Movie Review

Movie reviewer Fletcher Powell shares his opinions on Hollywood's best efforts. Tune in every Thursday for the latest review.

The movie review can also be heard on iTunes. Listen or subscribe here.

Captain Phillips is the supposedly true story of the hijacking of an American cargo ship by Somalian pirates in 2009, and on the whole it's a suspenseful and convincing account with, unfortunately for me, two or three elements that grind me. But they may not bother you, and may actually appeal to you.

Enough Said is a very good realistic romantic comedy in which people act very much like people do in real life, and life rolls along at a nice steady pace without a lot of shouting and battle.

Rush is a superior race car movie that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Prisoners starts out as a pretty realistic story about youngsters who go missing, morphs into a story of how people react to terrible loss and lust for vengeance-- almost an anti-vigilante story-- and ends up as a fairly standard mystery with a lot of twists and turns.

And, and is common these days, it's less a trail of clues to be unraveled to a logical solution than a story of dogged pursuit of possible suspects, until almost by accident the truth comes out.

The Family seems to want to be a comedy, but its supposedly sympathetic protagonists react to even the slightest discontents with excessive violence.

Closed Circuit is another of those mystery thrillers in which everybody is keeping secrets from everybody else, to the extent that defense attorneys Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall are not allowed to communicate with each other, and their defendant won't speak to them.

The Spectacular Now was written by the screenwriters of 500 Days of Summer, and director James Pensoldt apparently respected their efforts, because The Spectacular Now is very nearly as great as 500 Days of Summer-- maybe just as great, because what it lacks in not having Zooey Deschanel it gains in having Shailene Woodley, whose final close-up does with facial expression more than I can imagine any other current performer doing.

I have been maligning Lee Daniels' The Butler as a movie without a central storyline, but my powers of prophecy were weak: its story is the whole civil rights movement, from beginning lunch counters to South African apartheid and the Reagan administration.

Movie Review: Paranoia

Aug 22, 2013

Paranoia wants to be serious about corporate misbehavior, but falls short because of uninvolving characters and a tendency to depart from realism in favor of melodramatic and sentimental cliches.

Movie Review: Elysium

Aug 15, 2013

Elysium makes a few gestures in the direction of serious interests and even current events.