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    Twilight (1998)

    This film by Academy Award winning writer and director Robert Benton could be the first great movie of 1998. It makes a wonderful companion piece to his 1977 The Late Show, a well-balanced mix of detective movie, comedy and drama. The two movies are similar in that they are interested in characters that have already been around the block and are drifting through their final days. Benton's characters try not to think too hard about where they are -- and try not to think about not thinking -- but they fail at both. read more...
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      • Innocence ▶ Seasoned, Savvy, Streetwise
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    Twilight (1998)

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    • With: Paul Newman, Susan Sarandon, Gene Hackman, Reese Witherspoon, Stockard Channing, James Garner, Giancarlo Esposito, Liev Schreiber, M. Emmet Walsh
    • Written by: Robert Benton, Richard Russo
    • Directed by: Robert Benton
    • MPAA Rating: R for violence, language and some sexuality
    • Running Time: 94 minutes
    • Release Date: 03/05/1998
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    Swamp Water (1941)

    In 1940, Jean Renoir fled Nazi-occupied France and came to the United States where, typically, studio heads had no idea how to treat a master filmmaker of his ilk. His first American film, Swamp Water (1941), almost feels like the work of someone else, although it still contains a few of its maker's signature themes, and it's an excellent entertainment in any regard. Ben (Dana Andrews) ventures into the vast, deadly Okefenokee Swamp to find his lost dog, and accidentally runs into escaped fugitive and accused murderer Tom Keefer (Walter Brennan). They eventually become partners and form a trapping business, but Ben's long absences rub both his controlling father, Thursday (Walter Huston), and his fickle sweetheart (Virginia Gilmore) the wrong way. At the same time, he becomes closer to Tom's grown daughter, Julie (Anne Baxter), and begins to promise her a new life when her father returns. Meanwhile, creepy Jesse Wick (John Carradine) begins hanging around Thursday's second wife a bit too much, leading to a confrontation with Ben. Dudley Nichols wrote the screenplay (from a novel by Vereen Bell), and while he delicately balances the novel's intricate plotlines, he also imbues the movie with his trademark seriousness; in this case it works. It elevates the pulp to the level of art. Because of Nichols and because of a selection of recognizable stock players (Carradine, Ward Bond, etc.), many have said that Swamp Water seems like a John Ford film, but moments of delicate humanity, as when Ben steps into the line of fire to prove to Tom that he's really a friend, are all Renoir. read more...
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      Swamp Water (1941)

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      • With: Walter Brennan, Walter Huston, Anne Baxter, Dana Andrews, Virginia Gilmore, John Carradine, Mary Howard, Eugene Pallette, Ward Bond, Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams, Russell Simpson, Joe Sawyer, Paul E. Burns, Dave Morris, Frank Austin
      • Written by: Dudley Nichols, based on a novel by Vereen Bell
      • Directed by: Jean Renoir
      • MPAA Rating: NR
      • Running Time: 88 minutes
      • Release Date: 10/22/1941
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      The Tuskegee Airmen (1995)

      Produced for cable TV, The Tuskegee Airmen smacks of a low budget, cutting corners and skimming through history. The presence of a white director is also troublesome, perhaps revealing a kind of hesitance, or lack of trust, with the project. But nonetheless, director Robert Markowitz does the best he can with what he has, making excellent use of a strong cast, and using real war footage to help illustrate the flying and battle sequences (and save money on visual effects). read more...
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        The Tuskegee Airmen (1995)

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        • With: Laurence Fishburne, Cuba Gooding Jr., Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Mekhi Phifer, Allen Payne, Courtney B. Vance, Andre Braugher, Christopher McDonald, Daniel Hugh Kelly, John Lithgow
        • Written by: Paris Qualles, Trey Ellis, Ron Hutchinson, based on a story by Robert Williams, T.S. Cook
        • Directed by: Robert Markowitz
        • MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic elements and brief strong war violence
        • Running Time: 106 minutes
        • Release Date: 08/25/1995
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        Kinsey (2004)

        Oscar-winning writer/director Bill Condon -- the man behind the superb James Whale story Gods and Monsters -- delivers this far more traditional biopic, albeit on a distinctly non-traditional subject. read more...
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          Kinsey (2004)

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          • With: Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Chris O'Donnell, Peter
          • Written by: Bill Condon
          • Directed by: Bill Condon
          • MPAA Rating: R for pervasive sexual content, including some graphic images and descriptions
          • Running Time: 118 minutes
          • Release Date: 09/03/2004
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          The Monuments Men (2014)

          George Clooney's fifth directorial outing, The Monuments Men, was pulled from its awards season release so that its editing would not have to be rushed. And indeed, the final product feels pretty relaxed... perhaps a bit too relaxed. Maybe some rushing would have helped. read more...
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            The Monuments Men (2014)

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            • With: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville, Bob Balaban, Dimitri Leonidas
            • Written by: George Clooney, Grant Heslov, based on a book by Robert M. Edsel, Bret Witter
            • Directed by: George Clooney
            • MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some images of war violence and historical smoking
            • Running Time: 118 minutes
            • Release Date: 02/06/2014
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