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DVD releases

  • Jude Law and Keira Knightley in "Anna Karenina."

    Laurie Sparham / Focus Features

    Jude Law and Keira Knightley in "Anna Karenina."

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  • Jude Law and Keira Knightley in "Anna Karenina."

    Laurie Sparham / Focus Features

    Jude Law and Keira Knightley in "Anna Karenina."

"Anna Karenina"
Keira Knightley stars in the latest film adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's classic novel.
Movies like "Anna Karenina" are what people mean when they talk about Hollywood magic. Director Joe Wright has taken the much-told tale of the late 19th-century Russian heroine and cast a cinematic spell to make his film version as compelling as it is creative.
It's not only one of the best and most beautifully staged movies of the past year, it easily belongs in that category for any movies released since the start of the 21st century.
Grade: A
An agent poses as a filmmaker to save six Americans during the Iran hostage crisis in this Oscar-nominated film for Best Picture. Ben Affleck stars and directs the film.
The plot sounds like a rejected plot line for "Mission: Impossible." If the film weren't based on a real story, the audacity and absurdity of what transpires would be almost too ridiculous even in a fictional story. But this fact-based story ends up as compelling and as exciting as any adventure James Bond ever had.
Affleck has shown again with his solid direction of "Argo" that he's not just another actor who wants to sit in the director's chair. His latest work is a brilliant blend of a first-rate story delivered with skill and attention to detail.
Grade: A-
Also new
"Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season": Superb cable series starring Peter Dinklage.
"Top Gun": The film about hot shot pilots is available in 3D. Tom Cruise stars.
"Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome": Takes place in the midst of the first Cylon war.
"The Thief of Bagdad": The 1924 film starring Douglas Fairbanks is available on Blu-ray.
Rick Bentley, The Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.)

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