Instead of another slog through a 19th-century Russian novel, director Joe Wright presents a tantalizing melange of art forms -- theater and film and painting -- all enfolded by the words of famed playwright Tom Stoppard. It does not always succeed, but it always intrigues.
Director Martin Scorsese needs no introduction with his 52 films from Mean Streets (1973) to Raging Bull (1980) to Goodfellas (1990). But with Hugo Marty has added a surprising gem to his jewels, for Scorsese has channeled his encyclopedic knowledge of film history into an exhilarating, 3D love letter to special effects cinema pioneer Georges Méliès.
Steven Soderbergh is a very smart director. He's proved this already with an amazing range of films: Traffic, The Limey, Out of Sight, Ocean's Twelve and Thirteen, and Sex, Lies, and Videotape. Now add his recent film Contagion. Knowing the apocalypse extravaganzas, Soderbergh astutely chooses a different tack with the terrifying idea: the worldwide, rapid spread of a deadly virus.