Report Card

MOVIE

Staff critics give you the lowdown on ten top movies, popcorn not included!

October 27, 2005

Dreamer

What It's About: A girl, her dad and a racehorse bond in ways guaranteed to warm every heart.

Rated: PG

The scoop: Stars Dakota Fanning and Kurt Russell are wonderful, even though the film is too precious by half.

Grade: C+

Elizabethtown

What It's About: A suicidal shoe designer (Orlando Bloom) returns to his father's old Kentucky home with his father's ashes; a cockeyed optimist of a flight attendant (Kirsten Dunst) cheers him up.

Rated: PG-13

The scoop: Cameron Crowe's heartfelt tribute to his father has too much going on for its own good.

Grade: C+

Flightplan

What It's About: Jodie Foster, already grieving over the death of her husband, loses her daughter in the middle of a trans-Atlantic flight - and nobody believes her.

Rated: PG-13

The scoop: Foster, in her first star role in years, delivers a tour-de-force of sustained tension in a film that ramps up the in-flight horror from Red Eye.

Grade: B+

Good Night, and Good Luck

What It's About: CBS news pioneer Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn) takes down the Wisconsin demagogue Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy at the height of McCarthy's anti-Communist witch hunt.

Rated: PG

The scoop: It's a brilliantly entertaining picture, as personal as it is political - both a tribute to a master reporter and a reverie on his Bogart-like code and glamour.

Grade: A

A History of Violence

What It's About: A small-town family man (Viggo Mortensen) proves ultra-competent at killing when he defends his diner against vicious burglar-assassins.

Rated: R

The scoop: You can read just about any message into it - about the dark side of Middle America or man's inherent bloodlust - or simply treat it as a shoot-'em-up.

Grade: C+

In Her Shoes

What It's About: High-powered lawyer Toni Collette and her total-opposite sister, flighty beauty Cameron Diaz, grow and settle their differences and realize they'll always need each other.

Rated: PG-13

The scoop: The performances outclass the get-out-your-handkerchiefs material.

Grade: C+

North Country

What It's About: The first class-action sexual harassment suit emerging, improbably but factually, from the northern Minnesota iron mines.

Rated: R

The scoop: Charlize Theron and Frances McDormand act up a storm, but the movie devolves into a courtroom drama that's part Perry Mason, part Norma Rae.

Grade: B-

Serenity

What It's About: Five hundred years in the future, a group of space rebels, for whom conformity is not an option, exult in being a pain in the side of the ruling Alliance, for whom conformity is everything.

Rated: PG-13

The scoop: This big-screen adaptation of Joss Whedon's cult TV series Firefly should delight those already familiar with its world and pique enough interest in everyone else to keep the franchise humming.

Grade: B

Tim Burton's Corpse Bride

What It's About: A sensitive guy (voice of Johnny Depp) in a love triangle with a sensitive gal (voice of Emily Watson) and a dead bride (voice of Helena Bonham Carter).

Rated: PG

The scoop: Stop-motion animation, Victorian Transylvania decor and twisted-fairy-tale romance contribute to a cartoon as beguiling as Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas.

Grade: B+

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

What It's About: The highly excellent dog Gromit and the dim yet upbeat human inventor Wallace take on a hulking monster who's devouring their town's veggies.

Rated: G

The scoop: Animator Nick Park has a genius for creating whimsies that are robust, hilarious and magical.

Grade: A+

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.