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Wednesday, August 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 83.0° F  Mostly Cloudy


The International

An Interpol agent (Clive Owen) and a U.S. attorney (Naomi Watts) scour the earth trying to convince people that the most powerful bank in the world is really a criminal organization and get nothing for their troubles but shot at and run down by cars. >More
 Sunshine Cleaning: Indie clichés

Rose Lorkowski, in other words, is the heroine of a Sundance-ready independent movie. Produced by the same team that scored a hit in 2006 with Little Miss Sunshine, Sunshine Cleaning isn't much more than an exercise in style and behavior, a blueprint for young filmmakers hoping to get their dark comedies about working-class despondency into Robert Redford's hands. >More
 Happy-Go-Lucky: Smiling at trouble

While recently suffering through the cheerful escapades of Pauline "Poppy" Cross (Sally Hawkins), the heroine of the new Mike Leigh film Happy-Go-Lucky, I couldn't help wondering, could this perpetually giggling, insanely positive girlish girl of a woman really have sprung from the same fevered mind that unleashed Johnny - the scabrous, antagonistic, misanthropic antihero of Naked - on the world? It seems unlikely, and yet there it is: Leigh's name above the title. >More
 The Bank Job, Penelope

The Bank Job: In 1971, low-rent thieves dug into the vault at a Lloyd's Bank in London and raided the safe-deposit boxes. This dramatization blends the daring of the bank-heist genre with the dread of the political-paranoia genre, exploring a universe of police corruption, financial malfeasance and sexual degeneracy. >More

 Not with my wives you don't

In this rapidly changing world, it's comforting to know there are a few constants that have existed since we humans first dragged ourselves out of the primordial muck. Ten Canoes, though set in the ancient world of the Australian Ramingining tribe, may as well be a modern-day story for all its lessons about the value of community, the fear of strangers, the importance of the rule of law, the temptations of the fairer sex, and the madness of having more than one wife. >More
 Wedding crasher

To remind viewers of its gilded past, Warner Bros. Studios has taken to introducing all its movies to the nostalgic strains of Casablanca's "As Time Goes By," including its newest romantic comedy, License to Wed. I may be alone in this sentiment, but jumping from memories of Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman to a shot of Robin Williams grinning in a clerical collar struck me as particularly deflating. >More
 Flushed Away

Flushed Away has a smart and subtle sense of humor. >More
 Sink or swim

By all rights, The Guardian should have been a typically empty Hollywood action movie about the explosive, adventurous lives of Coast Guard rescue swimmers. It turns out instead to be a surprisingly engaging character-driven picture: not quite Ingmar Bergman, but not Michael Bay either. The film's two heroes, Coast Guard legend Ben Randall (Kevin Costner) and his young hotshot protÃgÃ, Jake Fisher (Ashton Kutcher), are both gifted but damaged. They're the best in the business at saving lives but haunted by memories of dead friends and past failures. With the slightest prodding, their neuroses and insecurities come spilling out all over the floor. >More
 Open Season

Sometime over the last 15 years an animated-blockbuster formula was carved onto stone tablets by Disney. Take an odd coupling of bumbling animals, one large and fussy, the other small and volatile. Send them out on an adventure together with little but the charm of their celebrity voices to protect them, pit them against an antagonist of frothing hostility, and stand back as bumper-sticker lessons about friendship and loyalty crowd the screen. Open Season follows this formula to the letter. >More
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