Vol. LXI, No. 45
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
30 Days of Night (R for profanity and graphic horror violence). Josh Hartnett and Melissa George head an ensemble cast in this high attrition-rate horror flick about a sheriff who, with the help of his estranged wife, confronts a horde of bloodthirsty vampires that descend on a tiny Alaskan town during the pitch black month when the sun slips beneath the horizon.
American Gangster (R for nudity, sexuality, profanity, violence and pervasive drug content). Oscar-winners Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe square off in this mob saga, set in the Seventies, about the efforts of a rogue cop to bring down a drug lord who’s been smuggling heroin to Harlem in the coffins of soldiers who died in Vietnam. Cast includes Cuba Gooding, Jr., Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ruby Dee, Josh Brolin, Carla Gugino, Roger Guenveur Smith and Joe Morton, with street cred coming courtesy of rappers T.I., Common and RZA.
Bee Movie (PG for suggestive humor and brief smoking). Animated family about a bumblebee (Jerry Seinfeld) in search of a new line of work who befriends a florist (Renée Zellweger) who helps him sue humanity for stealing his species’ honey for centuries. Voice cast includes Chris Rock, Matthew Broderick, Patrick Warburton, Kathy Bates, Ray Liotta, John Goodman and Sting, plus talk show hosts Larry King and Oprah Winfrey.
Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (R for profanity, nudity, violence, drug use and graphic sexuality). Legendary director Sidney Lumet (12 Angry Men, Network, The Verdict) assembles a talented ensemble for this suspenseful crime thriller about two brothers (Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke) whose perfectly planned heist of their parents’ (Albert Finney and Rosemary Harris) jewelry store goes horribly wrong when their accomplice improvises with disastrous results during the botched robbery. Cast includes Marisa Tomei as one sibling’s spouse who’s secretly sleeping with the other, too.
The Comebacks (PG-13 for drug use, crude humor and sexual content). Spoof of inspirational sports flicks revolves around a down-and-out college football coach (David Koechner) who inspires his rag-tag team of losers to overachieve in their quest for the championship.
Dan in Real Life (PG-13 for sexual innuendo). Steve Carrell assumes the titular role in this romantic sitcom about a widowed relationship advice columnist struggling to raise three daughters (Alison Pill, Brittany Robertson and Marlene Lawston) alone who suddenly finds himself in a quandary after unknowingly falling in love with his brother’s (Dane Cook) gorgeous girlfriend (Juliette Binoche).
The Darjeeling Limited (R for profanity). Road comedy about three estranged brothers (Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzmann and Adrien Brody) whose plans to bury their differences during a spiritual quest across India go awry when they’re ejected from a train and left stranded in the middle of the desert where their sibling rivalries only intensify.
Fred Claus (PG for mild epithets and crude humor). Holiday comedy about the zany antics which unfold after Santa Claus’ (Paul Giamatti) bails his down-on-his-luck big brother, Fred (Vince Vaughn), out of jail and gives him a job at the North Pole making toys with the elves. Cast includes Kevin Spacey, Miranda Richardson, Kathy Bates, Ludacris and Elizabeth Banks.
The Game Plan (PG for mature themes). The Rock stars in this Disney kiddie comedy about a famous and fun-loving NFL quarterback who finds his playboy lifestyle suddenly sacked by his having to raise the seven year-old daughter (Madison Pettis) he never knew he had. With Kyra Sedgwick, Morris Chestnut and Gordon Clapp.
Gone Baby Gone (R for violence, drug use, and pervasive profanity). Ben Affleck makes his directorial debut with this crime thriller about a couple of private eyes (Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan) who end up risking their sanity and their lives to crack the case of a missing four year-old girl (Madeline O’Brien). With Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris and Karen Ahern.
I Could Never Be Your Woman (PG-13 for sex and expletives). Romantic comedy about a single-mom (Michelle Pfeiffer) who falls for a younger man (Paul Rudd) at the same time that her teenage daughter (Saoirse Ronan) starts to date for the first time in her life. Cast includes Tracey Ullman, Fred Willard, Henry Winkler and Jon Lovitz.
Into the Wild (R for profanity and nudity). Sean Penn directs this back-to-nature adventure, based on the real-life exploits of Christopher McCandless, a student-athlete (Emile Hirsch) who gave away all his money and earthly possessions to charity and hitchhiked to Alaska to live in the wilderness after graduating from Emory College in 1992.
Lars and the Real Girl (PG-13 for sexuality). Droll romantic comedy about a delusional loser (Ryan Gosling) whose friends and family don’t have the heart to tell him that the life-sized doll he fell in love with online and ordered over the internet isn’t a real woman. With Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson and Paul Schneider.
Lions for Lambs (R for profanity and violence). Robert Redford directs and co-stars in this political potboiler as an idealistic college professor who inspires two of his students (Derek Luke and Michael Pena) to abandon the comfort of campus for Afghanistan where their fates will be affected by a presidential hopeful (Tom Cruise) who gives a scoop to a television journalist (Meryl Streep). With Andrew Garfield and Peter Berg.
Lust, Caution (NC-17 for explicit sexuality). Ang Lee directs this WWII saga, set in Shanghai during the Japanese occupation, about a beautiful young actress (Tang Wei) who joins the resistance movement and agrees to impersonate a rich heiress in order to seduce and assassinate a leading collaborator (Tony Leung) with the enemy.
Martian Child (PG for mature themes and mild epithets). Otherworldly dramedy about a grieving science fiction writer (John Cusack), mourning the death of his fiancée who befriends a six year-old boy (Bobby Coleman) whose claims that he’s from Mars might be true. With Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Sophie Okonedo and Joan Cusack.
Michael Clayton (R for profanity). George Clooney handles the title role in this conspiratorial corporate potboiler about a discontented attorney assigned to handle some dirty work by a senior partner (Sydney Pollack) at a leading NYC law firm. With Tilda Swinton, Ken Howard and Michael O’Keefe.
No Country for Old Men (R for profanity and graphic violence). Coen Brothers adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s modern-day Western stars about a Vietnam vet (Josh Brolin) on the run after stumbling upon several corpses, a stash of heroin and $2 million left at the scene of a grisly gun battle near the Rio Grande. Cast includes Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Woody Harrelson, Kelly Macdonald and Stephen Root.
Saw IV (R for profanity and pervasive torture and gruesome violence). Despite the apparent demise of the infamous Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) and his apprentice (Shawnee Smith), we find the slasher franchise revived for a fourth installment of grisly fare when a couple of FBI profilers (Scott Patterson and Athena Karkanis) are assigned to the depleted police precinct only to find themselves and the surviving SWAT team members (Lyriq Bent and Costas Mandylor) suddenly facing a sinister series of deadly traps perhaps set by the serial killer’s ex-wife (Betsey Russell).
Why Did I Get Married? (PG-13 for profanity, sexual references and mature themes). Tyler Perry directs and co-stars in this adaptation of his play about four married couples, friends since college, who find their marriages tested with fidelity issues during a very eventful week-long reunion at a picturesque retreat in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. Ensemble cast includes Janet Jackson, Jill Scott, Tasha Smith, Malik Yoba, Michael Jai White, Sharon Leal, Denise Boutte and Lamann Rucker.
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