|A powerful and moving script in the hands of director Michael Mann
guides an extraordinary cast through a compelling, emotional ride in which
we become caught up in Jeffrey Wingand's (Russell Crowe) dilemma.
He loses his wife, children, home and job. Almost a modern day Job,
he has faith in the power of the press to do the right thing. In
the end the written press becomes the hero and ABC forces CBS to use the
segment condemning the tobacco industry.
||Real life drama of a tobacco industry scientists turned whistle-blower.
A 60 minutes producer talks him into going public on-air and then leaves
him hanging out to dry when CBS gets antsy over a possible lawsuit.
Russell Crowe and Al Pacino are terrific.
||Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening are excellent in a bold, incisive look
at a mid life crisis. What's remarkable in a film that makes the
most of everyone of its scenes, is that the director Same Mendes had never
directed a movie, and screenwriter Alan Ball had never written a screenplay.
But it all gels masterfully as the title says the truth, and the viewer
strikingly gets to see the real feelings of these flawed suburbanites as
they hide their emotions from many of whom they interact through.
Apparently, a British director was the one to bring an independent spirit
into a mainstream film.
|The Green Mile
||Boys Don't Cry
|A gripping emotional Steven King story set in a 1935 death row cell
block in Louisiana. Filled with mystical powers, gentle affection,
deep prejudice, the result of brutal murders and simple human concerns.
Tom Hanks leads a brilliant cast through a script that hints at the beginning
and fulfills a magnificent mission in the end. The journey filled
with death, evil, a gentle giant, a Fred Astaire movie and a mouse compels
attention throughout its three hours.
||Beautifully photographed period piece based on Jane Austen's writings.
It captures the importance of wealth, class and marrying well in the early
1800's. The acting is flawless and the story, though chaste, is witty
||Kimberly Peirce hits home big time from America's heartland based on
her documentary while a film student at Columbia. Hilary Swank is
terrific as Brandon Teena who is undergoing a unique crisis, to say the
least. And Chloe Sevigny provides stellar support in a love story
that convinces you so much that Peirce's last act becomes that much more
||Anna and the King
||Being John Malkovich
|This rich script is filled with emotions and twists which continually
rise to the surface. Kevin Spacey turns in a powerful, interesting,
creative performance that no one else could. American Beauty
is filled with emotion but little joy, it pokes holes in the superficial
American dreamers, the beauty of their perfection is seriously tarnished
and Spacey's Lester Burnham is only free when it ends.
||Jodie Foster plays an English teacher who travels to Siam to tutor
the King's children. Chow Yun Fat plays the King with presence and
humor. A beautiful film of epic proportions, it's stylishly entertaining.
||This highly inventive film is quite appealing and Spike Jonze never
lets up on his astonishments, as puppeteer works amazingly into the portal
of human existence in a surreal, wild, but always clever comedy.
|The Cider House Rules
|John Irving's screenplay is brilliant and mesmerizing. His Dr.
Wilbur Larch (Michael Caine) is a dedicated physician who doesn't follow
the rules. His protégé, Homer Wills (Tobey Maguire), attempts
to play by the rules but learns to bend when necessary. With all
their failings the characters remain endearing throughout the story; their
journey clings to us, it demands judgment and understanding. Above
all, their success is joyful and their pain is contagious.
||Disney animators do justice to Edgar Rice Burrough's classic story
by using lush drawings, mischievous characters and exciting action.
A lesson of family responsibility and acceptance of other's difference
are tossed in. Adventuresome fun for the entire family.
||David O. Russell's visually dynamic Gulf War film works on many levels,
as George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, and Ice Cube learn much from the atrocities
in Kuwait, apart from stealing "Saddam's" gold bullion.
|Toy Story 2
||The Green Mile
|The creativity both in visual images and the script which brings surprises
is one parents and kids can enjoy together. Nearly all the characters
join to save Woody from the greedy Al of Al's Toy Barn. We learn
Woody is a valuable doll from the fifties and that he is just one part
of a group. Buzz matures and pledges, along with Mr. Potato Head,
Slinky Dog, Dinosaur Rex and Hamm the piggy bank, to save Woody . Their
adventures have us cheering.
||Wonderfully inspiring film based on Stephen King's writings.
