Reviews: Roger Ebert (3.5 of 4) | IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes 61% | Metacritic 63%
In The Changeling (2008), Angelina Jolie plays Christine Collins, a pre-depression era single mom whose only child (Gattlin Griffith) was kidnapped. The L.A. police return a boy that is not her son, they know it, and they expect her to raise this strange boy pretending it to be her son. These plot elements are revealed within the first 15 minutes of the movie.
I couldn’t get past how preposterous the story was. I wondered to the end … how could a Hollywood script writer, write such a thing, how could Clint Eastwood agree to direct it, or Ron Howard produce it?
It turns out the movie was based on a true story! Yikes! I still find it hard to believe. Had I known this I likely would have appreciated the movie more. As it was I couldn’t get the idea out of my head how ludicrous it was.
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Reviews: Roger Ebert | IMDb External Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes 79% | Metacritic 62%
The title should be changed to "Burn Before Watching". It’s an awful movie. I laughed a lot during Burn After Reading (2008). I laughed at it, not because of it. Given my general disdain for Coen Brothers movies, I only went to see it because a good friend paid for my ticket (it was my birthday).
This bit of drivel attracted yet another star studded cast, all of whom wasted their considerable talents on a movie about hapless physical trainers (Frances McDormand and Brad Pitt) trying to ply a hapless ex-CIA agent (John Malkovich) for money in exchange for the return of electronic documents of questionable intelligence value.
Tilda Swinton, who won the Best Supporting Actress award for her terrific performance in Michael Clayton (2007), was wasted as Malkovich’s one-dimensional, witch-of-a-philandering-wife. George Clooney reprised his O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) buffoonery as a Treasury Department body guard, engaged in multiple affairs with the Swinton and McDormand characters, among others.
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