JULY 2009














Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, Billy Crudup, Channing Tatum, Leelee Sobieski, Stephen Dorff, Lili Taylor, Emilie de Ravin, Giovanni Ribisi, Rory Cochran, Shawn Hatosy, Stephen Lang, Stephen Graham, Matt Craven (Directed by Michael Mann; Written by Ronan Bennett, Ann Biderman and Michael Mann; Universal)

John Dillinger was not as scary as Sweeney Todd, but don't be surprised if Johnny Depp makes the gun-toting terror of thirties Chicago almost as chilling as he made the demon barber of Fleet Street in Tim Burton's maniacal musical. “Public Enemies” is based on the book by Bryan Burrough about FBI biggie J. Edgar Hoover's crusade to bring Dillinger and other dirty rotten scoundrels, such as Pretty Boy Floyd, to justice. You might think that pretty boy Billy Crudup would be the ideal choice to play gangster Floyd, but no, that role has been undertaken by up-and-coming Tatum Channing. So who does Crudup play? The emphatically un-pretty J. Edgar Hoover! Giving his Batman drag a rest, Christian Bale becomes Melvin Purvis, the agent Hoover puts in charge of the Dillinger manhunt. Marion Cotillard and Leelee Sobieski play a couple of dollies with whom Dillinger dallies. Now Playing


Sacha Baron Cohen, Gustaf Hammarsten, Clifford Banagale, Chibundu Orukwowu, Chigozie Orukwowu, Josh Meyers (Directed by Larry Charles; Written by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Mazer and Jeff Schaffer; Universal)
The brazen auteur of “Borat” is back, this time starring as a passionately gay aficionado of fashion. The story, penned by Sacha Baron Cohen himself--with the help of Anthony Hines, Dan Mazer and Jeff Schaffer--has something to outrage everyone, gay, straight and in-between. This slapstick spoof of self-absorbed celebs opened big at the box office, though not as big as “Borat.” Is "Bruno" a funny flick? Yes, says New York Times critic A. O. Scott, "But the joke is on you." Click here for Scott’s review; click here to view the trailer for "Bruno." Now Playing


Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham Carter, Jim Broadbent, David Bradley, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Tom Felton, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Natalia Tena, Julie Walters, David Thewlis, Evanna Lynch, Matthew Lewis, Bonnie Wright, Helen McCrory, Jessie Cave, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Frank Dillane (Directed by David Yates; Written by Steven Kloves; Warner Bros.)  

Peerless, fearless Master Potter, in his sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft,  must shush the roar of his raging hormones and get down to serious detective work when he happens upon a spooky volume marked “This book is the property of the Half-Blood Prince.” Wonder what the other half is. Now Playing


Kevin Spacey, Robin Williams, Dallas Roberts, Saffron Burrows, Mark Webber, Pell James, Keke Palmer, Jack Huston, Robert Loggia, Gore Vidal, Laura Ramsey (Directed by Jonas Pate; Written by Thomas Moffett; Roadside Attractions)

How's this for balsy casting? Kevin Spacey, who slid from superstar status a while back, plays a masochistic, pothead therapist whose prize patient is a horrifically oversexed movie idol, played by Robin Williams, whose own career has suffered a notable nosedive. Are a couple of comebacks about to happen? Click here for Guy Flatley's review of "Shrink."
Now Playing


Peter Capaldi, Tom Hollander, Gina McKee, James Gandolfini, Steve Coogan, Anna Chlumsky, Chris Addison, Mimi Kennedy, David Rasche, Zach Woods, Olivia Poulet (Directed by Armando Iannucci; Written by Armando Iannucci, Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell and Tony Roche; IFC Films)

In scary situations guaranteed to remind you of George W. Bush and Tony Blair in their heyday,  scheming, manipulative Brits and Americans do their best (and worst) to start a catastrophic war. Click here to read A. O. Scott's review in The New York Times. Now Playing


Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann, Eric Bana, Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman, Aubrey Plaza, RZA, Iris Apatow, Maude Apatow, Torsten Voges, Allan Wasserman (Written and directed by Judd Apatow; Universal and Columbia)

In what is probably a smart move, the ads for “Funny People” make it clear that this comedy-drama is only the third film to be directed by Judd Apatow, the let-it-all-hang-out guy who helmed  the much-acclaimed “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and “Knocked Up.” That way, we’re not tempted to flash back to “Pineapple Express,” “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan,” “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story,” “Fun With Dick and Jane,” “Step Brothers,” “Drillbit Taylor,” “Kicking & Screaming” or any of the other macho, full-frontal, gas-passing assaults Apatow has perpetrated in his role as writer or producer.

In his third time at auteur bat, Apatow has cast Adam Sandler, a performer seldom saluted for his subtlety, as George Simmons, a driven, natural-born comic whose doctor slams him with a tragic diagnosis: his days are almost certainly numbered. But don’t get the idea that George slides into a self-pity fueled trance. Determined to remain in the spotlight, he hires neophyte L.A. standup Ira Wright (Seth Rogen) to write some dynamite material for him. Ira turns out to have the right stuff, and for his thanks he is repeatedly bullied and humiliated by his boss. Though, on occasion, the superstar does dribble genuinely helpful career tips to the thirsty young comic. Presumably, that’s showbiz, as practiced in L.A.

Will there be a happy ending? If so, it may be linked to a visit George pays to his ex-wife (Leslie Mann), her sexy new husband (Eric Bana), and the couple’s two daughters, played by Iris Apatow and Maude Apatow, who, in real life, are the daughters of director Judd Apatow. And, as you may have heard, the real-life mom of the precocious Apatow sprigs is actress Leslie Mann (AKA Mrs. Judd Apatow). And that’s family life, as sometimes practiced in L.A. Click here for the "Funny People" trailer. Now Playing