When Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) reluctantly moved to the perpetually overcast town of Forks, WA, a... read morend set out to carve a niche for herself, she assumed it would be one similar to the low-profile social position she held back in Phoenix. First on the list of surprises was the unfamiliar attention from the male population of her new high school; second, the attention from one male in particular: Edward Cullen, Vampire (Robert Pattinson). Before long, the unlikely soul mates find themselves in a passionate relationship with a variety of significant setbacks, including Edward's special-needs diet (he doesn't eat humans, but Bella's scent inspires a nearly impossible to harness bloodlust) and the human girl's mortality. Though things proceed relatively smoothly at first (Edward even introduces Bella to his adoptive vampire family), a visiting vampire clan consisting of James (Cam Gigandet), Victoria (Rachelle Lefevre), and Laurent (Edi Gathegi) catches Bella's unique scent and threatens the young couple's budding, if dangerous, happiness. James, known for his powerful tracking ability, becomes obsessed with making Bella his next victim. Fearing for Bella's safety and that of her loved ones, the Cullens must combine their collective talents in order to stop the highly predatory James before his goal is accomplished. ~ Tracie Cooper, Rovi
Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the evil Capitol of the nation of Panem forc... read morees each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. A twisted punishment for a past uprising and an ongoing government intimidation tactic, The Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which "Tributes" must fight with one another until one survivor remains. Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy. If she's ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love. -- (C) Lionsgate
Four siblings -- Edmund (Skandar Keynes), Lucy (Georgie Henley), Peter (William Moseley), and Susan ... read more(Anna Popplewell) -- are sent from their London home to the country estate of an eccentric professor in order to ensure their safety during World War II. The house is very dull, except for a large, ornate wardrobe discovered by young Lucy during a game of hide-and-seek. Venturing inside of it in the hopes of finding a hiding place, Lucy is transported to a snowy alternate universe: a magical world called Narnia. The land is populated by talking animals and ruled over by the benevolent lion god Aslan (voiced by Liam Neeson), but sadly, the world is also in a state of perpetual winter. The white witch Jadis (Tilda Swinton), lustful for power and governed by narcissism, has cursed Narnia with a tyrannical decree that it will always be winter but never Christmas. Now, the children must fight alongside Aslan for the salvation of Narnia, but one of them, seduced by the charisma of the white witch, may choose to fight on the wrong side. ~ Cammila Collar, Rovi
Angels and Demons re-teams director Ron Howard and star Tom Hanks for the sequel to their internatio... read morenal blockbuster adaptation of Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code. Although the book Angels and Demons was written before the novel The Da Vinci Code, the movie transpires after the events of the earlier movie. Hanks stars as professor Robert Langdon, the most respected symbologist in the United States, who uses his knowledge in order to decode a symbol on the skin of a murder victim. The clues put him on the trail of an international conspiracy involving the Catholic Church. Ewan McGregor and Ayelet Zurer also star in the Sony Pictures production. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi
Assisted by a Fellowship of heroes, Frodo Baggins plunges into a perilous trek to take the mystical ... read moreOne Ring to Mount Doom so that it and its magical powers can be destroyed and never possessed by evil Lord Sauron. The astonishing journey begins in the first film of director/co-writer Peter Jackson's epic trilogy that redefined fantasy filmmaking. This imaginative foray into J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth won 4 Academy Awards (R)* and earned 13 total nominations including Best Picture.
Benicio Del Toro,
Terry Gilliam (Brazil, Twelve Monkeys, The Fisher King) directed this colorful, stylized, pseudo-psy... read morechedelic $21-million adaptation of the 1971 Hunter S. Thompson classic, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey into the Heart of the American Dream, about stoned sportswriter Raoul Duke, Thompson's alter ego, on a wild drug-crazed road trip, a paranoid plummet into the belly of the beast, with his pal, lawyer Oscar Zeta Acosta. Originally serialized in Rolling Stone (November 1971), the book catapulted Thompson headfirst toward the Kerouac-Mailer-Capote pantheon and jump-started the entire movement of "gonzo journalism." Carrying a suitcase of drugs, Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp with shaved pate) and his attorney Dr. Gonzo (Benicio Del Toro) drive a red convertible across the Mojave from L.A. to Vegas, where Duke has an assignment to cover the Mint 400 desert motorcycle race. As the drugs kick in, Duke ventures into voiceover, filling in the blank spots and narrative gaps. "This is not a good town for psychedelic drugs," says Duke, but even so, they consume vast quantities, eventually escalating to ether. Duke notes that with ether "you can actually watch yourself behaving this terrible way, but you can't control it." The two trash their hotel room, and Gonzo goes back to L.A. Thinking the hotel room holocaust will lead to an arrest, Duke begins a drive back to L.A., but after an odd encounter with a highway patrolman (Gary Busey) and a telephone conversation with Gonzo, he returns to Vegas to cover the District Attorney Convention on Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs in the glitzy Flamingo Hotel. This time the drugged-out duo trash their Flamingo room. The crazed carnival atmosphere segues into a carney casino, Bazooko's Circus, where a barker (Penn Jillette) spiels amid aerialists, clowns, and a rotating carousel bar. Gonzo worries over runaway teen Lucy (Christina Ricci), who paints portraits of Barbra Streisand. Soon the hallucinations begin: Duke sees Gonzo transmogrify into a demon with breasts on its back, and an acid vision of a Vegas bar features large legit lounge lizards (courtesy of monster makeup man Rob Bottin). Flashbacks depicting Duke's intro to the drug scene jump back to love-Haight relationships in San Francisco's Summer of Love. Cameos and guest stars include Mark Harmon, Cameron Diaz, Flea, Lyle Lovett, Harry Dean Stanton, Ellen Barkin, Tobey Maguire, and Hunter S. Thompson himself. The film features a Geffen Records soundtrack mixing rock of the period with Vegas lounge tunes. Over the years, various script adaptations came and went as did numerous talents; people connected with past efforts to film Thompson's book include Martin Scorsese, Jack Nicholson, Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, and writer-director Alex Cox. Shown in competition at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi
Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning autobiographical novel was translated to film in 1962 by Horton ... read moreFoote and the producer/director team of Robert Mulligan and Alan J. Pakula. Set a small Alabama town in the 1930s, the story focuses on scrupulously honest, highly respected lawyer Atticus Finch, magnificently embodied by Gregory Peck. Finch puts his career on the line when he agrees to represent Tom Robinson (Brock Peters), a black man accused of rape. The trial and the events surrounding it are seen through the eyes of Finch's six-year-old daughter Scout (Mary Badham). While Robinson's trial gives the film its momentum, there are plenty of anecdotal occurrences before and after the court date: Scout's ever-strengthening bond with older brother Jem (Philip Alford), her friendship with precocious young Dill Harris (a character based on Lee's childhood chum Truman Capote and played by John Megna), her father's no-nonsense reactions to such life-and-death crises as a rampaging mad dog, and especially Scout's reactions to, and relationship with, Boo Radley (Robert Duvall in his movie debut), the reclusive "village idiot" who turns out to be her salvation when she is attacked by a venomous bigot. To Kill a Mockingbird won Academy Awards for Best Actor (Peck), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Art Direction. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi