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Melissa Leo

Prisoners Review

Prisoners Review

RATING: (4 STARS) Prisoners is the most tightly plotted 153-minute movie you’ll ever see. It’s a masterpiece of the crime genre that covers a lot of ground, but every crumb, clue, and detail dropped by director Denis Villeneuve and screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski is essential to its (murky-ish) resolution. Comparisons to films like Se7en and Zodiac […]

Olympus Has Fallen Review

Olympus Has Fallen Review

RATING: (3 STARS) While far from great cinema, Olympus Has Fallen, from director Antoine Fuqua, delivers exactly what it promises. It’s a patriotism-soaked exercise in John McClane-esque badassery. Was my red, white, and blue blood boiling while North Korean extremists swooped in and took the White House? Yes. Were my knuckles white with excitement while […]

Flight Review

Flight Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Robert Zemeckis’ Flight is a minor miracle of a film that depicts—in absolutely stunning fashion—a real miracle. Or a fictional miracle based on a tragedy—the 2000 crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261, which killed everyone onboard. Still, Zemeckis’ direction of the plane crash at the heart of the film, Denzel Washington’s killer […]

The Fighter Review

The Fighter Review

RATING: (3 STARS) In this corner, weighing in at approximately 700 pounds—the dynamic acting foursome of Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Melissa Leo, and Mark Wahlberg. And in this corner, weighing in at a whopping 2,000 pounds—a ton of dysfunctional family- and boxing-movie clichés. David O. Russell’s The Fighter was a real slugfest between these two […]

Conviction Review

Conviction Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Conviction isn’t a film that’s meant to surprise or challenge you. From the minute the film starts, there’s no doubt how it will conclude. But storytelling this good shouldn’t be written off simply for being predictable and familiar. Like Secretariat and, to a lesser degree, The Blind Side, this film takes advantage […]

Everybody’s Fine Review

Everybody’s Fine Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Sometimes movies seem better than they are because they exceed your expectations. The inverse is also true; I’ve given films worse grades than they deserve because they disappointed me (“Juno” is a good example of this). “Everybody’s Fine” is an example of the former. I had heard OK things about the film, […]