Tag Archives: Michelle Monaghan

Source Code (2011)

People like mystery stories because of the satisfaction of solving one. Looking for clues, sizing up characters, watching a film competitively; all require active participation from an audience. Source Code, the second feature-length film from Director Duncan Jones, is emblematic of this, with a meandering plot that misleads as often as it reveals. Assuming the pieces are all in place, this is a thoroughly engaging experience, and leads to the cryptic praise of satisfied watchers who want to tell you everything but simply can’t reveal anything, lest the enumerable unveilings be ruined. Despite the film’s shifting moods, Jones has put together a lively action film that serves double-time as an exhausting mind puzzle.

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Due Date (2010)

The average fan of a Todd Phillips movie probably wouldn’t recognize his name or be able to pick him out of a lineup.  This is surprising not only because he’s directed enough solid comedies to rival Judd Apatow (Road Trip, Old School, Starsky & Hutch, The Hangover), but because he’s appeared as some curly-headed oddball character in all of them.  The Hangover is Phillips’ biggest critical and financial success (the sequel is shooting now) and along with that movie’s breakout star Zach Galifianakis the reason Due Date is sure to bring a big Box Office.  In some ways Phillips’ latest feels a bit like the cocky follow up to a surprise hit, banking on names and humor and seeming just a bit too unconcerned with story.  And so, like any number of comedies, Due Date is a Yin and Yang of solid, absurdist comedy and weak, mailed-in plot.  Which way do the scales tip?  Guess.

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