Julia Roberts and Clive Owen in Duplicity

DUPLICITY

Starting with the film's enticing prelude, which finds Julia Roberts and Clive Owen engaging in the first of several argumentative flirtations in exotic locales, I felt that Duplicity was an intensely sharp, clever, enjoyable movie. It wasn't until its very last shot, though, that I felt it was also a great one.

MurderballMURDERBALL

I've seen a lot of sublimely satisfying documentaries this year, but none with the scope and passion of Murderball. Like last year's brilliant Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, the film's title and ostensible subject matter - quadriplegic rugby - are probably enough to frighten off the audiences who would love it the most, which I pray won't happen; Murderball, currently playing at the Brew & View Rocket, is, thus far, the most invigorating, fascinating, surprising, and deeply human movie of 2005.

Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger in The PatriotTHE PATRIOT

In this analysis of The Patriot, the Revolutionary War saga starring Mel Gibson, let's begin by addressing that which is mostly blameless - Caleb Deschanel's cinematography. Whether lensing a battle scene, featuring what appear to be thousands of extras in red and blue coats, or a romantic tableau in the moonlight, Mr. Deschanel's work is impeccable; he's one of the best in the business. Ditto the folks behind the set design and costumes, which look marvelously right in their period detail and lend the film more than an air of authenticity.

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