He’s a performance artist, published author, gala host, former soap star, college student, professor, and one of the most prolific film actors currently working in Hollywood. This week, James Franco is keeping busy as the director and star of The Disaster Artist, which dramatizes outsider hero Tommy Wiseau’s efforts to bring his infamous The Room to the big screen, so we decided now would be the perfect time to take a fond look back at some of the brightest critical highlights from Franco’s bustling career. From indie flicks to blockbusters, he’s been in just about every kind of picture — and we’re ranking them here while inviting you to rank your own favorites. It’s time for Total Recall!


1. Memoria (2016) 100%

(Photo by Monterey Media)

As if it weren’t enough that Memoria served as one of a whopping nine movies Franco released in 2016, it’s also based on a short story he wrote — all of which might make it sound like the vanity project to end all vanity projects, if not for the universally positive critical reception it earned during its limited release. Granted, at five reviews, we’re dealing with a limited sample size — at a certain point, Franco becomes too prolific even for people paid to watch the movies — but a rave is a rave, and this quiet character study about a troubled Bay Area teen earned its share, with its author’s supporting turn as a concerned teacher helping anchor the drama. “Despite clocking in at a scant 70 minutes,”  wrote Michael Rechtshaffen for the Los Angeles Times, “Memoria manages to make a hauntingly poetic impression.”


2. Milk (2008) 93%

(Photo by Focus Features)

Sean Penn rightly received most of the many accolades afforded this 2008 biopic of assassinated political activist Harvey Milk, but director Gus Van Sant wasn’t content to let his movie rest on its star’s performance — he rounded out the cast of Milk with a number of actors whose seamlessly committed performances helped make it one of the most lauded films of the year. Franco fills a supporting role here as Scott Smith, Milk’s onetime lover (and, eventually, the executor of his will), who moves to San Francisco with him during the first act and helps him start his political career. Franco’s work earned him an MTV Movie Awards nomination for Best Kiss — and helped inspire Tom Long of the Detroit News to write, “Progress is slow, but Harvey Milk was one of the first to set the wheels in motion. He more than deserves a movie this good.”


3. 127 Hours (2010) 93%

(Photo by Chuck Zlotnick/Fox Searchlight Pictures)

 By 2010, James Franco had been making movies for well over a decade, and had flirted with leading man status fairly early in his career, but it never really seemed to suit him — until Danny Boyle came along with 127 Hours. A dramatization of the horrible ordeal overcome by mountain climber Aron Ralston, who devised his own gruesome rescue from certain death after being pinned by a boulder during an expedition, 127 Hours gave Franco the opportunity to carry a movie on his own terms — and earned him some of the best reviews of his career, not to mention a pile of awards and a Best Actor Oscar nomination, in the process. Mike Scott of the Times-Picayune was just one of the many critics who loved the film, calling it “A masterful slice of four-star cinema, featuring an irresistible performance by James Franco, breathtaking cinematography, and the kind of deep, searching soul that is absent from so much of what comes out of Hollywood.”

4. The Spider-Man Franchise (82%)

(Photo by Columbia Pictures)

Long before Tom Holland swung into the MCU as Spider-Man, Tobey Maguire brought Marvel’s wall-crawler to the big screen in director Sam Raimi’s blockbuster trilogy — and Franco joined the core ensemble cast as Harry Osborn, Peter Parker’s best pal and the future Green Goblin. Harry’s tortured arc helped form the backbone of Raimi’s overarching narrative throughout the three films, and although Spider-Man 3 proved a dissatisfying low note for the end of this chapter in Spidey’s big-screen life, the movies together helped pave the way for the looming great golden age of superheroes at the box office; more importantly, as Mick LaSalle observed for the San Francisco Chronicle, they offered “Smart, fun entertainment made by people who took nothing for granted, including the audience.”


5. This Is the End (2013) 83%

(Photo by Suzanne Hanover/Sony Pictures)

If an actor is playing themselves in a movie, should it count as one of their best performances? More often than not, we’d say no — but we’re making an exception for the gloriously loopy This Is the End, in which some of Hollywood’s sharpest young talent play exaggerated (or straight up invented) versions of themselves against the backdrop of the apocalypse. The end of the world, naturally, is witnessed from Franco’s abode, where he’s hosting a house party (including Seth Rogen, Danny McBride, Jonah Hill, and Emma Watson) when things go haywire. The end result, while decidedly not for all tastes, hits its comedic targets far more often than it misses; as Dana Stevens observed for Slate, “This Is the End, true to its subject matter, is as funny as hell.”


6. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) 82%

(Photo by 20th Century Fox Film Corp.)

 While it would certainly be fair to say that the human actors have never been the Planet of the Apes franchise’s biggest draw — and that goes at least double for the recent prequel trilogy — it definitely helps to ground the drama if you’re working with actors who can bring the sci-fi saga’s more fantastical elements believably to life. With Rise of the Planet of the Apes, director Rupert Wyatt rounded up a talented flesh-and-blood ensemble that included John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Freida Pinto, and — as Will Rodman, the biologist whose quest for an Alzheimer’s cure unwittingly triggers the virus that sets the story in motion — James Franco. It all added up to a blockbuster that set the bar surprisingly high for its successors, and although Andy Serkis’ mo-cap work would deservedly come to define the trilogy, Franco helped lay the groundwork with an opening installment that the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Colin Covert deemed “first-class entertainment, packed with clever, unsettling and even inspired ideas.”

7. Goat (2016) 79%

(Photo by Paramount Pictures)

In addition to taking a supporting role, Franco also donned his producer’s hat for Goat, a harrowing drama from director/co-writer Andrew Neel about a college freshman (Ben Schnetzer) whose efforts to fit in on campus include pledging his older brother’s fraternity — a fateful decision that soon goes violently wrong, further complicating a young life already shadowed by horrific violence. Like a good number of Franco’s film efforts, it was destined for limited release and aimed outside the mainstream, but for many of the critics who screened it, this hard-hitting coming-of-age story — distinguished by a scene-stealing turn from former pop idol Nick Jonas — proved difficult to shake. “This isn’t an easy film to watch,” admitted the Washington Post’s Stephanie Merry. “But it’s even harder to forget.”


8. Yosemite (2015) 77%

(Photo by Monterey Media)

One of several films drawing from Franco’s 2010 short story collection Palo Alto, this 2015 indie drama weaves together “Yosemite” and “Peter Parker,” a pair of stories from the book, to observe moments in the lives of three fifth-grade boys in 1985. As with other Palo Alto-derived movies, Franco produced and starred but didn’t write or direct; here, he handed the reins to writer-director Gabrielle Demeestere and appeared in one segment as Phil, a father taking a trip to the titular park with his son (Everett Meckler). While certainly not one of his more widely seen efforts, it ranks among his most satisfying for the majority of critics who reviewed it — including the Village Voice’s Alan Scherstuhl, who wrote, “Yosemite mines Franco’s fiction for its most vital quality: his unsentimental depiction of youthful insecurity, this time among fifth-graders.”


9. The Dead Girl (2006) 76%

(Photo by First Look International)

 It wasn’t seen by many people during its brief theatrical run, but this dark ensemble piece from writer/director Karen Moncrieff gave a strong stable of actors (including Franco, Brittany Murphy, Marcia Gay Harden, Josh Brolin, Toni Collette, and Kerry Washington) a chance to plumb the emotional depths of the mystery surrounding a woman’s grisly death. While far from Franco’s showiest role, his turn as a kind-hearted mortician helped anchor The Dead Girl’s unrelenting grimness with a small ray of something like hope — and helped move the Oregonian’s Shawn Levy to write, “Moncrieff manages to get beneath the skin of several of these characters, a nifty trick considering what a crowded world she’s created. In all, it’s a grueling, emotionally taxing, discomfiting film.”

10. In the Valley of Elah (2007) 74%

(Photo by Warner Bros. courtesy Everett Collection)

In this Paul Haggis drama, Franco took a supporting role alongside Jason Patric as one of two politely dismissive Army officers who interfere with the efforts of a grieving father (played by Tommy Lee Jones) to uncover the facts of his son’s gruesome murder. Though its Iraq War overtones didn’t do it many favors with audiences, and some critics felt Haggis took an excessively heavy-handed approach, most were able to appreciate In the Valley of Elah’s message — and the hard questions it asked in a time of war. “After the potent final image faded to black,” wrote Aisle Seat’s Mike McGranaghan, “I had that very special tingle I get when I know I’ve just seen a great movie.”

On August 5 2010, a mine collapsed in the town of San José, Chile, prompting a seemingly impossible rescue mission that unfolded over the course of three months. This week’s The 33 dramatizes the event as a testimony to the human struggle against the elements, and in that spirit, our Spanish-language partners over at Tomatazos have offered up a brief list of similar stories to get you into the “rescue mood” before you purchase a ticket.


