This uplifting educational drama from Daniel Barnz stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis as a pair of mothers who team up to take over their failing school,
if only they can fight the overwhelming bureaucracy of the school
system, the attack-dog stance of the teacher’s union and the general
apathy of parents who have lost hope.
A vast improvement over the 2005 franchise introduction of co-writer/actress Emma Thompson's Mary-Poppinsish household savior, Nanny McPhee Returns finds modern-day meaning in its World War II-era English trappings. Grade: B.
Jeff Bridges has been steadily rolling on screen for so long that it's easy to overlook him or simply forget the numerous stops along the way. But he's back again, and his portrayal of Country singer-songwriter Bad Blake in rookie director Scott Cooper's 'Crazy Heart' is poised to be his destination of distinction. Grade: B-plus.
Younger moviegoers in search of thoughtful, literate romantic comedies that credit them for being intelligent and sensitive might respond strongly to 'Away We Go,' directed by Sam Mendes ('Revolutionary Road,' 'American Beauty') from a screenplay by husband-and-wife writers Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida. Grade: B.