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Belle de nuit

Secret Diary of a Call Girl on Showtime
Belle is, as she introduces herself right up front, “a whore.” Or, if you please, “prostitute, call girl, escort, hooker, courtesan.”
By: JUSTINE ELIAS  |  June 16, 2008


OSS 17: Le Caire nid d'espions/OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies

A hot, tight, seductive, vaguely bisexual James Bond
Imagine a blithe, covertly bisexual James Bond swanning around pre-Suez Cairo in a send-up directed by the early Zucker brothers.
By: JUSTINE ELIAS  |  May 14, 2008


Amazing Grace

Polite under fire
Michael Apted’s stirring if conventional bio-pic of 18th-century British abolitionist William Wilberforce offers rum, funneled into anti-slavery PM William Pitt the Younger, and sugar, in the form of the hero’s adoring wife, Barbara.
By: JUSTINE ELIAS  |  February 21, 2007


The Messengers

Imagine Oklahoma! done as an tuneless pastoral spook show
Twin directors Danny Pang and Oxide Pang Chun explored the supernatural downside of cornea transplants in The Eye ; in their first non–Hong Kong horror movie, they unearth ghosts of the Northern Plains with stylish but unfrightening results. Watch the trailer for The Messengers (QuickTime)
By: JUSTINE ELIAS  |  February 07, 2007


Le Petit Lieutenant

Emotions over procedures
The title character in this moody French policier is not little but young and inexperienced — he’s a police-academy standout who earns a job on the Parisian homicide squad.
By: JUSTINE ELIAS  |  January 24, 2007


No plain Jane

PBS's hot Bronte
Every generation leaves its fingerprints on Jane Eyre .
By: JUSTINE ELIAS  |  January 17, 2007


Lady Jane

Helen Mirren’s last bow as Detective Tennison
When Detective Jane Tennison made her 1992 debut on PBS’s Mystery! , she wasn’t the first female cop on television to stare down murderers.
By: JUSTINE ELIAS  |  November 07, 2006


The Prestige

A movie with a few tricks of it own
Postmodern turns out to have been the wrong word, and world, for the Nolan brothers (director Christopher and screenwriter Jonathan) of Memento fame. Watch the trailer for The Prestige  (QuickTime)
By: JUSTINE ELIAS  |  February 20, 2007


The Quiet

Idles in the dark
Deaf and mute since the age of seven, teenage foster kid Dot is more than just the loner/loser of her upscale Connecticut high school; she’s a sounding board for all who imagine that she can’t hear their secrets. Watch the trailer for The Quiet   (QuickTime)
By: JUSTINE ELIAS  |  August 30, 2006



The Brotherhood brings cable crime to Providence  
Providence has turned up on television as a cartoon ( The Family Guy ) and as a randomly selected backdrop for a sentimental, filmed-in-Toronto drama ( Providence ).
By: JUSTINE ELIAS  |  July 05, 2006


The Lake House

Too wistful, not supernatural enough
Despite an ominous setting and its South Korean pedigree, Argentine director Alejandro Agresti’s film reveals its wistful romantic intentions early on. Watch the trailer for The Lake House (QuickTime)
By: JUSTINE ELIAS  |  June 14, 2006



Pixar's rise of the machines is slow death in the fast lane
This noisy animated paean to NASCAR and Route 66 gets mired in the middle laps on a grippy track.
By: JUSTINE ELIAS  |  February 20, 2007


Take the Lead

To Sir, With Tango
Liz Friedlander’s pleasant but unsurprising film is a fictionalized Mad Hot Ballroom with rude but redeemable teenagers substituting for the 2005 documentary’s wide-eyed children.
By: JUSTINE ELIAS  |  April 05, 2006
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