You get the feeling that Ruben Fleischer would have been happy to make an homage to the gangster movies of the 1940s (filtered through both a 1970s and a 21st-century perspective) when he was making Gangster Squad.
Any Day Now is one of those movies that should get people talking, whether it's about the issues it raises or the performance it contains. It's one of the year's gems and worth the effort to track it down and see it.
Roger Michell's Hyde Park on Hudson is half a good movie. When it focuses on the quirks and manipulations of international events, it crackles and pops -- and when it turns its attention to the soap-operatic romance, it settles into a dull hum.
In a season that's packed with big-budget headline-grabbers, it's hard for a quiet but compelling film such as California Solo to get a little attention. Make the effort to find it; you won't be sorry.
Imagine investing the price of a movie ticket in as many fun-size candy bars as that sum will buy -- and then eating them all in one sitting. Imagine how you would feel -- and it would still be better than how you feel after sitting through Fun Size.
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.
The best films about recovery from addiction are not about reaching rock bottom and making that choice to stop. Rather, like Smashed, they're about the very real and difficult task of going on, in an emotionally unshielded and intensely vulnerable way.