In a welcome return to the gritty glamour of such early outings as From Russia with Love, this 19th James Bond adventure effortlessly juggles a hard-hitting story with all the expected “super spy” embellishments and keeps everything in diamond-cut focus for maximum suspense and thrills.
Pierce Brosnan is clearly comfortable as 007, both in the dramatic sequences and during the spectacular stunts. Even Judi Dench’s “M” gets out into the Middle East battlefield to show her gadget ingenuity. Though everything comes gift-wrapped in production glitz, there are many touching moments to temper the adrenaline-pumping action.
Another masterpiece from the ever-reliable John Sayles, the most consistently excellent writer/director of the modern independent era. An engrossing storyline and a superb ensemble cast turn this deeply textured account of the burden of history people carry with them into a graceful slow-burner. Confident direction combines with intelligent drama to craft a breathtaking and bittersweet delicacy.
In this exciting eco-thriller, Dustin Hoffman plays an army medic who’s trying to save the world from a lethal virus imported into America from Africa. You could read this as an Aids allegory, but it also works well as a regular against-the-clock jeopardy thriller with conspiracy cover-up overtones. Director Wolfgang Petersen marshals the effects superbly and there’s terrific support from the likes of Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey and a particularly nasty Donald Sutherland.
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