October 27, 2011

IN A WORD: Movie Reviews in One Word

THE TOP TIER MOVIES

THE HELP (2011) *****
In 1960s Jackson, Miss., aspiring writer Eugenia Phelan crosses taboo racial lines by conversing with Aibileen Clark about her life as a housekeeper, and their ensuing friendship upsets the fragile dynamic between the haves and the have-nots. When other long-silent black servants begin opening up to Eugenia, the disapproving conservative Southern town soon gets swept up in the turbulence of changing times.

IN A WORD: LOVED!!!!


FOOTLOOSE (2011) ****
This musical remake of the infectious 1984 hit finds dance-lovin', big-city kid Ren MacCormack stuck in a small town where dancing is illegal. As he rebels against the town and its influential Rev. Moore, Ren falls for the pastor's lovely daughter.

IN A WORD: FUNNIER!!!




THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE (2009) *****
Due to a genetic disorder, handsome librarian Henry DeTamble (Eric Bana) involuntarily zips through time, appearing at various moments in the life of his true love, the beautiful artist Clare Abshire (Rachel McAdams). Also starring Ron Livingston as Gomez, the soul-stirring romantic drama was adapted from the best-selling Audrey Niffenegger novel by Bruce Joel Rubin, the screenwriter behind the beloved weepy Ghost.

IN A WORD: COMPLETE


COCO BEFORE CHANEL (2009) ***
Audrey Tautou stars as legendary French designer Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel in this lively biopic that explores the fashion icon's storied ascension from orphan to seamstress and cabaret singer and ultimately, the queen of Parisian haute couture. Alessandro Nivola plays Arthur "Boy" Capel, Chanel's lover and influential business investor who makes a lifelong impact on the young woman.

IN A WORD: INTERESTING


BREAKING BAD: SEASON 1 (2008) ****

Emmy-winning Bryan Cranston portrays the complex, bedeviled Walter H. White, a high school science teacher whose discovery that he has terminal lung cancer leads him to begin manufacturing and selling methamphetamine to cushion his family's future. With the help of former student Jesse (Emmy-winning Aaron Paul), Walter plunges valiantly into the criminal underworld, doing his best to coexist with a gallery of bewildering and dangerous characters.

IN A WORD: DEEP


BRIDESMAIDS (2011) ****
Named her best friend's maid of honor, down-on-her-luck Annie's competition with a fellow bridesmaid, the wealthy and beautiful Helen, threatens to destroy the wedding. Meanwhile, a local cop takes a liking to Annie.

IN A WORD: HILARIOUS





THE WAY BACK (2010) ****
After narrowly escaping from a wretched World War II Siberian labor camp, a small band of multinational soldiers desperately undertakes a harrowing journey to traverse Siberia, the Gobi Desert and the Himalayas on foot.

IN A WORD: CAPTIVIATING




THE OTHER SIDE OF HEAVEN (2001) ****

small-town teen, 19-year-old John Groberg (Christopher Gorham), leaves his girlfriend (Anne Hathaway) behind in Idaho Falls to go serve as a Mormon missionary in faraway Tonga during the 1950s. For three years, Groberg's letters are the couple's only link, as he shares his struggles to relate with the exotic Tongan people and his evolving perspective on life. The drama is based on Elder John Groberg's memoir, "In the Eye of the Storm."

IN A WORD: INSPIRATIONAL


ARSENIC AND OLD LACE (1944) ****
Stellar performances highlight this delightfully witty adaptation of the hit Broadway play about two dotty spinsters (Josephine Hull and Jean Adair) with a peculiar avocation: helping lonely old gents by poisoning them and burying them in the cellar. But the jig is up when the ladies' newlywed nephew, Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant), discovers his aunts' "benevolent" deeds. Raymond Massey and Peter Lorre also star.

IN A WORD: FUNNY


SHUTTER ISLAND (2010) ****
World War II soldier-turned-U.S. marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) investigates the disappearance of a patient from a hospital for the criminally insane, but his efforts are compromised by his own troubling visions and by Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley). Mark Ruffalo, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer and Max von Sydow co-star in director Martin Scorsese's plot twist-filled psychological thriller set on a Massachusetts island in 1954.

IN A WORD: TWIST!


WINTER'S BONE (2010) ***
In director Debra Granik's unflinching noir drama set deep in the Ozarks, resilient teen Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) goes on the trail of her missing, drug-dealing father when his absence jeopardizes the family's safety. Her deadbeat dad has a key court date pending, and Ree is determined that he show up -- despite the objections of the insular Dolly clan. The film earned Oscar and Independent Spirit Award nods for Best Picture and for Lawrence.

IN A WORD: DARK


A WRINKLE IN TIME (2003) ****
With help from a neighbor, Meg Murry (Katie Stuart) and her brother, Charles (David Dorfman), search for their missing father, who disappeared while doing confidential government research. Guided by three celestial beings (Alfre Woodard, Kate Nelligan and Alison Elliott), the children travel to the malevolent planet of Camazotz. There, Charles falls under the sway of a coercive power -- leaving it up to Meg to rescue her family.

