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Tom Hanks

The Post (2018)

DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg

CAST: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks

REVIEW:

The Post won’t appeal to everyone—it’s a predominantly dry, talky affair full of scenes of stressed-out people in smoky rooms and stacks of papers debating the course of action—-but for those who appreciate docudramas celebrating the triumph of investigative journalism over power, it’s a stirring spiritual brother to movies like All the President’s Men (to which it serves as a sort of direct prequel) and Spotlight.  In its portrayal of the free press versus an American President skirting the limits of his authority, The Post feels timely and relevant, and stresses the importance of an independent press.  The Supreme Court’s 1971 ruling that “the press exists to serve the governed, not the governors” is worth recalling today. Continue reading

Inferno (2016)

infernoDIRECTOR: Ron Howard

CAST: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Irrfan Khan, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Omar Sy, Ben Foster, Ana Ularu

REVIEW:

If nothing else, Inferno might hammer the final nail in the coffin of Sony’s increasingly inexplicable determination to make Robert Langdon—the protagonist of Dan Brown’s pulpy book series—into a “franchise” headliner.  Dry, professorial Langdon isn’t exactly 007, and The Da Vinci Code was only a moderate box office success, while Angels & Demons didn’t do much business worth writing home about, but Sony insisted on forging ahead.  With Inferno already opening weak, it might be time to stop adapting Dan Brown books.  If you’re one of the seemingly relatively few people—including myself—who moderately enjoy these movies, Inferno offers up largely more of the same, but isn’t as good as the unevenly-paced but sporadically fascinating Da Vinci Code and doesn’t represent a compelling reason to rush to a theater near you. Continue reading

Cloud Atlas (2012)

Cloud AtlasDIRECTOR: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer

CAST: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw, Doona Bae, James D’Arcy, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon, Keith David, David Gyasi

REVIEW:

The film adaptation of David Mitchell’s 2004 novel, a German production co-directed by the Wachowski siblings behind The Matrix and German director Tom Tykwer, is nothing if not ambitious. Continue reading

Angels & Demons (2009)

DIRECTOR: Ron Howard

CAST:

Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer, Stellan Skarsgard, Pierfrancesco Favino, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Thure Lindhardt

REVIEW:

While Dan Brown’s novel Angels & Demons chronologically took place before The Da Vinci Code, the movie is a sequel to the 2006 Ron Howard-Tom Hanks film. Continue reading

The Da Vinci Code (2006)

DIRECTOR: Ron Howard

CAST:

Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellen, Jean Reno, Paul Bettany, Alfred Molina, Jürgen Prochnow

REVIEW:

Ron Howard’s film adaptation of Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code was preceded by an extraordinary amount of controversy over certain of its plot points which seemed to take on a life of its own, raising the movie and the theological and historical questions it raised into something greater than the film itself. Continue reading

Road to Perdition (2002)


DIRECTOR: Sam Mendes

CAST: Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law, Tyler Hoechlin, Daniel Craig, Stanley Tucci, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Dylan Baker, Ciaran Hinds, Liam Aiken

REVIEW:

An adaptation of a graphic novel by Max Allan Collins and illustrated by Richard Piers Rayner, and produced by such illustrious names as Dean Zanuck, Richard D. Zanuck, and Steven Spielberg, Road to Perdition marked Sam Mendes’ eagerly-anticipated next project following his Oscar-winning American Beauty.  It’s a venture into the gangster genre, but what it’s really about at its core is the relationships between fathers and sons.  The result is visually splendorous and technically accomplished but a little emotionally remote, and viewers wanting a more action-packed gangster yarn may be bored by the deliberate, unhurried pace.  Nonetheless, for fans of the gangster genre, Road to Perdition is a sumptuous and handsomely-crafted entry. Continue reading

Apollo 13 (1995)

DIRECTOR: Ron Howard

CAST: Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris, Kathleen Quinlan

For those old enough to have watched the April 1970 Apollo 13 crisis unfold live on television, Ron Howard’s Apollo 13 may bring back strong memories.  For those who did not experience it at the time, it may serve as a fascinating history lesson.  For everyone else, it’s a well-constructed docudrama, and a tribute to what one character refers to as NASA’s finest hour.   Continue reading

Philadelphia (1993)

DIRECTOR: Jonathan Demme

CAST:

Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Antonio Banderas, Jason Robards, Joanne Woodward, Mary Steenburgen, Bradley Whitford, Charles Napier, Daniel von Bargen

REVIEW:

AIDS (Auto Immune Deficiency Syndrome) emerged as a major crisis in the early 80s but was largely ignored into the beginning of the 90s in the United States even though the US had more cases than any other nation. Continue reading

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