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Argo

The movie was fake. The mission was real
Ben Affleck and Bryan Cranston
Directed by Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck’s gradual rise from the “Gigli” debacle to alpha-director-status is doubtlessly one of Hollywood’s best comebacks. And yet, the actor-director faces his toughest challenge yet with “Argo,” out in theaters today, a fresh take on a controversial international affairs incident. Six American diplomats stuck inside Tehran during the 1979-80 events there (hostage crisis, etc.) are rescued ... more >

The Company Men

A legacy that endures
Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper and Tommy Lee Jones
Directed by John Wells

Company Men has a nice cast and John Wells is the very talented creator of one of television’s best dramas (ER), but you have to wonder, why would anyone want to watch this dismal film about the economic crisis? Ben Affleck plays Bobby Walker, a sales associate laid off by ship-building company GTX. For Bobby--used to conveying a sense of class with his Porsche and golf-club membership--to come to ... more >

The Town

Welcome to the bank robbery capital of America
Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner and Jon Hamm
Directed by Ben Affleck

I’m sorry not to like The Town—Ben Affleck is such a nice guy and Gone, Baby, Gone was such a promising directorial debut. But then I may not be the right person to review this movie that I’m sure holds enormous appeal for the 18-30 male demographics. I’m not that much into weapons, shootouts—or even into bank robberies unless we’re talking “Dog Day Afternoon.” Indeed, undisputed top billing in ... more >

NEWS IN BRIEF: "THE TOWN" AND "JACK GOES BOATING"

By ALI NADERZAD - September 17, 2010There are two movies you should pay attention to this Friday. The Philip Seymour Hoffman-directed “Jack Goes Boating,” about an aimless livery car driver who awkwardly goes on the path to self-improvement and “The Town,” a reprise of “Gone Baby Gone” with a heist plot fitted squarely in the middle. A.O. Scott reviewed “Jack” in the New York Times and we took the ... more >

State of Play

In case you missed it
Russell Crowe, Rachel McAdams and Ben Affleck
Directed by Kevin Macdonald

Let’s be honest, no film experience is quite as satisfying as a good thriller—and “State of Play” is an excellent thriller, in the corridors-of-power genre. Set in Washington’s political world, it gives us the shenanigans and the dark doings that confirm everything we suspect from that particular area of human endeavor. Great, great acting by Russell Crowe. Ben Affleck’s congressman is ... more >

Hollywoodland

Film noir-styled thriller captures the imagination
Adrien Brody, Ben Affleck and Diane Lane
Directed by Allen Coulter

Allen Coulter’s Hollywoodland features wordly characters played by even wordlier stars (Adrien Brody, Diane Lane, Ben Affleck and Bob Hoskins) who live in the fantastic land of Hollywood and get entangled in a crime intrigue. Hollywoodland is set up like a film noir and reminds of Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity or even Sunset Boulevard, with its jaded and disturbed characters turning to each ... more >