I know it has been awhile since I did a movie review and frankly, it has been so long partly because I’m so busy, but partly because I have seen so many and don’t have a clue where to start.

That said, let’s start with the most recent – The Rite. If you’re looking for classic Anthony Hopkins – you will be happy. If you’re looking for a thought-provoking film that keeps your interest – you will be happy. If you are looking for your typical blood and gore scarefest – you wont find it.

What you do find is a story “inspired” by true events that brings a combination of good acting, good casting, interesting writing and 112 minutes of entertainment.

I find it refreshing that the film find a good balance between healthy skepticism and faith in religion. In the end, it won’t go down as anyone’s all time favorite – but won’t be hated by many either.  The gem of the film has to be the lead actor, Colin O’Donoghue.  He played in The Tudors, but I hadn’t seen that so this was my first exposure – he is solid.

RATING 8 out of 10
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Next up is True Grit. What can I say that the critics,fans,pundits etc. haven’t already?  I really liked the original with John Wayne (his only Oscar win) and was hopeful that Jeff Bridges could pull it off.  Did he ever!  Not only was he every bit the curmudgeon of Wayne and then some, but Hailee Steinfeld was amazing as Mattie Ross.  The only casting that seemed a bit off was Matt Damon as the dorky Texas Ranger.  Midway through the film, I was sold on Damon, but originally it struck me as odd.

There was nothing really new in the story, but the Coen Brothers know how to tell a story and I have to put this version ahead of the 1969 version.

I have always had a soft spot for period pieces and add the whole western thing to that mix and you have great possibilities – add a proven winner of a story and mix in a cast chock full of solid talent and you are looking at some serious award winners.  There is no movie in the last year that I could more wholeheartedly say is a “must see.”

RATING 10 out of 10
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