REVIEW: Snowden

Image: Open Road Films

Image: Open Road Films

Chris Luckett

A year ago, Joseph Gordon-Levitt starred in The Walk. Adapted from the same you-wouldn’t-believe-it-if-it-weren’t-true tale as 2008’s Oscar-winning documentary Man on Wire, The Walk was a biopic of tightrope-walker Philippe Petit that fictionalized the events that’d been shown in documentary footage less than a decade earlier.

What saved it from feeling like an unnecessary re-tread — besides Gordon-Levitt’s strong performance — was the skill of legendary director Robert Zemeckis, who made the crazy true story feel even more real than the documentary footage.

Now here we are one year later, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt starring in Snowden, adapted from the you-wouldn’t-believe-it-if-it-weren’t-true tale as 2014’s Oscar-winning documentary Citizenfour. Once again, Gordon-Levitt’s performance gives the movie a strong anchor. Director Oliver Stone, though, can’t pull off the same daring feat as Zemeckis.

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REVIEW: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Chris Luckett

Wes Anderson is the most visually distinctive film director since Stanley Kubrick. Other than his first film, the six that followed — Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Moonrise Kingdom — all looked similarly idiosyncratic to the point of being immediately identifiable, even just by a still frame, as “Andersonian.” His eighth feature, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is at once a typical Wes Anderson movie and also something much more.

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