtly links the metropolis’s imposing structures to its denizens as equal components comprising the very bone and tissue of the city, ...

Gangs of New York 2002

Gangs of New York 2002

    20 December 2002 (USA)

2h 47minReleased

7.5
IMDB: 7.5/10 332,791 votes

The protagonist is Amsterdam Vallon, the son of priest Vallon. The movie opens with a preparation of war between the natives and the immigrants. The priest Vallon heads the Dead Rabbits, an Irish-American gang, and fights against a nativist mob led by William Cutting. The Priest is killed on Paradise Square by Cutting, while Amsterdam watches on. Young Amsterdam is sent off to boarding school on Blackwell (Roosevelt) Island. 16 years later, Amsterdam returns to the Five Points and befriends ...

We Were Soldiers 2002

We Were Soldiers 2002

     1 March 2002 (USA)

2h 18min Released

7.2
IMDB: 7.2/10 109,456 votes

E arly on the afternoon of November 14, 1965, in Vietnam's Ia Drang Valley, severalplatoons of soldiers from the 7th Cavalry landed in what was called LZ X-Ray.Over the next few hours, the entire 7th Cavalry would arrive to fight, and die,together. This film is the account of the days when America first stood tofight against a new enemy and, in this battle, won. "We WereSoldiers" accurately portrays the events of the three-day battle. The 7thCavalry, led by General Moore (Mel Gibson), ...

Valkyrie 2008

Valkyrie 2008

     26 February 2009

2h 1minReleased

7.1
IMDB: 7.1/10 193,776 votes

I loathe reviewing Tom Cruise films. It’s so difficult critiquing them objectively when Cruise is such a competent actor and yet so incompetent at life. For so many years, Cruise managed to maintain focus in his celebrity life, to stay on message, to keep those embarrassing tabloid stories under control. And although he lost that with his Katie Holmes courtship and his submersion into Scientology (a religion, I might add, that’s not any more or less crackpot than some of ...

Public Enemies 2009

Public Enemies 2009

     1 July 2009 (USA)

2h 20min Released

7.0
IMDB: 7.0/10 240,434 votes

In my estimation, Michael Mann is one of Hollywood’s most interesting directors. Not because of a unique filming style, or truly out-there projects, but because of his seemingly permanent status as a middle-of-the-road filmmaker, a mantle which he may never be able to throw off. His previous two films, Miami Vice and Collateral were slick and smooth, but far from classics. Before that, Ali was supposed to be the story of one of the world’s greatest athletes starring one of the ...

Black Hawk Down 2001

Black Hawk Down 2001

     18 January 2002

2h 24min Released

7.7
IMDB: 7.7/10 307,660 votes

The blogger otherwise known as the Scientist Gone Wordy and I join up for another round in the parallel post series of ours. For this, we will examine two timely and remarkable works. I selected this non-fiction book and film tandem specifically because this duo post would land near the twenty year anniversary of a significant battle. Perhaps, the epoch-making event of the post-Cold War. Known by the men who fought in it as the Battle of the Black Sea, it ...

Seabiscuit 2003

Seabiscuit 2003

     25 July 2003

2h 20minReleased

7.3
IMDB: 7.3/10 59,351 votes

It’s hard to believe now, but back in 1938 the top headline-grabber in America was a ridiculously small racehorse called Seabiscuit. In a time of depression, it was this horse that captured the public’s imagination and gave a nation something to cheer for. Now, 65 years later, it’s threatening to do the same thing, only this time with cinema audiences. Adapted from Laura Hillenbrand’s book, ‘Seabiscuit’ stars Jeff Bridges as the charming car salesman-turned-horse owner Charles Howard, Chris Cooper as reclusive ...

A United Kingdom 2017

A United Kingdom 2017

A United Kingdom    10 Feb 2017

PG-13 111 minReleased

6.7
IMDB: 6.7/10 3,063 votes

Though few and far between, there have been times when a simple romance changed the course of history. Last year, Jeff Nichol’s Loving captured the true story of an interracial couple in Virginia whose marriage led the Supreme Court to abrogate anti-miscegenation laws across the country. This month, another tale of interracial love that revolutionized society has been gorgeously rendered by Amma Asante in her new film, A United Kingdom. Much like her previous work, Belle (2013), it is a ...

The Zookeeper’s Wife

The Zookeeper’s Wife

The Zookeeper's Wife    07 Apr 2017

PG-13 127 minPost Production

7.3
IMDB: 7.3/10 2,133 votes

Jessica Chastain deserves better than this. Film after film she has lent excellent performances to try and prop up poorly-conceived or executed (or both) films. The Zookeeper’s Wife, adapted from Diane Ackerman’s beloved book about the real Antonina Żabińska, is unfortunately the latest in that line. Despite what appears to be the best of intentions from all involved, including committed performances from Chastain and Heldenbergh as her husband, the result is unfortunately bloodless and cool, turning a great success amid ...

The 33

The 33

The 33    13 Nov 2015

PG-13 127 minReleased

6.9
IMDB: 6.9/10 26,033 votes

In 2010, the attention of the world turned to a collapsed copper and gold mine in Copiapó, Chile. Television viewers were riveted as the rescue unfolded. This film attempts to capture the tension, the drama, and the human story of these men, their families, and their rescuers. I must make the assumption that those who are reading this review are at least aware of its widely known ultimate outcome and would not consider such information to be a “spoiler.” I have ...

In the Heart of the Sea

In the Heart of the Sea

In the Heart of the Sea    11 Dec 2015

PG-13 122 minReleased

6.9
IMDB: 6.9/10 88,766 votes

Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick” might be one of the most boring literary classics ever published, yet that hasn’t stopped Hollywood from going back to the source material time and time again. Though Ron Howard’s “In the Heart of the Sea” technically isn’t an adaptation of “Moby Dick,” it is based on the non-fiction book by Nathaniel Philbrick about the real-life events that inspired Melville’s seafaring adventure. Sadly, that doesn’t make it any less dull. A well-intentioned cross between the nautical ...

Suffragette

Suffragette

Suffragette    12 Oct 2015

PG-13 106 minReleased

6.9
IMDB: 6.9/10 26,639 votes

Suffragette takes a complex political movement and distills it into a single avatar. That is its greatest strength, and its greatest weakness. Stretches of the film are involving, and screenwriter Abi Morgan uncannily puts us in the mindset of her heroine. But Morgan’s screenplay also adheres to a strict formula, which favors broad melodrama instead of a broader historical context. Director Sarah Gavron stubbornly keeps the action from one character’s point of view, so some sequences are clunky when they ...