IN A WORD: MAGIC




THE FIGHTER (2010) ***
After a string of defeats, Mickey Ward rediscovers his fighting will with help from trainer and half-brother Dicky (Oscar winner Christian Bale) -- a once-talented pugilist and small-town hero now battling drug addiction.

IN A WORD: GRITTY





SURROGATES (2009) ***
Based on Robert Venditti's graphic novel of the same name, director Jonathan Mostow's sci-fi thriller is set in a futuristic world in which humans hibernate at home while living their lives vicariously through robot surrogates. When a series of mysterious surrogate murders occurs, FBI agent Greer (Bruce Willis) ventures out into the world for the first time in years to investigate.

IN A WORD: CREEPY!



THE KENNEDYS (2011) ****
Twentieth-century America's most storied political family gets the epic treatment in this miniseries that spans three decades of Kennedy history. The chronicle begins with Joseph Kennedy Sr.'s power plays and ends with his son Bobby's assassination.

IN A WORD: COMPELLING





THE UNDERWHELMERS

CASE 39 (2010) ***
To save 10-year-old Lillith Sullivan (Jodelle Ferland) from her abusive parents, idealistic social worker Emily Jenkins (Renée Zellweger) welcomes the girl into her own home -- only to discover that Lillith isn't quite the innocent victim that she claims to be. As Lillith's mysterious past comes to light, Emily finds herself in a world of danger. Christian Alvart's terrifying thriller also stars Ian McShane and Bradley Cooper.



IN A WORD: EXPECTED MORE (I know, 2 words but couldn't figure out how else to say it!)


LIFE AS WE KNOW IT (2010) **
Caterer Holly Berenson (Katherine Heigl) and network sports director Eric Messer (Josh Duhamel) discover a reciprocal hatred during an ill-fated first date -- but are forced to put their feelings aside when their mutual friends die and they become the guardians for orphaned Sophie. Now, Holly and Eric must learn to live with each other and juggle their promising careers while taking care of the little girl in this romantic comedy.

IN A WORD: UNORIGINAL


HOW THE GARCIA GIRLS SPENT THEIR SUMMER (2005) **
Mexican-American family matriarch Dona Genoveva (Lucy Gallardo), her divorced daughter Lolita (Elizabeth Peña) and teenage granddaughter Blanca (America Ferrera) all tinker with love during one sleepy summer in their Arizona border town. Dona's driving lessons take an unexpected turn, while things heat up at the butcher shop where Lolita works, and Blanca cooks up some romance for herself. This charming drama received a Grand Jury Prize nod at Sundance.

IN A WORD: UNINSPIRING


NO STRINGS ATTACHED (2011) **
Emotionally unencumbered and sexually satisfied, friends with benefits Emma (Natalie Portman) and Adam (Ashton Kutcher) have an open relationship that suits them just fine. That is, until those pesky little things called feelings enter the picture. Ivan Reitman directs and Kevin Kline and Cary Elwes co-star in this comedy that explores the perks and pitfalls of modern romance.

IN A WORD: BLAH!





IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE HELP, GO NOW. NO SERIOUSLY, NOW. IT'S AMAZING.

10 comments:

  1. Wow, very impressive how you captured their essence in just one word!

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  2. I loved The Help and The Fighter. I got my husband to watch The Fighter with me and he wasn't as impressed as I was.

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  3. Took myself to the movies yesterday while the kids were in school and finally saw The Help. LOVED it. It's so nice to finally see a great adaptation.

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  4. My bookclub was thinking of going to see The Help. Not sure it'll still be showing by the time we get round to it, though (Tonight's bookclub meeting is cancelled, due to everyone else now having the lurgy I had last week (they didn't catch it from me, I haven't seen most of them for a few weeks - it's that time of year)

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  5. I saw the twist at the end of Shutter Island coming about 1/4th of the way through. It's just like Inception but on an island. :p

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  6. I have seen a couple of movies on your list, but I haven't watched COCO BEFORE CHANEL yet. Audrey Tautou is the best, so I'm really looking forward to this movie.

    I def. agree with BridesMaids, OMG, hilarious!!! ;)

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  7. I loved Winter's Bone, and I enjoyed Bridesmaids. I agree that No Strings Attached was ... meh. I wasn't wild about Shutter Island. Haven't seen the others. I am looking forward to The Help despite the critical and lukewarm reviews. Waiting for it to come to Netflix. :)

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  8. I have vague memories of like Life as we know it a little more but yes unoriginal.

    No strings attached boring and no chemistry!

    I wanna see The Help I have heard its good.

    Um I have forgotten the others. Good reviews.

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  9. Love Arsenic ANd Old Lace! Great movie.

    I agree with Case 39, I was bored.

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  10. Love the snappy one word reviews. I didn't know A Wrinkle in Time was a movie too! Loved The Help and Bridesmaids as well.

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