Apollo 13 (1995) 96%

Apollo-13

Even though it drifts away stylistically from the following entries, this space epic heads our list because it also shares some of their fundamental characteristics. Even when everything seems perfectly planned out, including daily chores, one small failure (a technical one in the Apollo’s case) is all it takes to make things go sour in a hurry, prompting all those involved to face risky situations in order to regain control. Kind of makes you believe “13 is an unlucky number,” dosen’t it?

Watch Trailer


127 Hours (2010) 93%

127-Hours

This tale feels like something lifted straight out of a Eugène Ionesco play (the whole “eating yourself to survive” business), and it’s doubly shocking because it was, of course, based on a real story. It’s claustrophobic, anguishing, and crude; no wonder it got James Franco an Academy Award nomination.

Watch Trailer


Into the Wild (2007) 83%

INto-the-Wild

Almost every character in this list is a victim of circumstance; that is to say, they obviously did not choose to be burned in space or trapped between a literal rock and a hard place. But not Chris McCandless (Emile Hirsch,) the daunting protagonist of this film, who chose to leave his whole life behind and be “one” with nature. Nature, cranky as she’s wont to be, took care of the rest.

Watch Trailer


The Impossible (2012) 81%

The-Impossible

This J.A. Bayona flick hits closer to home when you realize that the suburbanite family onscreen could be yours; not that suburbanites are inherently threatening, but because of the prospect that you could be chilling at your favorite overseas resort, and then bam! The sea’s now all over you. And your child. And Naomi Watts. Now that’s a spooky image.

Watch Trailer


Alive (1993) 59%

Alive

We just could not leave this classic survival film off the list, especially since it’s become a definitive reference on the matter. It’s the movie that made audiences think twice the next time they took a flight. It’s a safe bet to say that whenever people think of this story, they feel a knot in their stomach; and it all began with a simple plane trip above the Andes…

Watch Trailer


You can find the original article in Spanish at Tomatazos.com.

In the wake of the Oscars last night, our top two entries for this week’s column feature the co-hosts of the festivities, James Franco and Anne Hathaway. Unfortunately, while Franco’s film was a multiple Academy Award nominee (including a Best Actor nod for Franco himself), Hathaway’s film… Well, let’s just say her film didn’t impress critics as much. After that, we’ve got the latest actioner headlined by Dwayne Johnson, a music doc about one of LA’s prominent clubs, a musical featuring Cher and Christina Aguilera, and a certain Disney classic about an orphaned deer. See below to check out this week’s new releases!



127 Hours

93%

This timely release comes on the heels of the Oscars, where the film was nominated for six awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Picture, and a Best Actor nod for its star (and co-host of the evening’s festivities) James Franco. Directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire), 127 Hours tells the remarkable real life story of outdoorsman Aron Ralston, who embarked on a canyoneering trip in Utah in 2003. While he was passing through a narrow passage, a boulder broke free and trapped him within the canyon, pinning his right arm against the rock wall and beginning a five-day struggle to survive. 127 Hours was a hit with critics, who called it equally gut-wrenching and inspirational and praised Franco’s performance in particular. It didn?t come home with any Oscars on Sunday, but it did receive a Certified Fresh 93% Tomatometer, so if you missed it when it was in theaters, here’s your second chance. Be forewarned, though: there are some scenes that are not for the faint of heart.



Love and Other Drugs

49%

And here we have the latest film from the other co-host of the Oscars, Anne Hathaway; this one, however, wasn’t nominated for any of the awards. Starring alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, a smooth-talking pharmaceutical salesman (and womanizer) named Jamie, Hathaway plays Maggie Murdock, a woman with early onset Parkinson’s disease who proves to be a wit-for-wit match for Jamie. The two begin a casual, sex-based relationship, but eventually they fall in love and must deal with the consequences. Directed by Ed Zwick (Glory, The Last Samurai), Love and Other Drugs failed to impress critics very much, earning just a 49% Tomatometer. The film suffered from a lack of narrative focus, and despite striking many as a refreshingly adult romance, the lack of balance between its plot elements ultimately was its undoing. If you’re fan of the stars, or just a fan of seeing them without their clothes on, this’ll be perfect for you.



