John Crowley's Closed Circuit, arriving in the wake of the Bradley Manning decision and the ongoing Edward Snowden affair, is more than timely: It's the most chilling film of the year, more frightening than any horror film because it seems so real.
What is Cloud Atlas about? In various ways, it examines the nature of tyranny and the human instinct toward freedom. It is about the search for truth and the many obstacles that stand in the way of that search.
It's been fascinating to see how critics have reacted to The Iron Lady, a new film inspired by Margaret Thatcher that has been directed by Phyllida Lloyd. Meryl Streep stars as the former British Prime Minister in a script written by Abi Morgan.
Just as this year's Nobel Peace Prize winners -- three women -- were announced, this film season features two films that focus on women rulers: one, Margaret Thatcher, a hawk; the other, Aung San Suu Kyi, a dove who is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
Is it marketing genius on the part of Sony Classics that they usher in 2011 with a film called Another Year? Nah, more likely they just wanted to get Oscar tongues a-buzzing for Mike Leigh's latest glimpse into joys, pains, hopes, and desperations of ordinary life.
Perrier's Bounty is delicious and propulsive, a film that rarely pauses to let the viewer catch his breath. It's an expert blend of thrills, laughs and jeopardy - like a strong Irish coffee with a jolt of pepper.
I've got nothing against sports films that exult in good sportsmanship and the triumph of the underdog. But I'm more inclined towards films like The Damned United that scrape past the noble veneer of sports.