Tag Archives: Casey Affleck

Manchester by the Sea: Laugh While You Cry

This film opens with (and frequently returns to) lovely images of the waters just off Manchester-by-the-Sea, a small Massachusetts community. It struck me that through director Kenneth Lonergans eyes at least this place looks similar to many others around the world. In fact, it reminded me of the archipelago outside the small town in southern … Continue reading Manchester by the Sea: Laugh While You Cry

Out of the Furnace

SOMETIMES YOUR BATTLES CHOOSE YOU.  After serving time in prison, steel mill worker Russell Baze (Christian Bale) learns that his younger brother Rodney (Casey Affleck), who did tours in Iraq, competes in bare-knuckle fights. A grim drama from the director of Crazy Heart (2009) set in an economically depressed Pennsylvania borough. The working-class locations feel … Continue reading Out of the Furnace

Interstellar: Escape From Earth

MANKIND WAS BORN ON EARTH. IT WAS NEVER MEANT TO DIE HERE.  The day I saw this movie, I woke up feeling sad over what is a very common dream for me. It had taken me back to my teenage years, or childhood (time is not all that important in these dreams) and I was … Continue reading Interstellar: Escape From Earth

Good Will Hunting

SOME PEOPLE CAN NEVER BELIEVE IN THEMSELVES, UNTIL SOMEONE BELIEVES IN THEM. A professor and a therapist (Stellan Skarsgård, Robin Williams) try to make a twenty-year-old janitor (Matt Damon) at MIT realize that his brilliant mind should not be wasted. The drama that made Damon and Ben Affleck into household names in Hollywood became a … Continue reading Good Will Hunting

I’m Still Here

2008 was the year when Joaquin Phoenix announced to the world that he’d give up acting and become a rap artist; apparently, this was also a time when he stopped shaving and showering. Eventually, the whole thing was revealed as a stunt for this faux documentary that aims to show how artists are not allowed … Continue reading I’m Still Here

Tower Heist

IT’S NOT JUST A ROBBERY. IT’S PAYBACK. When Josh Kovacs (Ben Stiller) and a group of employees at an exclusive NYC apartment building learn that one of the tenants, a Wall Street tycoon (Alan Alda), has embezzled their pension funds, they plot revenge. Certainly a heist movie for our times as the villain will remind audiences of Bernie … Continue reading Tower Heist

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

BEYOND THE MYTH LIES AMERICA’S GREATEST BETRAYAL.   In the late 1800s, 19-year-old Robert Ford (Casey Affleck) tries hard to join a band of outlaws run by the legendary Jesse James (Brad Pitt), a man he’s admired since he was a kid. Director Andrew Domenik delivers another film about a criminal after Chopper (2000); this is the true … Continue reading The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Gone Baby Gone

EVERYONE WANTS THE TRUTH… UNTIL THEY FIND IT.   Private detectives Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck) and Angie Gennaro (Michelle Monaghan) are hired to look for a missing girl in Boston; two cops are assigned to help them, but the case has surprises in stow. Ben Affleck’s directing debut, an adaptation of his favorite book, was an … Continue reading Gone Baby Gone

Ocean’s Thirteen

WHAT ARE THE ODDS OF GETTING EVEN? 13 TO ONE. When Reuben (Elliott Gould) suffers a heart attack after being conned by a billionaire (Al Pacino), Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his gang exact revenge. The third film is a slight improvement on the second, but here’s a funny thing that often happens when you’re … Continue reading Ocean’s Thirteen

Ocean’s Twelve

TWELVE IS THE NEW ELEVEN. Director Steven Soderbergh and his buddies on another vacation; the excuse is a story where Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his fellow criminals are confronted by their nemesis (Andy Garcia) and then find themselves in Amsterdam performing another heist. By the time Julia Roberts’s character is goaded into assuming the … Continue reading Ocean’s Twelve

Ocean’s Eleven

ARE YOU IN OR OUT? Director Steven Soderbergh and his buddies obviously felt that the best way to spend a vacation would be remaking an old “Rat Pack” movie. This version, an improvement on the original, still carries the burden of a pretty tedious screenplay, but at least the filmmakers do their best to offset … Continue reading Ocean’s Eleven