Faster

42%

Dwayne Johnson seems to have been focused on family films and comedies as of late, with roles in The Tooth Fairy, Get Smart, and The Other Guys. In fact, he hasn’t been in a proper action movie since 2005’s Doom. So, in some ways, it was refreshing to see him step back into his tough guy shoes for Faster, a revenge flick about a recently released ex-con (Johnson) who must dodge both the police and a hitman while he seeks retribution for those responsible for the death of his brother. Unfortunately, critics felt that the film’s leaps in logic were a bit much to bear, and the story was riddled with too many subplots that distract from the issue at hand. As such, it’s got a 45% Tomatometer score, and it may satisfy those looking for some cheap action thrills, but it probably won’t do much more than that.



Troubadours

64%

Troubadours is a rock doc that definitely does not go to 11. Instead, it’s a celebratory look at a key moment in American pop ? specifically, the mellow, introspective singer/songwriter movement that coalesced around the famed L.A. club the Troubadour. James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, David Crosby, Carole King, Jackson Browne and a bunch of other mellow rock luminaries are on hand to offer fond anecdotes about the time and the scene; if critics had a nit to pick with Troubadours, it’s that this amiable talking-heads portrait doesn’t go much deeper than surface level. However, fans of the music will be in heaven, and the DVD set comes with a bonus CD with cuts from Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Tom Waits, and 2011 Oscar winner Randy Newman, among others.



Burlesque

37%

On paper, Burlesque must have looked like high-camp heaven. Cher and Christina Aguilera star class up a plot that’s older than dirt: a small-town girl goes to the big city, falls under the wing of an old showbiz pro, and becomes a star. Unfortunately, critics savaged the film, calling it a cliché-ridden mess lacking the kind of showstopping musical numbers needed to overcome the predictability of the plot. Still, if you’re in the mood for some old-school razzle dazzle, you could probably do worse, since they don’t make movies like Burlesque anymore, for good or ill. The DVD features a bunch of making-of featurettes, director’s commentary, a blooper reel, an alternate opening, and videos of the movies musical sequences.



Bambi – Two-Disc Diamond Edition

91%

Generations of children have been traumatized by Bambi. Now, with a sparkling new Bambi Blu-Ray, you and your family can experience the most horrifying mommy shooting in movie history — in high definition! Seriously, though, Bambi is yet another jewel in Disney’s crown, a beautiful, charming, and at times achingly sad perennial that continues to amaze nearly 70 years after its original release. Briskly paced, with plenty of adorable characters, Bambi may fall a notch or two below Snow White or Fantasia in the Mouse House cannon, but it’s a remarkable entertainment nonetheless. The Blu-Ray is chock full of goodies as well, including a making-of doc, deleted scenes, a look at some Disney artwork from the vault, a short film of Uncle Walt explaining the filming techniques, and a Silly Symphony animated short from 1937.

Film Independent, the non-profit organization behind the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, have announced their winnerss for the 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards. The ceremony took place in Santa Monica on Saturday, February 26. See below for the full list of winners.


