Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor embrace their emotionally challenging and physically draining roles in this account of a family's effort to survive after the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.
If this film hadn't been based on a true story, it would seem impossible. There are some events that seem outlandish, but the only changes director Juan Antonio Bayona made to the story -- other than not making the family Spanish -- is the condensing of some of the timelines for dramatic effect.
Bayona gets a terrific performance out of 16-year-old Tom Holland that reflects the perfect tipping point of a boy becoming a man.
The film's being re-released because 3-D was added. Even without the visual gimmick, it pulls together all of the themes and big ideas that director Steven Spielberg's used in previous films to make it one of his greatest cinematic accomplishments.
Matt Damon and Frances McDormand try to persuade residents of a small community to lease their land to a gas company for deep drilling, while an environmental activist (John Krasinski) shows up with evidence of the disasters of past drillings. The film casts a relatively even light over the unwinnable choice many farmers face when they have to decide between two evils. What makes this movie is Damon, who effortlessly slips from a man of conviction to a man of the people.
"The Great Gatsby": The film version starring Robert Redford is re-released.
"The Central Park Five": Ken Burns film on the five black and Latino teenagers wrongly convicted of raping a white woman in New York City's Central Park in 1989.
Rick Bentley, The Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.)
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