Fall Flicks Packed with Politics and Suspense

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009


This fall, theatres across Canada will offer an array of films, ranging from the fantastical world of Beowulf to Brian De Palma’s politically conscious Redacted. Here are a few upcoming flicks worth watching:

The Kingdom
Directed By: Peter Berg
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman
Release Date: Sept. 28
Synopsis: A terrorist bombing inside a Western housing compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia ignites an international incident. FBI Special Agent Ronald Fleury (Foxx) forms a secret team to hunt down the man behind the bombing. Upon their arrival to Saudi Arabia, the team quickly finds their hosts suspicious and unwelcoming. Fortunately, Fleury befriends a like-minded Saudi colonel (Ashraf Barhoum), who helps them navigate royal politics and unlock the secrets of the crime scene and the workings of an extremist cell bent on further destruction.
â€"Universal Pictures
Why You Should See It: The Kingdom explores the complexities of the Western-Middle Eastern relationship. Given today’s circumstances, it will be interesting to see how well Berg presents such a real-life scenario and its implications.

Lions for Lambs
Directed By: Robert Redford
Starring: Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep, Robert Redford
Release Date: Nov. 9
Synopsis: Two students at a West Coast University, Arian and Ernest, become the tether between two disparate tales of political intrigue after shipping off to fight in Afghanistan. In California, their idealistic professor (Redford) tries to reach another student to spare him the same fate as Arian and Ernest. Meanwhile in Washington D.C., charismatic Presidential hopeful Senator Jasper Irving (Cruise), prepares to give a story to a TV journalist (Streep) that may determine Arian and Ernest’s fates. As producer Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer describes the film, “As arguments, memories and bullets fly, the three stories are woven together, revealing how each of these Americans has impacted each other and the world.”
Why You Should See It: Fortunately there will be no Tom Cruise couch-jumping antics in this flick. However, the film’s interwoven stories are sure to reach a feverish climax.

Directed By: Robert Zemeckis
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich
Release Date: Nov. 16
Synopsis: In a legendary time of heroes, the mighty warrior Beowulf battles the demon Grendel and incurs the hellish wrath of the beast’s ruthlessly seductive mother. Their epic clash forges the timeless legend of Beowulf. Groundbreaking director Robert Zemeckis offers a unique vision of the Beowulf saga in a way that it has never been told before.
â€"Warner Brothers Pictures
Why You Should See It: Loaded with Hollywood A-list actors, English majors and action/adventure enthusiasts alike will revel in the re-telling of this classic tale.

Stephen King’s The Mist
Directed By: Frank Darrabont
Starring: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden
Release Date: Nov. 21
Synopsis: Three-time Oscar-nominee Frank Darabont (The Green Mile, The Shawshank Redemption) reunites with horror-master Stephen King to write and direct this chilling adaptation of the author’s original short story. Following a violent thunderstorm, artist David Drayton and a small town community come under vicious attack from creatures prowling in a thick and unnatural mist.
â€"Darkwoods Productions
Why You Should See It: Stephen King is a thriller heavyweight. You can bet your top dollar that this on-screen adaptation will scare you. You may need to bring an extra pair of underpants.

Directed By: Brian De Palma
Starring: Patrick Carroll, Rob Devaney, Izzy Diaz, and Ty Jones
Release Date: Dec. 14
Synopsis: Brian De Palma’s razor-sharp docudrama details the truelife story of the rape and murder of a 15-year-old Iraqi girl at the hands of American soldiers in 2006. The film is sympathetic to the plight of young men ground down by the Iraq campaign, yet harrowing in its depiction of the war’s more complex consequences.
Why You Should See It: Shot exclusively in Jordan, De Palma’s docudrama has already been showcased at the Venice Film Festival, picking up the “Silver Lion” for best director.

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