Justin Timberlake's newest movie, Runner Runner, is in theaters now, and even though it boasts big names like Ben Affleck, it's not winning over the critics or audiences. Timberlake plays Richie, a Princeston student who plays online poker to pay for his tuition and gets swindled by an online gambling boss (Affleck), who later takes Richie under his wing. Timberlake's latest inspired us to take a look back at his entire movie career, so we did just that and ranked his most notable movies from best to...not so great.
The Social Network
Not only did The Social Network win several Academy Awards, but it almost earned Timberlake an Oscar nod for best supporting actor. Now that is impressive. Timberlake's portrayal of Napster founder Sean Parker is arguably the best of his career.
Inside Llewyn Davis
You know you've made it when you're cast in a Coen brothers movie. In this one, Timberlake plays a musician and performs covers of classic folk songs live for the film.
Friends With Benefits
This movie came out around the same time as No Strings Attached, which basically had the same premise, but Timberlake's film was by far the superior of the two. He and Mila Kunis have palpable chemistry and a very natural rapport. The movie's real magic, however, lies in its postmodern mocking of the rom-com genre.
Black Snake Moan
Still starting out in his career, Timberlake played a minor role in this 2006 drama, but anytime he was on screen, his presence was overshadowed by another actor. Even when sharing the frame with little-known actor Michael Raymond-James, James clearly has more weight as an actor than the pop singer.
Though he stood out as a goofy supporting friend character, the movie is one of the most painful to watch in recent memory.
Trouble With the Curve
Not even Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams can save this snoozefest. It sort of makes you wonder if Timberlake only signed on because Eastwood's name was attached.
Cameron Diaz is hilarious as the teacher who smokes pot in front of her students and cares more about finding a rich husband than teaching, while Timberlake is the weakest link in a solid cast of comedians that also includes Jason Segel and Lucy Punch.
This wannabe sci-fi dystopia flick, about a future world that uses time as currency, looks slick, but the plot is ludicrous and poorly executed. Timberlake especially falls flat in his first major action role.
It just so happens that Timberlake's latest movie is his worst. His acting in the thriller may have improved marginally — he's doing the obvious head turns and concerned face less — but the movie fails to engage the audience with the subject matter.
After years of stereo seranades, self-defining skiing competitions, Top 5 lists, and the loving of dogs, John Cusack seems to have finally gone off the deep end. His character Emerson is falling to pieces — as far as we can tell from the below exclusive featurette from the new thriller The Numbers Station — thanks to a career in the high-stakes, morally grey black ops game. However, it's nothing a rural getaway can't fix! ... Though this particular countryside respite does involve a new life-or-death case for Emerson. Not exactly your Caribbean cruise.
The featurette introduces viewers to Emerson's character and the dark, action- and drama-laden film itself, with Cusack and producer Sean Furst detailing the depths to which this brooding story travels. Check out the video, and catch The Numbers Station, also starring Malin Akerman, in theaters Apr. 26.
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Malin Akerman is vowing to protect and serve, but this time, not behind a superhero costume.
The Swedish-Canadian actress just signed on to an upcoming CIA thriller called The Numbers Station, also starring Ethan Hawke.
The film tells the story of a disgraced black ops agent whose sole duty is to protect a young woman in the middle of the Nevada desert. The job starts out as a dead-end position, but the two come under attack, and it quickly turns into a fight to stay alive.
The $10 million picture is scheduled to begin shooting in early 2011. Directed by Kasper Barfoed (The Candidate), it's produced by The Cooler's Sean and Bryan Furst.
Akerman should take advantage of this opportunity. In her previous work, she's blended too easily into the cast, not bringing much more than a pretty face to the screen (like Couple's Retreat). Or, she's had to deal with heavy plot themes (think Watchmen), which overshadowed her acting. With The Numbers Station, as the female lead, she'll carry a heavy portion of the screen time and will need to give a solid performance for a successful movie. Hopefully, she can handle. Come on Silk Spectre, we believe in you!
In this film based on the Newbery Award-winning children's book by Kate DiCamillo Opal (AnnaSophia Robb) is a lonely 10-year-old girl who has moved to a sluggish small town in Florida with her preacher father (Jeff Daniels). She has a tough time getting through to her dad: when he is not preaching the gospel he walks around in a haze haunted by the departure of Opal's mother many years before. But when Opal adopts Winn-Dixie named after the supermarket where she found the mutt things start to brighten up for the little girl. With her special companion by her side Opal ends up meeting some pretty interesting people in the town. They include Miss Franny (Eva Marie Saint) the local spinster librarian who spins great stories; Otis (Dave Matthews) the shy drifter working at Gertrude's Pet Shop; and Gloria (Cicely Tyson) an old blind lady living with ghosts from her past. Through Opal's sunny disposition and Winn-Dixie doggone tenaciousness they help the town find their joy and their sorrow. And at the same time they mend Opal's troubled relationship with her father. Collectively now awwww!
