Unbroken

Unbroken posterUniversal (2014) 137 min. PG-13

Director: Angelina Jolie

Screenplay: Joel & Ethan Coen, Richard LaGravenese & William Nicholson; based on novel Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

Cinematography: Roger Deakins; Editing: Tim Squyres; Production Design: Jon Hutman; Set Decoration: Lisa Thompson; Costumes: Louise Frogley; Score: Alexandre Desplat

Stars: Jack O’Connell (Louis Zamperini), Domhnall Gleeson (Phil), Finn Wittrock (Mac), Miyavi (Mutsuhiro “The Bird” Watanabe), Garrett Hedlund (Fitzgerald), Alex Russell (Pete Zamperini), Jai Courtney (Cup), C.J. Valleroy (Young Louie), Shinji Ogata (Japanese Translator), Taki Abe (Radio Tokyo Man)

From the title alone I should have had an inkling of what to expect from this Angelina Jolie directed adaptation of Seabiscuit author Laura Hillenbrand’s 2010 bestseller about Italian-American bombardier Louis “Louie” Zamperini (Jack O’Connell) and his POW experiences in a Japanese internment camp on Tokyo during WWII.

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The Imitation Game

igWeinstein Co. (2014) 114 min. PG-13

Director: Morten Tyldum Screenplay: Graham Moore; based on novel Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges

Cinematography: Óscar Faura; Editing: William Goldenberg

Production Design: Maria Djurkovic; Set Decoration: Tatiana Macdonald

Costumes: Sammy Sheldon Differ; Score: Alexandre Desplat

Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch (Alan Turing), Keira Knightley (Joan Clarke), Matthew Goode (Hugh Alexander), Mark Strong (Maj. Gen. Stewart Menzies), Charles Dance (Cdr. Alastair Denniston), Allen Leech (John Cairncross), Matthew Beard (Peter Hilton), Rory Kinnear (Det. Nock), Alex Lawther (Young Turing), Jack Bannon (Christopher Morcom)

This British tale of Alan Turing, the English mathematician who masterminded a way to crack the WWII German encryption device known as Enigma, laying the groundwork for the modern fields of computer science and digital technology, is an intriguing story that’s been begging to be told and was, at least once before, in the far more fictionalized Enigma (2000). This version, based on the Andrew Hodges biography Alan Turing: The Enigma is slightly more faithful to the facts, but has still been criticized for its historical inaccuracies.

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Fury

Fury-2014-Movie-PosterColumbia/QED Ent. (2014) 134 min. R

Director: David Ayer Screenplay: David Ayer

Cinematography: Roman Vasyanov; Editing: Jay Cassidy & Dody Dorn

Production Design: Andrew Menzies; Set Decoration: Lee Gordon & Malcolm Stone

Costumes: Anna B. Sheppard & Owen Thornton; Score: Steven Price

Stars: Brad Pitt (Don ‘Wardaddy’ Collier), Shia LaBeouf (Boyd ‘Bible’ Swan), Logan Lerman (Norman Ellison), Michael Peña (Trini ‘Gordo’ Garcia), Jon Bernthal (Grady ‘Coon-Ass’ Travis), Alicia von Rittberg (Emma), Jason Isaacs (Cpt. Waggoner), Jim Parrack (Sgt. Binkowski), Anamaria Marinca (Irma), Brad William Henke (Sgt. Davis), Xavier Samuel (Lieutenant Parker), Kevin Vance (Sgt. Peterson), Scott Eastwood (Sgt. Miles)

In the final stages of WWII, the five-man 66th Armored Tank Regiment commanded by U.S. Army staff Sgt. Don ‘Wardaddy’ Collier (Brad Pitt) must contend with a shaky new recruit, Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), whose general inexperience in combat and attempts to observe the social graces even in the war zone make him an easy target among this uncouth company of grizzled vets. Yet his presence awakens Collier’s finer nature, making him aware of how dehumanized he’s become, driving a wedge between him and his equally volatile, desensitized men.

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