Best Ambitious Movies

  • Southland Tales

    Southland Tales (R, 2007)

    Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Seann William Scott, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Curtis Armstrong, Joe Campana
    California is at the epicenter of a political and environmental disaster that threatens to destroy t... read morehe world in this ambitious fusion of comedy, drama, dystopian science fiction, and music from writer and director Richard Kelly, his first film after gaining a cult following with Donnie Darko. In the year 2005, a nuclear attack wipes out part of the state of Texas, and three years later America is a virtual police state, with the government taking control of nearly every part of people's lives, supposedly for their own good. A German firm has found a way to generate energy using seawater, but both public and private concerns are desperate to prevent the new technology from being introduced in the gasoline-starved United States. A Marxist underground based on the West Coast is determined to bring down the federal government through violent revolution.In this midst of this chaos, we follow a number of stories that continually return to three principle characters. Boxer Santaros (Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock) is an actor famous for his role in action films; he's trying to secure financing for a new project, but reality keeps mirroring the events in his script and he struggles to hold on to his identity following a bout with amnesia. Krysta Now (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is a porn star who is reinventing herself as a television pundit offering her views on politics, contemporary culture, and teenage sex. And Roland Taverner (Seann William Scott) is an L.A. police officer whose identity has mysteriously split in two, and he struggles to track down his other half. Featuring a massive supporting cast which includes Mandy Moore, Miranda Richardson, Wallace Shawn, Jon Lovitz, Kevin Smith, Amy Poehler, and Justin Timberlake, Southland Tales received its world premiere at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival; director Kelly also created an accompanying series of three graphic novels that chart these events and characters prior to this story. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
    • fb709851160
      fb709851160: . The film felt long. Perhaps a bit too ambitious. I wonder if the musical numbers might have contained elements that might have made the fi
      Reviewed 16 months days ago
    • LittleMissBloodAndGuts
      LittleMissBloodAndGuts: ons of a revolutionary resistance movement, a corrupt politician, a misguided movie action hero, an ambitious porn actress, a kidnapped cop, the cop's drug-addled, impostor brother, and the machinatio
      Reviewed 3 years days ago
    • urbanlegend23
      urbanlegend23: . With each viewing I just became more and more intrigued by the film's bizarre humour and ambitious storyline. Sarah Michelle Gellar is pure comedy gold as "Krysta Now" - she deserves her ow
      Reviewed 5 years days ago
  • Synecdoche, New York

    Synecdoche, New York (R, 2008)

    Philip Seymour Hoffman, Samantha Morton, Michelle Williams, Catherine Keener, Emily Watson
    Synecdoche, New York marked the directorial debut of iconoclastic, cerebral screenwriter Charlie Kau... read morefman. Philip Seymour Hoffman stars as Caden Cotard, an eccentric playwright who lives with artist Adele Lack (Catherine Keener) and their daughter Olive in Schenectady, upstate New York. Prone to neuroses, misgivings and enormous self-doubt, Caden also begins suffering from accelerated physical deterioration - from blood in his stools to disfigured skin. Upon receiving a prestigious MacArthur grant, Caden decides to use the money to concoct one gigantic play as an analogue of his own life; he builds massive sets amid a New York City warehouse, casts others as his friends, family and acquaintances, and casts others to play the ones he's casting. After Adele whisks Olive off to Europe but demonstrates no sign of returning soon, Caden drifts into a series of relationships with lovers - first with box office employee Hazel (Samantha Morton), who purchases and moves into a house that is perpetually on fire; then with Tammy (Emily Watson), an actress assigned to play Hazel in the theatrical project; and subsequently with others. Unfortunately, the play itself grows so big and unwieldy - and rehearsals go on for so long, taking literally decades - that it becomes unclear if the production itself will ever launch. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi
    • fb1342290013
      fb1342290013: . Kaufman's opus is possibly the most ambitious film I have ever seen. I'll need to watch it a few more times to truly comprehend what I'v
      Reviewed 2 years days ago
    • Galeocerdo
      Galeocerdo: The bravery of Charlie Kaufman's bafflingly ambitious directorial debut is exceeded only by its brilliance. It is also one of the most personal
      Reviewed 4 years days ago
    • perseu
      perseu: A masterpiece. Ambitious and extremely symbolic, it's a representation of an artist's mind, but als
      Reviewed 5 years days ago
  • The Tree of Life

    The Tree of Life (PG-13, 2011)

    Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Hunter McCracken, Laramie Eppler
    From Terrence Malick, the acclaimed director of such classic films as Badlands, Days of Heaven and T... read morehe Thin Red Line, The Tree of Life is the impressionistic story of a Midwestern family in the 1950's. The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father (Brad Pitt). Jack (played as an adult by Sean Penn) finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith. Through Malick's signature imagery, we see how both brute nature and spiritual grace shape not only our lives as individuals and families, but all life. -- (C) Fox Searchlight
    • fb688685903
      fb688685903: A hugely ambitious chin-stroking 2 and a half hours. As normal for a Malik film, every frame is a slice of go
      Reviewed 15 months days ago
    • fb1310206523
      fb1310206523: . It's too much of an ambitious project what we've got here and in terms of continuity and grip we've got none. A big disa
      Reviewed 7 months days ago
    • fb690422813
      fb690422813: fuck of the creation of civilization, this was a nice little story that was both uncomfortable and ambitious. Annoyingly ambitious, sure. But I appreciate it.
      Reviewed 2 years days ago