Friday, January 11 2013, 02:39 PM MST
Recommended Films: January 11 - January 17, 2013
(KUTV) Recommended films showing in Salt Lake City for the week of January 11 – January 17, 2013
1. Zero Dark Thirty (R)
2. Lincoln (PG-13)
3. Silver Linings Playbook (R)
4. Les Miserables (PG-13)
5. The Impossible (PG-13)
1. Frankenweenie (PG)
2. Life of Pi (PG)
3. Rise of the Guardians (PG)
4. Wreck-It Ralph (PG)
5. ParaNorman (PG)
1. Argo (R)
2. The Impossible (PG-13)
3. The Sessions (R)
4. The Central Park Five (NR)
5. Hitchcock (PG-13)
Zero Dark Thirty
4.5 out of 5 Stars
Director • Kathryn Bigelow
Starring • Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton and Chris Pratt
Rated • R
Recommended to • Those interested in seeing what is unquestionably one of the best films to be released within the last year.
Much has been said about “Zero Dark Thirty.” Much of which was said by people who hadn’t actually seen the film. The story, as if you didn’t know, follows the decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden. It’s not an easy road, but director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal have done a wonderful job of not playing to one or another political party.
This is simply a film about Maya (Jessica Chastain), a woman stuck in the middle of a man’s world, who believed passionately that the key to finding Bin Laden was a courier and for years she pushed an unpopular agenda that ultimately proved her gut instinct to be correct.
Was it an easy road? No. Were there questionable interviewing tactics employed? Yes. In this version of the story there are prisoners that are treated in ways that I consider inhuman. Did I leave the theater believing that ends justified the means? No, but in the context of this story I understand the insatiable need to find Bin Laden that pushed many good people to do terrible things. Do I accept “Zero Dark Thirty” as pure fact and no fiction? No. Do I feel like the essence of the raid and the events leading up to it are contained within this film? Yes, particularly when you compare “Zero Dark Thirty” to the recently released film “Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden.” The details vary in a couple spots, but the stories are essentially the same. It just so happens that “Seal Team Six” is a poorly made film and “Zero Dark Thirty” is a fantastic piece of art.
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Director • Ruben Fleischer
Starring • Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone
Rated • R
Recommended to • Fans of violent gangster films with solid performances, but nothing particularly original when it comes to a storyline.
The Los Angeles Police Department in the 1940s and 50s waged a war against organized crime. It looked to Chicago as a model of how bad things could get, so those in power (or at least those who hadn’t been bought off) decided to do what ever it took to push crime out of the city. Even if that meant breaking a few rules to get the job done.
“Gangster Squad” is the story of crime boss Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) and the renegade cops (Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Nick Nolte etc.) who are the last hope for a mafia-free Los Angeles. There’s nothing overly original to be found in the film, but because the film is well made and the cast is great I doubt that too many fans of mobster films are going to complain too much. Just be forewarned that “Gangster Squad” is more violent than the trailers seem to suggest.
The Central Park Five
4 out of 5 Stars
Directors • Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon
Rated • NR
Recommended to • Those interested in documentaries like “Paradise Lost” or “The Thin Blue Line” that reveal the occasional injustice of our justice system.
In 1989 five young African American and Latino teenagers from Harlem were convicted of beating and raping a white woman in Central Park. It was a crime they did not commit.
Ken Burns in regarded as one of the finest documentary filmmakers of his generation. His various films have been greeted with almost unanimous acclaim. With “The Central Park Five” Burns finds himself co-directing alongside his daughter, Sarah, and David McMahon, who has produced and/or co-written many of Burns previous films. The results are typical Burns, which is to say that the film is engrossing from start to finish. It’s a great, but deeply upsetting story of injustice, racism and fear.
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)