Road movies

Boundaries (2018)

We all know someone who has a capacity like no other to charm us into anything, then let us down hard. For Laura Jaconi (Vera Farmiga), this someone is her father, Jack (Christopher Plummer), an endearing but unreliable man who rarely fails to disappoint. For her own sanity, Laura feels the need to set Boundaries …

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Vacation (2015)

Like many folks, I can recite many lines from the cheeseball Chevy Chase 80s classic National Lampoon’s Vacation. Like many folks, I don’t remember demanding that Hollywood remake a movie that was perfectly fine the first time around. But this is Hollywood. What’s old is new(ish) again! Teenager Rusty Griswold from the first film is …

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The Odd Way Home

As suggested by its title, The Odd Way Home is not your typical road movie. After fleeing an abusive boyfriend with a bloodied face, several bottles of pills, and a gun, Maya (Rumer Willis) runs into car trouble. She walks to the nearest house to use the phone, but instead stumbles upon an old woman, …

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Into the Wild

Director Sean Penn delivers a thoughtful, somber, enlightening and occasionally exuberant drama with his big-screen adaptation of Jon Krakauer’s book of the same name, which tells the true story of a wealthy kid who goes all Kerouac and tries to live off the harsh Alaskan land. With a stirring lead performance by Emile Hirsch, this …

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Tammy

Now, I’m a fan of Melissa McCarthy. She’s a great physical comedian, has a blunt potty mouth that makes me laugh, and has totally cute dimples that are delightfully charming. But I couldn’t help but feel like I’ve seen Tammy before, but rehashed, like leftovers from last week. The film starts out with Tammy (McCarthy) …

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Chef

Chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) has lost his mojo. No, let’s just say he is on auto-pilot. When he started out his career, he was hailed as the next big thing by foodies, with his flair and originality. But now that he is established, and his restaurant is a success, he feels a bit stuck …

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Philomena

Judi Dench, consumate pro of an actress that she is, made me cry 8 minutes into Philomena. Her adult daughter (Anna Maxwell Martin) is rushing off to a late shift at work, but sees her mother Philomena staring at an old photograph, clutched in her hand. “Who is it?” her daughter asks gently, of the …

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Nebraska

If there is one enduring image from the slice of Americana that is Nebraska, it is of befuddled, weathered Bruce Dern, sitting blankly with his fuzzy white hair back-lit like a halo. You are not sure if he is mentally all there. Sometimes his mouth kind of gapes open, or he slumps over in his …

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