A sleeper for the Oscars.

While this picture will be a box office flop, it’s probably the best drama of 2010, destined to be remembered as a gut-wrenching drama with true-to-life characters and internal conflicts that only the super destitute can relate to.

Briefly, this is about a 17 year-old girl burdened with the responsibility of caring for two small siblings, abandoned by one criminal parent and another disabled, struggling to survive in the backwoods setting of rural Missouri. She’s informed by authorities that their ramshackle house will be confiscated by authorities unless she locates her father…an impossible task. Superbly acted by Jennifer Lawrence, her character is met with one roadblock after.

Directed by Debra Granik, the actors in the film are so realistic, it makes them surreal. This is not for people who complain about “depressing” movies, nor does it display the usual herky-jerky hand-held cameras with dumb action, smashed cars, collapsing buildings, and bullets flying by the billions. It’s not a complicated story, but one you won’t easily forget.

Watch for Oscar nominations for best actress, best supporting actress (Dale Dickey) and best director.


Again, superb acting by John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill and Marisa Tomei, in a simple story about two lonely adults who form a special relationship, only to be crumbled by the woman’s 22 year-old son who goes through great lengths to derail the relationship.

Another drama, minus the usual car wrecks, bullets and senseless graphics.


Once a wealthy, respected car magnate, Michael Douglas’ character hits the skids as he embarks on bizarre behavioral changes, losing a wife, chasing women and creating a chasm between his daughter and himself. Another engaging drama, with Susan Sarandon, Danny Devito and Mary-Louise Parker. Good acting, worth seeing..if you like drama.


This is the big box office hit of 2010. I must be living under a rock, because I considered this one of the worst movies in the last year, one in which I wish I had walked out.

This is the product of a group of computer geeks and graphics engineers, talking behind the scenes about how they could come up with the most spectacular array of crumbling buildings and bridges, smashed cars, more bullets than stars in the universe, suspended bodies and special effects that would dazzle any video-game lover. Doesn’t matter that it’s short on acting (though DiCaprio does a good job), plot, and a horrible script. The scenes are laid out with ten minutes of graphics, then ten minutes of cyber jabber concerning dreams, in and out, projecting, then back to the special effects, then back to the cyber jabber…and so forth. Each scene, you’re trying to figure out who’s saying what and what in the hell they’re really talking about.

Yes, I must be stupid. This picture was made only for smart people.

If you are a movie lover who enjoys good story, good writing and great acting, see the other three, (above).