Kick starting 2009, Movies.ie counts down ten of the best movies to check out this month.

(1) SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE

 

What’s it about:

Based on the novel Q&A, this sharp adaptation tells the tale of a young man, Jamal Palik (Dev Patel), who becomes a contestant on the Indian version of the hit game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and ends up being accused of cheating. As we see him beaten into admitting that he “knew” the answers, the film darts back and forth in time to show how he came to this place and exactly where the truth lies

 

 

 

Why you should see it…


Visually dazzling and thematically conscious, Danny Boyles latest pic is a story that is both entertaining and powerful.

When is it in cinemas?

January 9th, 2009

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(2) THE WRESTLER


What’s it about:

Back in the late ‘80s,
Randy “The Ram” Robinson (Mickey Rourke) was a headlining professional
wrestler. Now, twenty years later, he ekes out a living performing for
handfuls of diehard wrestling fans in high school gyms and community
centres around New Jersey. Estranged from his daughter (Evan Rachel
Wood) and unable to sustain any real relationships, Randy lives for the
thrill of the show and the adoration of his fans. However, a heart
attack forces him into retirement. As his sense of identity starts to
slip away, he begins to evaluate the state of his life — trying to
reconnect with his daughter, and strikes up a blossoming romance with
an aging stripper (Marisa Tomei). Yet all this cannot compare to the
allure of the ring and passion for his art, which threatens to pull
Randy “The Ram” back into his world of wrestling.

 

 

 


Why you should see it…

For Mickey Rourke. In
what may be the Hollywood comeback of the year, former bad boy Rourke
gives a blistering performance as a champion wrestler whose life is now
in the ropes.

When is it in cinemas?

January 16th, 2009

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(3) SEVEN POUNDS

 

What’s it about:

Will
Smith plays Ben, a man with a deep, dark secret that leads him help
seven complete strangers, each with their own particular set of
circumstances. Constructed like a jigsaw puzzle, we slowly get clues to
the traumatic events that cause Ben to contact these people and change
their lives in ways they never could have anticipated. What he doesn’t
expect is to fall in love with one of them — Emily Posa (Rosario
Dawson), a cardiac patient whose heart may be weak but is clearly
strong enough to make a difference in the way Ben looks at things. It’s
this relationship that becomes the center of Grant Nieporte’s
compelling screenplay, but as it continues it’s obvious there is more
to what Ben is doing, a mystery not revealed until the final moments
and one you will not easily forget.

 

 

 

 

Why you should see it…


For big Willy! Who knew that the Fresh Prince could deliver the year’s most unexpected and profoundly moving love story?

When is it in cinemas?

January 16th, 2009

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(4) VALKYRIE


What’s it about:

 

We all know Adolf Hitler
did not die as a result of an organized assassination plot against him,
but this fact does not hinder the enjoyment of watching how that
attempt by members of his own Nazi command plays out. Reminiscent of
great ’60s WWII conspiracy thrillers such as 36 Hours and Night of the
Generals, this film centers on the actions of Colonel Claus von
Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise), a loyal German officer, who nevertheless is
horrified by what he sees Hitler doing to his country and is determined
to find a way to stop him. In 1942, he tries to persuade senior
commanders to overthrow Hitler, and later in 1943, while recovering
from combat injuries, he joins the German Resistance, a secretive
anti-Hitler group comprised of several men in the highest ranks on the
inside. Using Hitler’s own contingency plan, labeled Operation
Valkyrie, to prop up the government should he die, this group puts
their assassination and take over plan in motion.

 

 

 

 

Why you should see it…

Yes, we all know how this
true story ends, yet Valkyrie still surprisingly manages to be one of
the better suspense thriller of the year.


When is it in cinemas?

January 23rd, 2009

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(5) MILK

 

What’s it about:

In 1977, Harvey Milk
(Penn) was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. While
this would not normally be an earth-shattering phenomenon, in this
case, Milk became the first out-of-the-closet gay person to win a major
public office in the United States — and was assassinated in 1978,
along with San Francisco Mayor George Moscone. Based in part on the
Academy Award-winning documentary The Life and Times of Harvey Milk,
the film focuses on the last decade of his life as he moves from New
York at age 40 to San Francisco with lover Scott Smith (James Franco).
Using his experience as an entrepreneur as a catalyst, he suddenly
becomes more politically involved, making a couple of runs for office
and finally getting elected. With a new lover (Diego Luna) and agenda,
Milk takes on some major issues — including lobbying against
California’s controversial Prop 6, an initiative to fire gay
schoolteachers. But his activities anger another supervisor, Dan White
(Josh Brolin), and soon their destinies will collide.

 

 

 

 

Why you should see it…

Milk is a moving and important film for our times with a tremendous performance by Sean Penn


When is it in cinemas?