Best Feature

127 Hours

127 Hours

93%

Black Swan

Black Swan


86%

Greenberg

Greenberg

74% 

The Kids Are All Right

The Kids Are All Right

95%

Winter's Bone

Winter’s Bone

94%


Best First Feature

Everything Strange and New

Everything Strange and New

Get Low

Get Low

85%

Night Catches Us

Night Catches Us

77% 

The Last Exorcism

The Last Exorcism

72%

Tiny Furniture

Tiny Furniture

87%


Best Director

Darren Aronofsky

An Education

Black Swan


86%

Danny Boyle

Avatar

127 Hours

93%

Lisa Cholodenko

Inglourious Basterds

The Kids Are All Right

95%

Debra Granik

The Blind Side

Winter’s Bone

94%

John C. Mitchell

Precious

Rabbit Hole


89%


Best Male Lead

Ronald Bronstein

Ronald Bronstein

Daddy Longlegs


85% 

Aaron Eckhart

Aaron Eckhart

Rabbit Hole


89%

James Franco

James Franco

127 Hours

93%

John C. Reilly

John C. Reilly

Cyrus


81%

Ben Stiller

Ben Stiller

Greenberg

74% 


Best Female Lead

Annette Bening

Annette Bening

The Kids Are All Right

95%

Greta Gerwig

Greta Gerwig

Greenberg

74% 

Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman

Rabbit Hole


89%

Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence

Winter’s Bone

94%

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman

Black Swan


86%


Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams

Blue Valentine

88%


Best Supporting Male


John Hawkes

John Hawkes

Winter’s Bone

94%


Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson

Mother and
Child


79%

Bill
Murray

Bill Murray

Get Low


85%

John Ortiz

John Ortiz

Jack Goes
Boating


67%

Mark Ruffalo

Mark Ruffalo

The Kids Are All Right

95%


Best Supporting Female

Ashley Bell

Ashley Bell

The Last Exorcism

72%

Dale
Dickey

Dale Dickey

Winter’s Bone

94%

Allison Janney

Allison Janney


Life During Wartime

68%

Daphne Rubin-Vega

Daphne Rubin-Vega

Jack Goes
Boating


67%

Naomi Watts

Naomi Watts

Mother and
Child


79%


Best Screenplay Best First Screenplay


The Kids Are All Right

—  Obselidia


Winter’s Bone


Tiny Furniture


Please Give


Lovely, Still


Rabbit Hole


Jack Goes
Boating


Life
During Wartime

Monogamy

Best Cinematography Best Documentary


Never Let Me
Go


Exit
Through the Gift Shop


Black Swan


Marwencol


Tiny Furniture


Restrepo


Winter’s Bone


Sweetgrass


Greenberg

— 
Thunder Soul

Best Foreign Film John Cassavetes Award


Kisses


Daddy Longlegs


Mademoiselle
Chambon


Lbs.


Of Gods and Men


Lovers of Hate


The King’s
Speech

—  Obselidia


Uncle Boonmee Who
Can Recall His Past Lives


The Exploding Girl


For all of RT?s awards season coverage, check out Awards Tour here.

Founded in 1947 by such cinematic legends as David Lean, Alexander Korda, Carol Reed, and Charles Laughton, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts is tasked with promoting cinema and education the public about film through screenings, lectures, and other events. However, it’s best known on these shores for the British Academy Film Awards – better known as the BAFTAs — which have honored the UK’s finest cinematic achievements since 1948 and are one of the most important pre-Oscar honors. Here now is the full list of winners.


Best Film

Black Swan

Black Swan


88%


Inception

86%


The King’s
Speech


96%

The Social
Network

97%

True Grit


95%


Outstanding British Film

127 Hours

127 Hours

93%

Another Year

Another Year

91%

Four Lions

Four Lions

81%


The King’s
Speech


96%


Made in Dagenham


80%


Director

Danny Boyle

127 Hours

127 Hours

93%

Darren Aronofsky

Black Swan

Black Swan


86%



Christopher Nolan

Inception

87%

Tom Hooper


The King’s
Speech


93%

David
Fincher

The Social
Network

96%


Leading Actor

Javier Bardem


Biutiful


63%

Jeff
Bridges

Jeff Bridges

True Grit

100%

Jesse
Eisenberg

The Social
Network

96%

Colin Firth


The King’s
Speech


93%

James Franco

James Franco

127 Hours

93%


Leading Actress

Annette Bening

Annette Bening

The Kids Are All Right

95%

Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore

The Kids Are All Right


94%

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman

Black Swan


86%

Noomi
Rapace


The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo


86%


Hailee Steinfeld


True Grit

95%


Supporting Actor

Christian
Bale

The Fighter


86%

Andrew
Garfield


The Social
Network

96%

Pete Postlethwaite


The Town


94%

Mark Ruffalo

Mark Ruffalo

The Kids Are All Right

95%

Geoffrey
Rush


The
King’s Speech

93%


Supporting Actress

Amy Adams

The Fighter


78%


Helena Bonham Carter


The
King’s Speech

93%

Barbara Hershey

Barbara Hershey

Black Swan


89%

Lesley Manville


Another Year


89%


Miranda Richardson


Made in Dagenham

100%


Animated Film


Despicable Me

82%



How to Train Your Dragon

98%

Toy Story 3

99%


Original Screenplay Adapted Screenplay

Black Swan

127 Hours


The Fighter

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Inception

The Social Network

The Kids Are All Right

Toy Story 3

The King’s Speech

True Grit

Cinematography Editing

127 Hours

127 Hours

Black Swan

Black Swan

Inception

Inception

The King’s
Speech

The King’s
Speech

True Grit

The Social Network

Production Design Costume Design

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland

Black Swan

Black Swan

Inception

The King’s Speech

The King’s Speech

Made In Dagenham

True Grit

True Grit

Special Visual Effects Make Up & Hair


Alice in Wonderland


Alice in Wonderland

Black Swan

Black Swan



Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1



Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Inception

The King’s Speech

Toy Story 3

Made in Dagenham

Sound Original Music

127 Hours

127 Hours

Black Swan


Alice in Wonderland

Inception

How to Train Your Dragon

The King’s Speech


Inception

True Grit

The King’s Speech

Film Not In the English Language Short Film


Biutiful

Connect

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Lin


I Am Love

Rite


Of Gods and Men

Turning

The Secret in Their Eyes

Until the River Runs Red

Orange Rising Star Award Short Animation


Gemma Arterton

The Eagleman Stag

Andrew Garfield

Matter Fisher


Tom Hardy

Thursday


Aaron Johnson


Emma Stone


For all of RT’s awards season coverage, check out Awards Tour here.

