Zero Dark Thirty begins in
darkness, not the pitch of night or space; rather simply, it starts with
the black frame and voices. Instantly, we recognize the voices as those
belonging to desperate callers on Sept. 11, 2001.
When Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) asks why no one has ever tried to be a real-life superhero, the question initially sounds like the fantasies of a comic-book geek a few years away from accepting the realities of life as we all know it. Director Matthew Vaughn and his actors seamlessly stitch together the disparate fabrics of pulp and an almost John Hughes-like weave of teenage drama. The real standout is Nicolas Cage. Grade: A.
Bromance is alive and well in Guy Ritchie's rather popular adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's beloved detective Sherlock Holmes. Robert Downey Jr. trades quips and quibbles with an astute and reliable Jude Law as Dr. Watson, so there are levels of intrigue beyond the shiny surface. Grade: B-.