January 23rd, 2009

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(6) FROST/NIXON

 

What’s it about:

 

In the summer of 1977,
disgraced former President Richard Nixon (Frank Langella) sat down with
British TV talk show host and interviewer David Frost (Michael Sheen)
for a series of interviews that Nixon hoped would resuscitate his
Watergate-tarnished image, and Frost hoped would lift his own career to
another level. While it made for good TV at the time, it certainly
didn’t seem likely fodder for a hit Broadway play and now a major
motion picture. Peter Morgan (The Queen) wrote the play and adapted it
for the screen, turning it into a riveting cat-and-mouse game between
these two made-for-television adversaries. Director Ron Howard
emphasizes the behind the scenes machinations and all the negotiations
between both camps. The off-camera material is priceless, based in
large part on speculative research. Whatever the final truth of the
story, the film gains its real power from it’s the telling.

 

 

 

 

Why you should see it…

It’s is brilliant,
funny, complicated and fascinating. Who knew Ron Howard could make a
compelling movie out of a 30 year-old TV interview?


When is it in cinemas?

January 23rd, 2009

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(7) NICK AND NORAH’S INFINIT PLAYLIST


What’s it about:

 

If a John Hughes teen
flick comingled with some sick alternative rock band, the product would
be Nick and Norah. First, there’s Nick (Michael Cera), a nerdy musician
who just got his heart stomped on by his now ex-girlfriend, Tris
(Alexis Dziena). Then there’s Norah (Kat Dennings), a nerdy prep school
coed who is questioning pretty much all of her assumptions about the
world. These two have just GOT to get together–and together they do.
Through a chance encounter in the Big Apple, which leads them on an
all-night quest to find a legendary band’s secret show, Nick and Norah
discover they might share more than just a love for the same infinite
playlist. There are few mishaps, but mostly it’s the joy of watching
these two quirky kids fall for each other over what turns out to be one
of hell of a first date.

 

 

 

 

Why you should see it…

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is an infinitely cool romantic comedy for the infinitely young and hip.


When is it in cinemas?

January 30th, 2009

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(8) BRIDESHEAD REVISTED


What’s it about:

 

“Brideshead
Revisited” tells an evocative story of forbidden love and the loss of
innocence set in the pre-WWII era. In the film, Charles Ryder becomes
entranced with the noble Marchmain family, first through the charming
and provocative Sebastian Flyte, and then his sophisticated sister,
Julia. The rise and fall of Charles’ infatuations reflect the decline
of a decadent era in England between the wars.

 

 

 

 

Why you should see it…

You could not ask for a
better screen adaptation of Brideshead Revisited. It’s a stunning,
gripping and visually sumptuous cinematic feast that is like a breath
of fresh air.


When is it in cinemas?

January 30th, 2009

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(9) REVOLUTIONARY ROAD


What’s it about:

 

Frank and April, a
married couple in the 1950s, have always seen themselves as special,
different, ready and willing to live their lives based on higher
ideals. So, as soon as they move into their new house on Revolutionary
Road, they proudly declare their independence from the suburban inertia
that surrounds them and determine never to be trapped by the social
confines of their era. Yet for all their charm, beauty and irreverence,
the Wheelers find themselves becoming exactly what they didn’t expect:
a good man with a routine job whose nerve has gone missing; a
less-than-happy homemaker starving for fulfillment and passion; an
American family with lost dreams, like any other. Driven to change
their fates, April hatches an audacious plan to start all over again,
to leave the comforts of Connecticut behind for the great unknown of
Paris. But when the plan is put in motion, each spouse is pushed to
extremes–one to escape whatever the cost, the other to save all that
they have, no matter the compromises.


 

 

 


Why you should see it…

A Who’s Afraid of
Virginia Woolf for a new generation – this is a magnificent dramatic
explosion with the kind of sheer force we haven’t seen on screen in
years.


When is it in cinemas?

January 30th, 2009

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(10) THE READER

 

What’s it about:

 

When the 15 year-old Michael Berg falls
ill on his way home from school, he is rescued by
Hanna, a woman twice his age. The two begin an unexpected and
passionate affair only for Hanna to suddenly and inexplicably
disappear. Eight years later, Michael, now a young law student
observing Nazi war trials, meets his former lover again, under very
different circumstances. Hanna is on trial for a hideous crime, and as
she refuses to defend herself, Michael gradually realizes his boyhood
love may be guarding a secret she considers to be more shameful than
murder.

 

 

 

 

Why you should see it…

The Reader delicately
traverses the tricky emotional landscape of a controversial tale and
offers a fresh perspective on Nazi atrocities.


When is it in cinemas?

January 2nd, 2009

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