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Rachel McAdams

‘Spotlight’ Offers a Relevant First Draft to History

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – “Spotlight” is a movie which aspires to greatness and oftentimes just about gets there. It’s a movie that is thoroughly confident that the process of journalism and a great story provides all the excitement it needs to grab an audience’s attention. And what a great story it is.

Unusual, Passionate ‘Aloha’ is Deeply Resonant

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Films with major movie stars that take real chances on story formula are rare. “Aloha” is one such example, and produces considerations that are way off the beaten path. Is it an allegory? An absurdity? An homage to 1960s paranoia? Only writer/director Cameron Crowe knows for sure.

Slushy ‘About Time’ Still Says All You Need is Love

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Writer/Director Richard Curtis is somewhat of a love guru. Fresh on the heels of the tenth anniversary of what is now his classic Christmas movie, “Love Actually,” comes his latest ode to amore. It’s about life, passion and – oh yeah – a little time travel. It’s “About Time.”

Brian De Palma Returns with Revenge Thriller ‘Passion’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Brian De Palma returns to what he does best after a few notable failures in the last decade, producing his best work since 2002’s “Femme Fatale” and arguably returning to form in the surprisingly effective thriller “Passion.” It’s certainly not the home run that fans of “Dressed to Kill” or “Blow Out” still hold out hope for the director to deliver but it’s proof that this very stylish filmmaker hasn’t completely thrown in the towel like some of his ‘70s and ‘80s peers.

Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum Don’t Stick to ‘The Vow’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – “The Vow” was “inspired by true events.” The end credits even showed the real couple of those events. Given the actual film, it’s likely that inspiration came in the form of “making stuff up,” as Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum were opposite to any reality in this illogical, strangely cold romance.

Woody Allen’s Charming ‘Midnight in Paris’ Delights

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Writer/director Woody Allen and the amazing cinematographer Darius Khondji (“Seven,” “The City of Lost Children”) very purposefully open their new film “Midnight in Paris” with a long series of static shots of the title city before even presenting a cast list. You see, Paris is a cast member in this film. The sun rises, people hustle and bustle through Paris, they sip coffee in cafes, the lights go on at dusk, and the city sleeps.

Harrison Ford, Rachel McAdams Charm in ‘Morning Glory’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – The Holiday Season for films is populated by epic crowd pleasers and artsy Oscar bait. In between are the warm popcorn movies that don’t attempt to be anything except what they are. Harrison Ford, Rachel McAdams, Diane Keaton and Patrick Wilson illustrate that cinematic point in the appealing and accessible “Morning Glory.”

Robert Downey Jr.’s Low-Tech ‘Sherlock Holmes’ Packs Powerful Punch

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Instead of relying of high-tech gadgetry and big-budget Hollywood CGI, Guy Ritchie’s gritty “Sherlock Holmes” does what major films often don’t: delivers big-payoff action sequences merely utilizing the body and mind.

Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck Bring Spark to Mediocre ‘State of Play’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – I’ll be the first critic to tell you that they don’t make adult thrillers often enough. I was very disappointed by the lackluster box office take of Tony Gilroy’s ” Duplicity”. But does that mean that we should give all intellectual mysteries a pass? Of course not. And while I want to love Kevin Macdonald’s “State of Play,” a few poor decisions during production keep it back from being the excellent film it could have been.

‘Iron Man’ Sits Indisputably in Club of Highest-Rated Superhero Movies of All Time

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4/5CHICAGO – Move over, Superman. This lush, high-octane playboy never tasted so good.

Robert Downey Jr. fittingly opens “Iron Man” with a cocktail in hand and all the arrogance in the world. As the story goes, his conceit is indeed respected as Earth is his oyster both for the playing and for the taking.

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  • Sherlock Holmes with David Arquette (teaser)

    CHICAGO – Different isn’t bad and might be great, but you’d better have an irrefutable reason to change what was never broken. Campy being the only word to accurately convey this alternate-reality version of Sherlock Holmes with an original script, writer Greg Kramer and director Andrew Shaver try too hard to be different without ever figuring out why.

  • Merry Widow, The

    CHICAGO – Standing up at the Lyric Opera house in Chicago is unusual before a show. But in this case, it was the night after a tragedy, and the operetta “The Merry Widow” – set in Paris, France, in 1905 – was about to unfold. The orchestra struck up La Marseillaise, a reminder that we’ll always have Paris.


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