Every knowledgeable American literature student knows Herman Melville's epic, iconoclastic 1851 novel "Moby Dick." Director Ron Howard aims to enlighten readers regarding one momentous contribution to Melville's inspiration, the tragic fate of the Essex, a whaling ship out of Nantucket destroyed in 1820 by an 80-ton sperm whale. Melville seeks a dramatic story and finds it, the movie not quite.
Anyone who saw the British television series "Shoulder to Shoulder" 40 years ago or who has studied British women's history, especially the chapter on the struggle for the vote, will not be surprised by the history detailed in Suffragette. Disturbed, yes, but not surprised. Infuriated, indeed, but not surprised.
Director Robert Redford's "The Company You Keep" immediately establishes the "company" of the title with archival footage of the 1960s radical Weather Underground. The fictionalized film jumps to the present as one of the previous members, Sharon Solarz, prepares to turn herself in for involvement in a Michigan bank heist that left an officer dead three decades ago.
Just when it seems the buddy cop, drug smuggling caper film has exhausted all worthwhile possibilities, along comes The Guard, one of the best written, funniest, most brilliantly acted and beautifully photographed films in this extensive genre. That's a credit to Brendan Gleeson who stars as Sergeant Gerry Boyle with Don Cheadle as FBI agent Wendell Everett.