Aside from the occasional unintentionally funny moment from Russell Crowe's singing and the potential to trim it a little, Les Miserables is a spellbinding picture. Taking the theatrical attributes of the stage-play based on Victor Hugo's novel makes for a unique cinematic experience. Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Eddie Redmayne deliver standout performances, the production design is terrific, it's beautifully shot and choreographed. While the wonderful music might take precedence here, Tom Hooper is the unsung hero of this brilliant work.
The Thin White Dude's Prognosis - 9.0/10
An interesting addition to the Spielberg ouvre. He's a great filmmaker, but this may be his most subtle film to date. Technically solid and featuring a minimalist score by John Williams, Daniel Day-Lewis is chameleonic in his brilliance as Abraham Lincoln, and Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field deliver great supporting performances. Although way too long (it could have been about two hours), Kushner's script is well-detailed and interestingly Spielberg's drama has something of a thriller about it.
The Thin White Dude's Prognosis - 8.3/10
Zero Dark Thirty
The new release from director Kathryn Bigelow is a monolithic work of investigative journalism in the vein of Mark Bowden's Killing Pablo. Jessica Chastain delivers an extraordinary performance as Maya, a character who, in her own way, we understand to be more powerful than her male counterparts. Jason Clarke is also good, and while it does take a bit to get running and it retreads some of the some ground of The Hurt Locker, this is a welcome collaboration between Mark Boal and Kathryn Bigelow.
The Thin White Dude's Prognosis - 8.1/10
A solid exploitation movie in the vein of Taken but with a fair more intelligent core and challenging themes involving terrorism and race politics. Sean Bean is suitably weathered, but the real standout is Abhin Galeya's Ash, who is an interestingly three-dimensional villain. Even though it feels unfortunately like two different movies running along at the same time, it's a movie with appropriately murky politics and brutal violence a la Dirty Harry.
The Thin White Dude's Prognosis - 6.6/10