Movie Reviews – Burnt, Room, and Truth

This week's movie releases are a food-porn Bradley Cooper flick that is slightly undercooked, solid look into the story that broke Dan Rather & a film that is easily one of the year's best.  Click through for our reviews of Burnt, Truth, & Room.

Writer Steven Knight has the power to make the mundane into thrilling excitement and ditto for Director John Wells, but sadly Burnt falls just short of good.  Bradley Cooper's maniac mood changes don't highlight a lovable asshole super chef, but make you just dislike him.  The film's best moment is a scandalous betrayal that turns into a boring moment of false identification and the movie never recovers the excitement after this scene.  Sienna Miller continues to prove her unique range with her secretive character Helene, but the love story elements are still to far fetched to believe.  Omar Sy's character, Michel, is the most intriguing and he is pivotal to the shocking betrayal moment.  But overall would you eat burnt food?  So, why see a burnt film?  The Weinstein Company's Burnt just isn't worth your time and money.

The epic fall of Dan Rather and his team has mainly been swept under the rug.  Writer/Director James Vanderbilt wonderfully adapts Mary Mapes (Dallasite!) captivating book, "Truth and Duty: The Press, the President, and the Privilege of Power".  Cate Blanchett dominates every scene as the emotionally drained, but tough as nails Mary Mapes.  Sony Pictures Classics' Truth may get flack for it's political favoring, but if you can keep an open mind you'll be amazed by the suspense and the superb acting.  Redford is stoic and captures Rather's quiet fire.  Bruce Greenwood is the other standout as the conflicted and torn Andrew Heyward, the head of the studio, who is the man who was pushed to the brink by the storm that awoke from the President Bush military service investigative report by Rather and his team.

The film doesn't slow it's pace and allow you to feel comfortable.  The pacing of the movie allows for an enjoyable thrill ride that revolves around intelligent conversations about important questions.  The movie highlights the change of $ in the news world and is an eerie precursor to our current state of shock jock style news coverage that never actually helps the public.  The film's power, like Mary's book, is more about how today's world doesn't allow for reliable truthful reporting.  A must see film that easily is another showcase of Cate Blanchett's tremendous talent.

Lenny Abrahamson's riveting adaptation of Emma Donoghue's book is one of the year's best and most important films.  Brie Larson and young Jacob Tremblay are completely captivating as the mother and son who survive year's of hell.  Brie's Ma has to create a whole world to keep Tremblay's Jack sane and hold onto some form of real childhood amongst the horror of captive control.  The constant fear is an incredible feeling that lingers long after the movie ends.  The fact that this could happen to anyone and thus has the chance to touch all audiences.  

Joan Allen's tortured performance will touch many parents that watch the movie.  The impact of news coverage on this family is really intriguing and always on the perimeter.  The power of the film never dies and Jack's growth from a scared 5 year old to a vibrant and real 6 year old is utterly heartwarming.  Bring your families and take plenty of tissues, but enjoy all the comforting hugs you'll give after seeing this film.  If any indie deserves your full attention and support it's A24's Room!

See you at the movies.

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