Burn After Reading

No one loves idiots more.

The Coen brothers delight in concocting tales about people who think they know more than they do, morons who stumble in and out of danger, often ending up prematurely erased.

This pitch-dark comedy, while not on the top tier of their filmography, has some huge laugh-out-loud moments.

Especially from Brad Pitt as a man so remarkably stupid you expect him to forget how to breath at times.

From the mystery project George Clooney is building in his basement, to Frances McDormand’s letting the CIA buy her off with plastic surgery, this is primo tomfoolery.

 

Ava

Come for the action, stay for the angst.

This tale of an assassin coming to terms with her life choices does offer its fair share of herky-jerky scenes of Jessica Chastain opening a case of whup-ass.

But it’s actually the quieter moments, such as those where our world-weary hit woman has emotionally-charged conversations with mom Geena Davis and boss John Malkovich that have the biggest impact.

Davis, an action hero from a different era (go watch Cutthroat Island now!) gets to deliver one tightly-wound confessional which will put most of this year’s Oscar contenders to shame.

She shoots, and scores.

In the Line of Fire

“We can’t have monsters roaming the quiet countryside, can we?”

John Malkovich and Clint Eastwood stare each other down in one of the best ’90s thrillers, with the former a deranged assassin and the latter a carved-from-granite Secret Service agent.

The President of the United States is the one in the gun sites, but it’s the personal battle between two of Hollywood’s most-imposing thespians which rules the day.

Speaking with his customary growl in place, Eastwood is a man haunted by past failures, but damn sure he’ll stop at nothing to bring down his rival.

Wanna make his day?

 

Penguins of Madagascar

“Smile and wave, boys. Smile and wave.”

In a zoo full of animals who do what they’re told, the perky (and sometimes devious) penguins who burst out of Madagascar to earn fans worldwide are a different breed.

Given the chance to helm their own cinematic journey, Skipper, Rico, Kowalski, and Private get into all sorts of misadventures, as they were born to do.

Their nemesis is a power-hungry octopus, while a squad of secret agents led by a wolf try to save the world.

Enter the oblivious penguins, chasing elusive Cheezy Dibbles, the perfect band of loveable idiots as always.