Friday, September 14, 2007

Movies opening this week

The Brave One (Jodie Foster, Terrence Howard, Naveen Andrews, dir. Neil Jordan)
I like Neil Jordan, and I think he has a talent for making something artful out of a basic genre piece like this, but he doesn't manage to pull it off here. This is basically your average dirty exploitation movie (the kind of thing Steven Seagal made his name on) with all the dirt scrubbed off and replaced with crying and Sarah McLachlan songs. Foster is a good actress, but she hits only one note as the nice liberal public-radio host who goes all Charles Bronson after her fiance is murdered. Literary quotes and sensitive narration aside, this is just a dumb, plot hole-filled vigilante flick that thinks it's better than its audience. Jordan and Foster should both be above that. Wide release

No End in Sight (documentary, dir. Charles Ferguson)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
I have said before that all these Iraq documentaries are not my thing, but as I was going on vacation this week this was the only movie I could review in time. It's a fairly cogent, calm analysis of what's gone wrong over there, although despite its parade of credible talking heads I still don't think it's going to convince anyone who isn't already convinced. I generally prefer the movies that focus on illuminating one small, human aspect of the war rather than encompassing the whole thing with statistics and policy analysis, but for what it sets out to do this movie is a success. Opened limited July 27; in Las Vegas this week

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