Click on title to see the film’s trailer
Wild *** Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée. Starring Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Gaby Hoffman. A chronicle of one woman’s 1,100-mile solo hike undertaken as a way to recover from a recent catastrophe. While the wilderness vistas are starkly beautiful, there’s no tangible sense of the heroine’s ultimate goal. (Why Oregon?) And the flashbacks, which include scenes of sexual misadventure and heroin use, are too brief to provide answers.
Interstellar *** Directed by Christopher Nolan. Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, Wes Bentley. A team of explorers travel through a wormhole in an attempt to ensure humanity’s survival. While it reaches for the stars, director Nolan’s film is a flawed masterpiece. The story is ever-ambitious, sometimes riveting and thought-provoking, but also plodding and hokey and not as visionary as its cutting-edge special effects.
The Imitation Game *** Directed by Morten Tyldum. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley. During World War II, mathematician Alan Turing tries to crack the Enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians. It’s a good story, a sad story, a story of triumph and prejudice and terrible hypocrisy. And Cumberbatch aces it all — another smartly realized but deeply soulful performance from an actor who seemingly can do no wrong.