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GRITZ Movie Reviews: Lions for Lambs, American Gangster, Martian Child and P2

Posted: Nov 14, 2007

Lions for Lambs

Robert Redford directs and stars in this movie about the war in Iraq seen from various angles, including his point of view as a college professor, trying throughout the movie to convince one student of his inner potential, while voicing his disdain over two former students who decided to enlist in the Army after leaving his class. We also see those same two students as they are sent on a secret mission into Afghanistan, and end up stranded in the ice and snow with broken limbs, awaiting the inevitable coming of the enemy soldiers. And then there is Meryl Streep as the seasoned news reporter who is being given a full hour of time to interview a US Senator (Tom Cruise) about his new plan to win the war on terror. The film has been getting some bad reviews, but I myself thoroughly enjoyed it. I felt the acting was top notch, and the story line timely. Sure, it has a sad ending, but that’s the harsh reality of war.

Four Stars



Wow. What an original idea. Girl works late on Christmas eve, leaves work, goes into the parking garage, get’s kidnapped by the psychotic parking lot attendant. Seems I have seen this movie before. Maybe 100 times? The scene where he pumps water into the elevator to smoke her out had my claustrophobia kicking up big time, but for the most part, it was a sleeper. Still, I have to give it a few props for some awesome head bashing.

Two Stars


Martian Child

John Cusack is simply a great actor. I always enjoy his work, and I especially enjoyed seeing he and his sister Joan Cusack portraying brother and sister on film. The movie is all about a kid who believes he is from Mars, and at times, we the audience almost believe he really is. It’s a fun idea that has been done before  in Powder and has overtones of Travolta’s Michael, albeit this kid is not an angel. I don’t know. I liked it, but it was not all I had hoped for. Guess I will give it...

Three Stars



American Gangster

Denzel Washington stars as Frank Lucas in this tale based on a true story of a driver for one of the leading black crime bosses. When the boss dies, Lucas assumes the role of boss, in an African American  version of The Sopranos. Russell Crowe plays  Detective Richie Roberts, the man who aims to take down the heroin dealing mob boss. Lucas has brought in all of his family from North Carolina and given them jobs in the drug trade, but when his brothers and his cousins arrive and witness Lucas gunning a man down on the street in broad daylight, they begin to see what they are in for. I really enjoyed this film a lot. It’s a look at one man’s somewhat twisted arrival into the American dream, and subsequent loss of that very same dream. But boy howdy, was the dream good while it lasted.

Five Stars


All reviews by Michael Buffalo Smith




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