The North Star, Escape to Freedom



Although the true story of The North Star has wide reaching meaning and intentions behind it, the acting, direction and cinematic expertise fails miserably. Because of the very pedestrian production, instead of a compelling drama we get a historical vignette that has been used in films way beyond the scope of the script that gets presented here. That said, for an after school special directed at older teens, The North Star gets an average grade. Informational, yes, but captivating, marginal. Read more

The Finest Hours, a Heroic Rescue in Face of Insurmountable Odds



One of the most visually spectacular sea stories The Finest Hours shows the courage, determination and stamina of a small crew of Coast Guardsmen who faced death during rescue operation in a raging storm. The depiction of the factual account gets so realistic and powerful that it will put you on the edge of your seat. The cinematography and CGI take you for a scary rollercoaster ride on huge waves during a tempest that’s one of the most remarkable piece of film footage for the screen. Read more

The Big Short, Buying Up America

Big Short poster


Excellent acting by the ensemble cast The Big Short takes you into the world of creative finance and how millions of people lost their homes while a select few made billions. Unfortunately it’s a true story with a ‘”little” Hollywood embellishment, but still a must see. Get ready for the down and dirty business of Wall Street where the rich get richer and the middle class bails them out. Read more

Black Mass a Disturbing True Story



A very violent and disturbing true story Black Mass takes you into the world of one of Boston’s infamous criminals James “Whitey” Bulger. Played out superbly by Johnny Depp as Bulger and for his performance alone this film should not be missed. Well-acted by a superior support cast and directed by Scott Cooper the movie should be considered for the short list of Oscar contenders. While the story gets very brutal and alarming, there’s no other way to tell it. Read more

24 Days, a Kidnapping that Shocked France

24 DAYS poster


Kidnapping for money has become common in many countries getting huge sums of cash from rich families. So in the film 24 Days the kidnappers target their quarry on the notion that all Jews are rich and have access to large amounts of money. The story is true, the events are heinous and the outcome reeks with anti-Semitism. What also rings clear are the methods that the perpetrators use to abduct the person and the modern day communications that make it almost impossible to catch the perpetrators
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American Sniper, a Gutwrenching Drama



Review by Alyn Darnay

The late Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle was a certified American hero. Four tours of duty in the hottest combat zones in modern history. He was a motivated patriot, with a loving wife and children, who cared deeply for his family, country and the men he was sent to protect. This is a review of American Sniper, now in theaters.


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Field of Lost Shoes, a Southern Battle Remembered



The true story based film Field of Lost Shoes takes you into the Southern battle lines during the American Civil War. Now on DVD, the movie gets into the girt and gumption of the South as they face their powerful foe. Sometimes inspiring other moments futile, the battle that set the tone for a new America gets painful and devastating. Nicely filmed under able direction by Sean McNamara, the movie humanizes the pride, anger and courageousness of the teens who fought for the Southern Army. Read more

The Good Lie, a Shocking Look at Inhumanity

GOOD LIE poster


A heartwarming and heartbreaking story of humanity in the face of adversity both in their original elements and in America, The Good Lie recalls the sorrow and travesty of the Sudanese children caught up in war.  The film stuns with disbelief, but it’s true and opens the doors to a view so bold it rattles the unthinkable with reality.  This is not a documentary or a historical movie. It’s a feature film that’s acted brilliantly by actual descendents of the children who were driven out of their homes to camps hundreds of miles away by a warring faction.   Read more

“Devil’s Knot” a Tantalizing Crime Thriller

DEVILS box art


Compelling and disturbing the film Devil’s Knot involving a slaying comes to Blu-ray and DVD in a combo pack.  The chiller takes you on the fast track in a case involving a crime so heinous that you would think not possible.  Based on a true event, the film opens the door to questions without finality. Nicely directed and acted it will turn your head and heighten your fears about the safety of our children. Read more

“Lone Survivor” An Emotional True Story

LONE poster


A startling true story reaches theaters this weekend and it’s very realistic. Lone Survivor takes the viewer on an ‘edge of your seat’ trip into Afghanistan with a Navy Seals squad.  It’s not a documentary, but a gut wrenching drama that shows the brutal fighting that goes on in a country in turmoil.  Extremely well acted, directed and with cringing cinematography the film’s a shocking war on terror story.  If you can take a lot of nervous tension and combat violence, put yourself in a seat at a local theater for this aggressive true story. Read more

The Sessions, a Creative Comedy Drama (Film Review)

Based on a true story The Sessions will open your eyes, titillate and warm your heart.  The strange account features excellent convincing acting on the part of John Hawkes and Helen Hunt earning them what I feel will be an Oscar Nomination.  If you want to see something completely different, poignant and unusual presented in a very creative film, then The Sessions would be an excellent choice.

The film delves into the life of poet Mark O’Brien (John Hawkes) who during his adolescent years contacted Polio leaving him debilitated and dependent on an iron lung. Able to live outside the apparatus for good periods of time, he earned a college degree and was able to go out in society.  At the age of 38, Mark decided that his life would not be complete until he had sex.   Read more

Argo, a Suspensful Rescue Drama

Based on a true story the suspense filled film Argo involving the rescue of six Americans opens in theaters this weekend.  Set in the background of unrest in Iran during the President Jimmy Carter era, the covert operation was kept secret until the late 1990’s.  The drama based on a book of the same title features a solid script, some fine acting and inspiring directing by Ben Affleck. It’s a reminder of what could happen again if we fail to protect our interests abroad. Read more

The Cup, a Grueling Sports Film

Entering the film market the week after the running of the Kentucky Derby, The Cup, a true horse racing story, makes it’s bid for the sports fan base.  A true account of one of a first ever winners by a non-Australian horse in a race dominated by the continent’s best runners, this film works not only for racing enthusiasts but thrill seekers as well. Read more

In Darkness, an Oscar-Nominated Film Now in Theaters

One of the most compelling true stories has opened in theaters.  The World War II film is called In Darkness and tells the incredible real account of the attempted slaughter of Jews in a Polish city.  Intolerable, painful and realistic the tragic attempted extermination shows the heroism of some Polish citizens who sacrificed their own well being for the sake of others. Read more