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Under Angelina Jolie’s direction “Unbroken” plays out nice and slow but peters out

Released on December 25th
Jack O'Connell, Miyavi and Domhall Gleeson
Directed by Angelina Jolie

While watching "Unbroken," the World War II survival film directed by star-of-the-moment Angelina Jolie, one question stood out among the rest: How can such an extravagant, provocative personality turn in such a normal, even traditional film? Here is a woman who built her career on shock value. Where are the shocking moments in "Unbroken"? This isn't entirely a bad thing, as the classical, ... more >

RECRUITING FROM WITHIN: Brangelina’s youngest to act

Might the entire brood, in fact, follow?

Young Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, 4, may soon be taking her first steps on a movie set, performing against her mother Angelina in "Maleficent," the Disney spin-off of "The Sleeping Beauty," centered on the character of the wicked witch. Already-attached Elle Fanning will therefore probably not be alone in confronting Angelina Jolie's evil witch Aurora since the toddler may portray Fanning's character as ... more >

In the Land of Blood and Honey

Putting a human face on the Balkan conflict
Zana Marjanovic, Goran Kostic and Rade Serbedzija
Directed by Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie, star extraordinaire, deserves an A for effort in directing In the Land of Blood and Honey. Not only does she care about the war-torn ex-Yugoslavia she shows but she throws herself fully into the making of the film. Red carpet photo-op and possible awards don’t seem part of the equation. This is a serious story told in as professional and honest a manner as possible. But the ... more >

PHOTOCALL: Angelina Jolie

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The tourist

First, The lives of others, and now this?
Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie and Paul Bettany
Directed by Florian Von Donnersmarck

Ouch! The landing is all the rougher when high expectations are shattered. While I was waiting for “The Tourist” to show at a Cineplex near me, the more jaded of my film cohorts warned me that I might be disappointed. But could director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck disappoint, him of the superb “Lives of Others”? Alack, he has. “The Tourist” aspires to light larkhood along the lines of the old ... more >

Salt

An action hero worth her ...
Angelina Jolie, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Liev Schreiber
Directed by Phillip Noyce

Here we go again. This summer has been so bad for movies that they’re now starting to look alike. “Salt” is another one that comes down to one big long chase and yet it can’t come up with nearly enough intrigue, suspense, or decent action sequences to help you get rid of the blah feeling. Angelina Jolie plays CIA agent Evelyn Salt, who is accused by a Russian defector of being an assassin for ... more >

Changeling

Trying to get past the melodrama
Angelina Jolie, Colm Feore and Amy Ryan
Directed by Clint Eastwood

With its overwrought emotions and black-and-white morality, melodrama is a form of storytelling that we believe our society has moved past. We’re too sophisticated now to toss popcorn at the stage. “Melodramatic” is almost always a negative adjective. We almost never see a melodrama that isn’t saturated with post-modern irony. So as Clint Eastwood dresses up Angelina Jolie in flapper garb, ... more >