Paul Giamatti knocks in out of the park in Win Win. The movie has so much humanity in it as well as a fantastic story that's rooted in normalcy. At last a movie about second chances that is anything but cheesy. The rhythm of the humor in this movie helps you move through the serious themes unscathed (for the most part). In sum, the jokes are spot-on and the acting is excellent.
This coming-of-age story based on the bestseller by the same name starts fun but veers towards darker territory. It's about a high-schooler who makes two older friends, played perfectly by Ezra Miller and Emma Watson. But as he gets closer to one of them, his anxieties and past trauma come to the surface. The impressive depth to which the makers of The Perks of Being a Wallflower were able to take it is what elevates it to greatness. It's the perfect mix between easy and challenging. If there is ever such a thing, it's this movie.
When a girls soccer team is left stranded in the wilderness, things quickly descend from worrisome to outright, delightful, and sometimes unbearably weird. It’s a classic tale of survival injected with fresh mystery and drama, and as you watch these girls navigate humanity in all its extremes—from the primal urge to live to the existential need to bond—you’re left feeling both wildly entertained and deeply disturbed all at once.
Though Yellowjackets has drawn comparisons to beloved stories like Lost and Lord of the Flies, its unique pulse on the female experience is arguably its own thing: a sure and instant classic in the making.
Though it primarily revolves around the conservative, anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly (portrayed as a fascinatingly contradictory character by Cate Blanchett), Mrs. America is a true ensemble drama. Each episode becomes a primer for a different significant figure in the movement for women's rights in the 1970s, but it also emphasizes how difficult it was for this movement to cohere. As these wildly different perspectives clash, the need for a truly inclusive and intersectional coalition begins to arise. Blanchett is brilliant as always, but the miniseries also showcases stunning work from Rose Byrne, Uzo Aduba, Margo Martindale, Tracey Ullman, and many more.
Peter Jackson made the transition from splattery gross-out movies like Braindead to more respectable fare with Heavenly Creatures, the true story of an intense relationship between two teenage girls that culminates in the murder of one of their mothers.
As the girls’ friendship becomes unhealthier, they invent a secret world for themselves, amusingly including a heart-throb Orson Welles. This gives Jackson the opportunity to indulge in his love of fantasy, creating some dazzling hallucinatory sequences.
The fantasy element contrasts beautifully with the humdrum setting of ‘50s New Zealand, and the final tragedy is heart-breaking. The film also provided an auspicious debut for Kate Winslet, who is terrific as one of the misguided fantasists.
Shattered Glass tells the unbelievably true story of Stephen Glass, a popular and promising young journalist at The New Republic. Stephen's storytelling skills are sought out not just by his admiring colleagues but by other publications as well, so when a rival journalist from Forbes finds holes in one of Stephen's stories, no one takes the accusation seriously at first—except perhaps for Charles Lane, Stephen's editor. Immune to Stephen's charms, Charles digs for the truth and tries, despite an alarming lack of support, to pursue what's right.
Set in the '90s, Shattered Glass may be a throwback to old-school journalism, but its ideas about the integrity of facts still hold water, especially in an age fraught with rampant disinformation.
Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) is a corporate axman, he comes in a fires people when the managers are too afraid to do it themselves. The nature of his work requires a lot of flying, short lived meetings in transit zones and he absolutely loves it, and he has a certain goal in mind. When the company tries a new approach to corporate downsizing he has to change his way and view of life. It's full of cynicism and warmth. If you are familiar with Jason Reitman's previous work, you'll feel right at home, if you don't : Get to it!