Tag Archives: Sam Shepard

Sam Shepard 1943-2017

In the clip above, Sam Shepard is interviewed during the 2014 Sundance film festival where he had a new movie, the crime drama Cold in July. He died a few days ago at the age of 73, but the news wasn’t made public until today. I’m sure that several news sites will refer to him as … Continue reading Sam Shepard 1943-2017

Bloodline

Initially a critically lauded Netflix drama from the creators of Damages (2007-2012) that also used flashbacks as clues to something sinister that had happened in the past; here, they were haunting a prominent Florida Keys family, the Rayburns. Everything came to a head when the oldest son and the family’s black sheep, Danny (Ben Mendelsohn), … Continue reading Bloodline

Midnight Special

HE’S NOT LIKE US.  Roy Tomlin (Michael Shannon) are on the run together with his friend (Joel Edgerton) and eight-year-old boy (Jaeden Lieberher) who has special, awesome powers… which is also a reason why a cult and government agencies are after them. Jeff Nichols continues to impress with a sci-fi thriller echoing Close Encounters of … Continue reading Midnight Special

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

The Accidental Husband

FALLING IN LOVE… EVEN THE EXPERT IS CONFUSED. When New York City firefighter Patrick Sullivan’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) fiancée breaks off their engagement after taking advice from a radio host (Uma Thurman), he comes up with a plan to exact revenge… Unconvincing from the start, the plan only leads Morgan and Thurman into one situation … Continue reading The Accidental Husband

August: Osage County

MISERY LOVES FAMILY. When the Weston family patriarch (Sam Shepard) disappears one day, the oldest daughter (Julia Roberts) goes back to her childhood home in Oklahoma; she’s never been able to get along with her pill-popping mother (Meryl Streep). The very dark hit play gets its equally claustrophobic film adaptation. Featuring strong, in some cases … Continue reading August: Osage County

Killing Them Softly

After a robbery takes place at a mob-related poker game, professional enforcer Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt) is hired to look into it. Director Andrew Dominik reunited with Pitt from The Assassination of Jesse James… (2007) for a gangster movie with ambitions. Exactly what those are remains unclear; frequent attempts to tie the story to the … Continue reading Killing Them Softly

The Right Stuff: Touching the Sky

HOW THE FUTURE BEGAN.   I have never understood those people who have no interest in space. That’s like showing no interest in the questions that have occupied scientists and philosophers ever since mankind grew a brain large enough to use it for something other than gathering food. This is a film that portrays people … Continue reading The Right Stuff: Touching the Sky

Safe House

NO ONE IS SAFE. When a CIA safe house in South Africa is attacked, an inexperienced operative (Ryan Reynolds) is forced to flee along with a high-value prisoner (Denzel Washington). Swedish director Daniel Espinosa’s first American feature is a gritty action-thriller about dirty games within the CIA – it will take the length of the film for our hero to … Continue reading Safe House

Brothers

THERE ARE TWO SIDES TO EVERY FAMILY. Marine Captain Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire) leaves his wife and children for a tour in Afghanistan; when he’s reported killed, his screw-up brother (Jake Gyllenhaal) becomes almost a surrogate father. This drama has the potential of greatness, but anyone looking for the real deal should check out the original, … Continue reading Brothers

All the Pretty Horses

SOME PASSIONS CAN NEVER BE TAMED. A few years after the end of World War II, best friends John Grady Cole (Matt Damon) and Lacey Rawlins (Henry Thomas) head to Mexico to work as cowboys. This film was allegedly shot as a huge epic, but director Billy Bob Thornton was forced to make equally huge … Continue reading All the Pretty Horses

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