6.  BREACH
Rating:  PG-13 (for violence, sexual content and language)
The true story of the fall of FBI spy Robert Hanssen shows how a man who tricked the U.S. government for decades was brought down by the very people he held in contempt.  Breach is a cautionary tale about the perils of power and greed, and the deceitfulness of the human heart. Fabulous performances accentuate one of the year’s most suspenseful films.

Click here for a full review.


7.  HAIRSPRAY
Rating:  PG (for language, some suggestive content and momentary teen smoking)
Hairspray’s music is fun and infectious, mimicking the familiar doo-wop sound of 1960s rock and roll. Its dancing and choreography energize and make you forget how very silly it is for characters to simply burst into song during the pivotal moments of their lives. In contrast to the musical numbers of last year’s Dreamgirls, the music here tells more of the story instead of bogging it down. Director Adam Shankman has managed to put together the most engaging on-screen musical since 2002’s Oscar-winning Chicago. And in many ways, Hairspray surpasses Chicago with its vastly more redeeming message.

Click here for a full review.


8.  RESCUE DAWN
Rating:  PG-13 (for some sequences of intense war violence and torture)
Werner Herzog’s Rescue Dawn is a celebration of America and the spirit that motivates our servicemen. It delivers an emotional high that will help viewers stomach what is, at times, a harrowing, hard-to-watch tale of raw survival. Christian Bale stars as Dieter Dengler, a German native who fulfills his dream of becoming a U.S. Navy fighter pilot before being shot down in the jungles of Laos, just as U.S. involvement in Vietnam is about to escalate. Dawn serves as a poignant examination of both the good and evil of which humans are capable.

Click here for a full review.


9.  ONCE
Rating:  R (for language)
The plot in Once is so sparse that these characters don’t even have names, but that doesn’t matter at all.  This endearing Irish film is a short, but straightforward, story about two people who are looking for love, but instead find a deep commonality through music.  And in a way that is completely different from American filmmakers, writer-director John Carney allows almost every song to play out in full, without editing or close-ups or swelling orchestral accompaniment to cue our every emotion.  Subtle yet deeply emotional, the music and performances resonate with you long after the movie is finished. 

Click here for a full review.


10.  I AM LEGEND
Rating:  PG-13 (violence, disturbing images, mild language)
What would it be like to be the last man alive on earth? Although this is not the kind of film that wins Oscars, Will Smith’s riveting performance in I Am Legend goes a long way toward answering that question. As Dr. Robert Neville, a scientist looking for a cure to a disease that may have wiped out most of earth’s population, Smith carries this suspenseful film with ease as virtually the only human being with screen time. In addition, incredible special effects and cinematography give us an eerily realistic glimpse of a desolate and abandoned New York City without the usual horn-honking hubbub.  

Click here for a full review.



THE B LIST: