As a story about a scrappy, working-class nobody who gets an unexpected shot at the title, David O. Russell's 'The Fighter' was bound to earn comparisons to 'Rocky.' And the comparisons are justified — not just because of its plot but also because of its concern for quirky characters and a sense of place. Grade: B-plus.
While rife with period detail and often shot at authentic locations, 'Public Enemies' doesn't possess the visceral jolt of director Michael Mann's best films, all of which pulsate with the technologically informed rhythms of modern life. Yet Mann almost makes us believe that Public Enemy No. 1 John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) will live forever. And, in a sense, he has. Grade: B-.
In 2018, the Resistance — better yet, the Resistance within the Resistance — is led, as we all know, by John Connor (Christian Bale), eager to bust up Skynet (the computer controlling the machines), although he knows he also has to save the boy who will become Kyle Reese. Director McG proves here that the Terminator franchise has a soul worth saving. Grade: B.