All the players fit snugly in this warmhearted movie especially the talented young Robb who makes her feature film debut in Winn-Dixie. It's imperative to cast an adorable child and Robb doesn't disappoint keeping things genuinely fresh with the big eyes infectious smile and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm charm. Daniels too doesn't overplay it as the wounded preacher--aptly described by Opal as a turtle--who rarely sticks his head out of his shell. Veterans Eva Marie Saint and Cicely Tyson do what they can with their stereotypical parts as the kindly spinster storyteller and kindly old wise woman respectively. But it's singer-turned-actor Dave Matthews who stands out as the drifter with a troubled past but can "sing most anything " even charming the animals in the pet shop á la the Pied Piper. His poignant performance is up there in the sentiment department.
Here we go with the children and the animals again. Wayne Wang (Maid in Manhattan The Joy Luck Club) is the latest director to take a stab at guiding those most unpredictable of actors. As he explains "Sometimes the going is slow. But then suddenly something magical happens that you couldn't possibly have planned or anticipated." It's true. There are definite moments of inspired sweetness especially between Opal and Winn-Dixie played by a Picardy Shepherd a rare breed of dog from France that has the look of a big old lovable mutt. And of course you can't go too wrong using heart-tugging material based on a beloved children's novel on par with Where the Red Fern Grows and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. That's also Because of Winn-Dixie main problem. Fans of the book will certainly love the film but overall it doesn't really offer anything new in this genre. It's the same general premise about the kid and a dog--or a horse a deer whichever animal works best--who can change the lives of those around them just from being pure of heart. Maybe it's the curmudgeon in me but Winn-Dixie just doesn't stand out among the plethora of films similar to it.
December 18, 2003 12:55pm EST
Katherine Watson (Julia Roberts) a novice professor from UCLA lands a job in the art history department at Wellesley College in the fall of 1953 and she's thrilled at the prospect of educating some of the brightest young women in the country. But her lofty image of Wellesley quickly fizzles when she discovers that despite its academic reputation the school fosters an environment where success is measured by the size of a girl's engagement ring. Besides learning about fresco techniques and physics the women take classes in the art of serving tea to their husband's bosses something that doesn't sit well with the forward-thinking Katherine who openly encourages her students to strive for goals other than marriage. Katherine inspires a group of students specifically Joan (Julia Stiles) and Giselle (Maggie Gyllenhaal) but newlywed Betty (Kirsten Dunst) feels Katherine looks down on her for choosing a husband over a career. Betty goes on the offensive and uses her column in the school paper to drive a wedge between the professor and the stuffy faculty. But while Betty puts on a happily married face her hostility towards Katherine is actually misplaced anger stemming from her miserable marriage to a cheating charlatan.
Katherine is Mona Lisa Smile's most complex and intriguing character and Roberts is a fitting choice for the part. Like an old soul the actress has a depth that's perfect for a character like Katherine who's enlightened and ahead of her time. But Katherine never emotionally connects with any of her students which isn't surprising since they're so bitchy and self-absorbed. Perhaps more time should have been spent developing the young women's characters and building their relationships with Katherine sooner but as it is the underdeveloped friendships between the women will leave viewers feeling indifferent rather than inspired. The worst of the bunch is Dunst's character Betty who is intent on making everyone around her feel unworthy. She has her reasons of course but they're revealed so late in the story that it's hard to suddenly empathize with her after having spent three-quarters of the film hating her guts. Stiles' character Joan is perhaps the most congenial but like Betty she never develops a strong bond with her teacher. The most "liberal" of the girls is Giselle played by Gyllenhaal but the character suffers the same burden as the rest: She's unlikable. Giselle's penchant for sleeping with professors and married men is so odious that not even her 11th hour broken-home story can salvage her character.
While Mona Lisa's smile in Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting has often been described as subtle director Mike Newell's star-studded drama is anything but that; Mona Lisa Smile is so heavy-handed that unlike the painting for which it was named there is nothing left for moviegoers to ponder or debate. The film plays like a montage of '50s ideological iconography: A school nurse gets fired for dispensing birth control; a teacher refers to Lucille Ball as a "communist"; Betty's prayers are answered when she gets what every woman dreams of--a washer and dryer. But the film's critical insight into '50s culture isn't as shocking as it thinks it is and the way it highlights feminist issues is as uninspired as trivial as a fine-art reproduction. Newell also spends too much time basking in the aura of the '50s era focusing on countless parties dances and weddings sequences that while visually ambitious are superfluous. The film may be historically accurate but its characters story and message will leave moviegoers feeling empty. A climactic scene for example in which Katherine's students ride their bikes alongside her car as a show of support comes across as a tool to evoke sentiment that just doesn't exist.