It's hard to believe that a story set in a 1930's Louisiana death-row cell
block could be uplifting, but that's exactly what is achieved. The
cast, headed by Tom Hanks, is wonderful.
||Michael Mann's little-seen film is quite probing and compelling, not
about smoking guns but cigarettes, as strong performances by Russell Crowe
and Al Pacino take us into the biggest lawsuit against the tobacco industry,
with the drama pointing out how "60 Minutes" turned on Brown & Williamson,
as the tobacco whistle blower.
||An Ideal Husband
||The Sixth Sense
|A serious look at the effect of modern war through the experiences
of George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Ice Cube as soldiers who are after
a stash of gold as the Gulf War ends. What they learn is that war
today is limited and the only casualties are the civilians who are squeezed
between. Vanquished armies become allies and when the three anti-heros
decide to do right, they place themselves in danger. This is a different,
creative view of war in a time when the evil is not universal or threatening
enough to demand a full assault. It only asks that the battles end.
||Adapted form Oscar Wilde's 1895 play, morals and honor are highlighted
in this romantic comedy. The witty, snappy dialogue keeps you on
your toes, and the topic is as relevant today as when it was written.
The cast including Rupert Everett and Julianne Moore, is superb.
||It's not a Bruce Willis action film, it's a deliberate film about a
kid who says he sees dead people. But director/writer M. Night Shymalan's
film has ESP all over it, but in a way that catches you by surprise, as
you are absorbed in the relationship between a psychologist and his new
young patient. Willis plays his lonely, but caring doctor with humor
and vulnerability. Has a child given a better performance than Haley
Joel Osment that you can remember?
|Being John Malkovich
||Eyes Wide Shut
|Perhaps the most creative script of the year, reality and fantasies
meet in a Twilight Zone style script involving the real John Malkovich
and various characters who occupy his body. It is unique, innovative
and probing, to enter and enjoy this world, reality and barriers must remain
||Talented Steve Martin stars as a Hollywood producer making a film on
a shoestring budget. It has the funniest visuals of the year and
Eddie Murphy is a riot as an unwitting player in this clever script.
||Another film dismissed by many as over hype and unfulfilling in its
sexual content, Stanley Kubrick's final, detached film nevertheless brims
with excellence in its subtlety and subtext as it penetrates Tom Cruise's
|The Sixth Sense
||Toy Story 2
||The Blair Witch Project
|This wonderful story with an explosive twist showcases Bruce Willis
as a psychologist who attempts to help Haley Joel Osment deal with his
belief that "I see dead people." It raises the hair on the back of
your neck but mostly it is a gently journey for the two major characters
as they resolve their lives.
||What a treat - a sequel that is every bit as good as the original.
Woody and Buzz return to delight everyone in the family with a story that
is both fresh and action-packed.
||Though unscary and over-hyped by many this sensation was fueled by
its detailed web site, and still many were lured into its trap from its
alarming opening title card. Film makers Daniel Myrick and Edward
Sanchez score on their originality, as they work up tension based on a
Maryland legend, fear of things going bump in the night, and the jittery,
yet persuasive camera work of its three novice lensers, especially their
stubborn leader, Heather Donahue.
|The Iron Giant
|A delightful ride from the past to the future, filled with ideas which
flow from a bright genuine imagination. We are fortunate that Director
Brad Brid, can react like a kid, filling the screen with joy and excitement
that kids love and parents appreciate.
||Reese Witherspoon stars as an ambitious high school student running
for class president, and Matthew Broderick plays against type as an obsessed
teacher who will go to any length to keep the over-confident co-ed from
reaching her goal. Adult humor at its biting best.
||A convoluted pilot, for many, can cover up a film that is cutting edge
on so many technical levels; directed by the Wachowski brothers.
Bullet-time photography, well- choreographed martial arts and cool, slick
casting of Lawrence Fishburne and Carrie Anne Moss help revitalize Keanu
Reeves, in his most memorable film since Speed, as his "Neo" finds
out the answer to the question that's been plaguing him. What is
|The End of the Affair
||The Sixth Sense
|Slowly giving up its secrets from a novel by Graham Green, it deals
with love, betrayal and sexual jealousy. The moral dilemmas faced
by each of the three main characters twist and turn as the plot uncovers
itself, reveling the opposite of what has been perceived. This is
a classic love story reminiscent of the time of World War II when other
events and commitments were more important than the individuals.
||Psychological thriller that actually keeps you in the dark until the
very end. A superb script and outstanding performances by Bruce Willis
and Haley Joel Osment makes this one of the best. It truly involves
and surprises you.
||A strong romantic comedy from Roger Michell (Four
Weddings And A Funeral) who makes you feel the struggles
and joys of a movie mega-star, Julia Roberts, doing more than playing herself,
and a thoughtful, vulnerable Hugh Grant, as the owner of a travel bookstore.