Drama Films, T-Z

** Taken
Busing it, South America style. Liam Neelson in an over the top violent movie of revenge when his daughter is kidnapped as virginal trade to some Albanians for rich Middle East pigs. Employ all stereotypes at your leisure.
*** The Talented Mr. Ripley
*** Taxi Driver - dir. Martin Scorcese
**+ Ten Things I Hate About You
**+ Tequila Sunrise
**+ Texasville
**+ Thelma & Louise
** There Will Be Blood
*** The Thin Red Line
*** This Boy's Life
**+ The Thomas Crown Affair
**+ Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri - dir. Martin McDonagh
A woman distraught for too long over the lack of progress in finding her daughter's killer takes matters into her own hands... by trying to shame the local police force with billboards questioning their competence. Funny, yet not without nuance.
** Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada - dir. Tommy Lee Jones
Something of the story of borderland reality in Texas meets illegal immigration from Mexico, with a sympathetic view to the Mexican.
*** Three Kings - dir. David O. Russell
**+ Thunderheart
** Time Code
**+ Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
The first of the Le Carré trilogy, hopefully all to use Gary Oldham as George Smiley. Having read the book, I don't if other moviegoers will connect the dots of this fictionalized telling of the great mole story in Britain's spy agency, but the tone is dead on.
* Titanic
*** Together
***+ To Kill a Mockingbird
** El Topo - dir. Alejandro Jodorowsky
A boy and his father in the desert, and that's about all that can be realistically explained in trying to relate this mindtrip of a movie that is something of a cult classic.
** To Rome With Love - dir. Woody Allen
Meant to be a paean to Rome, this one mostly falls flat and cliche - and this even from someone who has extraordinary fond memories of the city.
**+ Top Gun
*+ Touch
** Tough Guys
*+ Toys
*** Traffic
*** The Tree Of Life
An experimental and conventional movie at the same time, it's only the latter which works with me. That concerns the coming of age of one of three boys in a 50s disciplinarian household - the father's side of it, anyway. The mother is a font of love, which allows for the desired contrast. As to the other side of the movie, with the birth of the universe, galaxies, nebulas, and so forth, I dunno. Nicely shot as it glides above my head.
** Tree's Lounge
** Tron
**+ True Grit - dir. Coen Brothers
In this remake of the classic John Wayne epic, a girl once again hires a bounty hunter to help her avenge the wrongful death of her father in the Old West. Jeff Bridges is said bountyman in a memorable role where he mumbles his lines as only JB can. A worthy retelling.
***+ The Usual Suspects - dir. Bryan Singer
They're the usual suspects, these five, with past histories of crimes done well and gone bad both, now called in to answer for a bad scene at the docks. Who's telling the truth? What possibly IS the truth?
**+ The Truman Show
**+ Twelve Monkeys
* Twice Upon Yesterday
**+ Twin Peaks (TV pilot)
** Two Days in the Valley
*+ Two Girls and a Guy
** 200 Cigarettes
**+ Ulee's Gold
*** Unbearable Lightness of Being
** The Unbelievable Truth - dir. John Cassavetes
** Unfaithful
** Unforgiven - dir. Clint Eastwood
*** The Untouchables
**+ Up In The Air
A uniquely talented man roams the skies of U.S. to intercede in the axing of employees on the employers' behalf. Is this rootless lifestyle all that he cracks it up to be, detached and without a care in the world? Is the average - and rooted - way of life the ideal, or just reality?
**** The Usual Suspects
**+ U-Turn
**+ V For Vendetta
**+ Vicky Christina Barcelona - dir. Woody Allen
**+ The Virgin Suicides
**+ Wag the Dog
** Waitress
**+ Walk the Line
**+ Wall Street
** Waterworld
**+ We Don't Live Here Anymore
***+ Welcome to the Dollhouse - dir. Todd Solondz
* What Dreams May Come
** Whatever Works - dir. Woody Allen
Another unbelievable Fall-Spring relationship under the direction of Allen. It's not to say that it doesn't have its good moments, but this particular line has long been drawn thin.
***+ What's Eating Gilbert Grape
** Where the Heart Is
**+ Where The Wild Things Are
*+ White Nights
*** Whole Wide World
*** Wild
Hiking the Pacific Coast Trail is a painful way to find yourself, but it's nevertheless a good alternative to shooting up heroin and screwing all comers. Cheryl Strayed indeed learns quite a bit and Reese Witherspoon delivers this one well.
*** Wild At Heart
**+ Wild Things
*** Winter's Bone
Papa done did wrong, crossed somebody he done shouldn't of. Now daughter girl's gotta figure his mess out before the repo takes the farm and breaks the family apart. The girl's got grit - and no choice.
*** The Witches of Eastwick
***+ Witness
**+ The Wolf Of Wall Street - dir. Martin Scorcese
A dramatization of the story of the wheeling-dealing stockbroker who worked around the edges of legality to soon blow way past it... and into the awaiting arms of the FBI. But not before a lot of hookers and blow were consumed first. The ridiculousness of it makes it funny, but you know you're rooting for the bad guy that you'd never root for in real life.
** Wonder Boys
**+ The Wrestler
Mickey Rourke bloats up to poignantly play a pro wrestler in the twilight of his career. Between the drugs to keep himself going, and the marginal life he begins to lead as a washup, he has to come to terms with what lies ahead.
**+ The Year of Living Dangerously
*+ Youngblood
** Your Friends and Neighbors
**+ You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger - dir. Woody Allen
This is what Allen does well, and here's some more of the same: Slightly to largely neurotic folks talk their way through messy human lives of love, family, career, etc.
**+ Zebrahead
**+ Zero Dark Thirty
An attempt to recreate the hunt for and killing of Osama Bin Laden, a quality stab at it by any measure if for the nagging reality that the true facts aren't exactly public.

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