“Hidden figures” is a keeper (here’s why)

"A jewel of a film"
Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monae
Directed by Theodore Melfi

Several viewings of the trailer for “Hidden Figures” before my usual cinema-going routine failed to convince me that it was a film worth seeing. On the strength of those two minutes, I quickly pegged it as yet another moral, inspirational tale about disadvantaged people overcoming great odds. Talk about disadvantage. The three main characters in question are women--not easy today and even less ... more >

Not easily broken

Lots of emergency room visits. We're just saying.
Morris Chestnut, Taraji P. Henson and Maeve Quinlan
Directed by Bill Duke

If there is one B.O. trend lately that has gone virtually silently, it’s the quiet rise of the inspirational movie. This trend turned Tyler Perry into the least talked-about B.O. star in America. It’s most recently been seen in the word-of-mouth success of "Fireproof," a firefighter film that has no buzz, no stars (unless you love "Growing Pains" enough to count Kirk Cameron), and unexpectedly ... more >

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Brad Pitt thrives in challenging role
Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and Taraji P. Henson
Directed by David Fincher

A deep premise with facile tendencies. An emotional story at times detached. An interesting character with only so much to do. I mean, besides aging backwards. Which is a pretty neat trick, if you can get it. All these things are true about David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a movie inspired by a famous F. Scott Fitzgerald short story. Everyone was rubbing the rabbit's ... more >