Here’s something out of left-field: A small, indie romantic drama starring baby-faced Tom Hanks — his first ever dramatic role, excluding TV movies.
The sequel to The Da Vinci Code is, confusingly, based off of the first book in the series, with a byproduct not common of genres sequels:
Captain Phillips’ biggest strength — beyond even its technical competence and almost unceasing tension — is the tightrope it walks with the Somali pirates.
It’s one thing to be ugly. Plenty of decent movies aren’t all that great to look at.
Philadelphia is pretty much the best-case scenario for an Oscar-bait film: A movie, beneath its preachiness, that is beautiful, lovingly-made, and deeply-felt.
Rose-tinted nostalgia shouldn’t be that difficult to nail: Find a non-horrible kid actor; pipe in a soundtrack of retro jams; spin some episodic coming-of-age shenanigans with a few “that wouldn’t fly today!” twists; and bring it home with a treacly voiceover about the “good ‘ol days.” Bam! Thumbs up!
A League of Their Own is pretty close to the best possible version of itself: It is well-cast and well-directed. The lines are impeccably delivered. The tone is a just-right blend of cynical, smart, and sweet. It’s a big meal of comfort food even if it never quite ascends into greatness.
Buried early in Tom Hanks’ filmography is a a light drama about comedians with broken personal lives.
Sometimes it’s a relief to watch a movie that’s exactly what it says on the tin.
Back before Hollywood had properly figured out the Tom Hanks everyman persona, Volunteers provided a goofy little lark where Hanks plays a totally different type of protagonist.