This week at the movies, we’ve got a reformed supervillain (Megamind, with voice work from Will Ferrell and Tina Fey); a crazed cross-country trek (Due Date, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis); and some pained, poetic women (For Colored Girls, starring Thandie Newton and Janet Jackson). What do the critics have to say?



[tomatometer]MovieID=770805424[/tomatometer]

Megamind

Megamind shares some cosmetic similarities with a couple of recent animated features – namely, The Incredibles and Despicable Me. Still, critics say Megamind has a strong voice cast, strong visuals, and a loopy sense of humor that help to make up for a slightly stale premise and some pacing problems. After apparently defeating his nemesis, Metro Man (Brad Pitt), Megamind (Will Ferrell) finds that his fair city has taken a turn for the worse. Needing an image makeover, he imports a new rival to fight – and hopefully gain some popularity in the process. The pundits say Megamind is generally decent, with a few big laughs and some impressive artwork, but its many pop-culture references mostly serve to remind audiences of the superhero flicks they’ve seen — and loved — before.



[tomatometer]MovieID=770814359[/tomatometer]

Due Date

Director Todd Phillips scored big with The Hangover, and Due Date seemingly has all the elements in place for a stellar follow-up: it’s got a red hot cast, and its combination of cross-country tomfoolery and antisocial behavior would seem to be right in Phillips’s wheelhouse (he directed both Road Trip and Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies, after all). Unfortunately, the critics say Due Date is just so-so, an occasionally unpleasant trip that lacks the headlong comic intensity of The Hangover. Robert Downey Jr. stars as a dad-to-be who’s trying to be with his wife for the birth of their child. However, when he has problems with his flight, he hastily hitches a ride with an antisocial oddball (Zach Galifianakis); hi-jinks ensue. The pundits say Due Date benefits from its stars and several excellent cameos, but it slavishly follows the templates of a number of other road comedies and suffers from both poor taste and a lack of forward momentum. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we list some memorable movie road trips.)



[tomatometer]MovieID=770860166[/tomatometer]

For Colored Girls

On the surface, For Colored Girls has a lot going for it. It’s based upon a Tony Award-winning play by Ntozake Shange; it’s got a fantastic cast that includes Janet Jackson, Thandie Newton, Whoopi Goldberg, and Kerry Washington, just to name a few; and its director, Tyler Perry, has been riding a relative critical hot streak lately (his 2009 helming effort, I Can Do Bad All By Myself, got the best notices of his career, and he was a producer on the Oscar-winning Precious). Unfortunately, critics say For Colored Girls largely bowdlerizes the play’s evocative, impassioned language in favor of grim melodrama. For Colored Girls is the tale of eight African American women, each in the midst of a personal crisis, and how their lives intersect. The pundits say that while For Colored Girls was made with the best of intentions — and contains some dynamite acting — it’s ultimately undone by Perry’s over-the-top scripting and direction, and the result is a soapy, painful slog.


Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Ne change rien, a documentary about the working methods of French chanteuse Jeanne Balibar, is at 100 percent.
  • Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, a doc about the disgraced Wall Street crusader-turned-New York governor, is at 94 percent.

  • Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, starring James Franco as mountain climber trapped under a rock, is Certified Fresh at 93 percent.
  • Four Lions, a comedy about a quartet of inept British jihadists, is at 84 percent.
  • Fair Game, starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn in the based-on-true-events tale of the Valerie Plame scandal, is at 79 percent.
  • Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench, a low-budget indie musical about an uncertain romance between a jazz musician and a student, is at 71 percent.
  • Red Hill, an Aussie crime drama about a young detective in the midst of a prison escape crisis, is at 69 percent.
  • Outside the Law, a drama about three Algerian brothers whose lives intersect after following their own destinies, is at 56 percent.

Finally, props to August M., Doomz Davo, Easter In The Batcave, Jacob The Basterd, and trukandji for coming the closest to guessing Saw 3D‘s nine percent Tomatometer.

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