Big Eyes review

Director:
Tim Burton
Cast:
Amy Adams
Christoph Waltz
Terence Stamp
Rated: PG-13

Tim Burton’s latest outing as a director is a bit different this time around. Instead of being a movie with fantasy elements, Burton’s “Big Eyes” closely follows the true story of Margaret Keane (Adams), an artist whose work was wrongly credited to her husband Walter Keane (Waltz).

The movie shows how the two met, how the false credit was created and how Walter took advantage of it for financial gain. The movie also shows how Margaret eventually took a stand for her own art work.

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Unbroken review

Director:
Angelina Jolie
Cast:
Jack O;Connell
Domhnall Gleeson
Takamasa Ishihara
Rated: PG-13

“Unbroken” tells the true life story of World War II veteran and Olympic athlete Louis Zamperini (O’Connell). Following his competing at the 1936 Olympics, Zamperini joined the war effort and served as part of a bomber crew. On one of the missions Zamperini’s plane fails and only he and two other members of the crew survive. The three are left to survive in the vast Pacific ocean for weeks upon weeks until they are spotted by the Japanese armed forces.

The film then shows Zamperini’s time in a prisoner of war camp in Japan, where he comes into contact with a strict, brutal guard nicknamed “The Bird” (Ishihara).

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Selma review

Director:
Ava DuVernay
Cast:
David Oyelowo
Carmen Ejogo
Tom Wilkinson
Dylan Baker
Tim Roth
Rated: PG-13

As the title suggests, “Selma” tells the story of Martin Luther King’s (Oyelowo) leadership during the Civil Rights Movement during the march from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, Alabama. The film starts off by showing why the movement comes to Selma and chronicles all of the events leading to the march through the state.

While the movie is focused on King’s journey in leading the movement, it also gives time to show the reactions of prominent figures such as President Lyndon B. Johnson (Wilkinson) and Alabama Governor George Wallace (Roth), as well as how the entire civil rights movement weighs on King’s family life.

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The Theory of Everything review

Director:
James Marsh
Cast:
Eddie Redmayne
Felicity Jones
David Thewlis
Harry Lloyd
Rated: PG-13

The life and relationship of world famous physicist Stephen Hawking is explored in “The Theory of Everything.”

The film begins with Hawking during his education career and follows through the discovery of his illness and eventually his well known life’s work.

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Wild review

Director:
Jean-Marc Vallee
Cast:
Reese Witherspoon
Laura Dern
Thomas Sadoski
Rated: R

“Wild” follows the true story of Cheryl Strayed, who walked 1,000 miles on what is known as the Pacific Crest Trail and documented it in a book. Reese Witherspoon plays Strayed, who goes on the journey as a way of healing herself following multiple traumatic and tragic events in her life.

As she goes along her journey, Strayed meets a number of different characters and personalities and begins to recover as a person.

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Get on Up review

Director:
Tate Taylor
Cast:
Chadwick Boseman
Nelsan Ellis
Dan Aykroyd
Viola Davis
Octavia Spencer
Rated: PG-13

The harsh upbringing and rise to stardom is explored in “Get on Up,” which chronicles the life and music of singer James Brown. The movie shows his life as a child growing up in Georgia, how he became a singer and his eventual decline.

The film also shows some of the hardships he had in his own family life.

“Get on Up” breaks away from a traditional format of story-telling, as the film goes back and forth between different stages of Brown’s life. This helps the movie to an extent, since it is at least an attempt to break away from the normal biopic style.

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REVIEW: ‘Belle’

Director:
Amma Asante
Cast:
Matthew Goode
Sara Gadon
Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Tom Wilkinson
Rated: PG

The true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle is on display in the film “Belle.” The movie follows how the daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral is raised in 18th Century England.

Played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Belle’s story becomes more complex as she begins experiencing romance and also gets caught up in a case that her aristocratic great-uncle is working on.

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Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom review

“Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” turns out to be a very long movie as it encompasses a huge portion of the political figure’s life.

The movie begins with Nelson Mandela, played by Idris Elba, as a young attorney and follows his path to becoming an idealist and eventually a revolutionary leader. The movie also chronicles his personal life, including his marriage to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who was played by Naomie Harris.

Eventually, the movie also goes into detail about the 27 years Mandela spent in prison which was followed by his election as president of South Africa.

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The Wolf of Wall Street review

Director:
Martin Scorsese
Cast:
Leonardo DiCaprio
Jonah Hill
Kyle Chandler
Margot Robbie
Rated:
Trailer

Wall Street execs throw crazier parties than the guys from “Old School” and “Animal House” combined according to Scorsese’s latest flick.

“The Wolf of Wall Street” is based on the true story of stockbroker Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio). Belfort, with the assistance of his eventual friend and business partner Donnie (Hill), open a firm called Stratton Oakmont. The firm becomes a billion-dollar company quickly and with that Belfort has easy access to drugs, alcohol and everything in between.

As the movie progresses, Belfort, Donnie and the firm gets richer and richer and the lifestyles become grander and more outrageous. The only problem is that what Belfort is doing at the firm isn’t considered legal and it doesn’t take long for the FBI to start an investigation.

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Philomena review

Director:
Stephen Frears
Cast:
Judi Dench
Steve Coogan
Sophie Kennedy Clark
Rated: PG-13

“Philomena” was inspired by a true story of a woman who went on quite a journey to find her son that she was forced to give up for adoption at a young age. Judi Dench stars as the title character in the film, however, the movie opens with exposition of another character named Martin (Coogan). Martin is a journalist whose main focus is on the world of politics. When he is fired from his position, though, he decides to write a human interest story on Philomena and because of this the two go on a journey to find out what became of her son.

As the story goes along Philomena’s past is brought up of how she was forced to live in a convent after giving up her son for adoption. The film also shows both Martin and Philomena traveling to the United States to discover more about her son.

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