Sleepers

  • Directors: Barry Levinson
  • Producers: Barry Levinson, Steve Golin
  • Writers: Screenplay, Barry Levinson, Novel, Lorenzo Carcaterra
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Kevin Bacon, Billy Crudup, Robert De Niro, Minnie Driver, Ron Eldard, Dustin Hoffman, Jason Patric, and Brad Pitt

Lorenzo “Shakes” Carcaterra, Thomas “Tommy” Marcano, Michael Sullivan, and John Reilly are four childhood friends (Joseph Perrino, Jonathan Tucker, Brad Renfro, and Geoffrey Wigdor respectively) who grow up in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City in the mid-1960s. During this time, the local priest, Father Bobby (Robert De Niro), plays a very important part in their lives and keeps an eye on them. However, early on they start running small errands for a local gangster, King Benny (Vittorio Gassman).

On a summer day in 1967, their lives take a sharp turn when they almost kill a man after pulling a prank on a hot dog vendor. As a punishment they are all four sentenced to serve time at the Wilkinson Home for Boys in upstate New York. There, the boys are systematically beaten, abused, and raped by guards Sean Nokes, Henry Addison, Adam Styler, and Ralph Ferguson (Kevin Bacon, Jeffrey Donovan, Lennie Loftin, and Terry Kinney respectively). These traumatic events change the boys and their friendship forever.

Fourteen years later, John and Tommy (Ron Eldard and Billy Crudup), now gangsters, come across Sean Nokes in a pub in Hell’s Kitchen. After making sure that Nokes knows who they are, they both shoot him. Mike (Brad Pitt), now an assistant District Attorney, arranges to be assigned to the case, secretly intending to lose it as a means of getting revenge. Moreover, he and Shakes (Jason Patric), begin to forge a plan to get their revenge on all the responsible guards. Together with many of their lifelong friends, especially Carol (Minnie Driver), a social worker, and King Benny, they manage to collect information on all the Wilkinson guards.

However, to clinch the case they need a key witness who can give John and Tommy an alibi. After a long talk with Father Bobby, including telling him about the awful events at Wilkinson, he agrees to lie on the stand about where John and Tommy were on the night of the shooting; the priest swears under oath that they were with him at Madison Square Garden at a Knicks basketball game. As a result, they are acquited.

Eat Pray Love

  • Directors: Ryan Murphy
  • Producers: Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Julia Roberts, Stan Wlodkowski, Tabrez Noorani
  • Writers: Elizabeth Gilbert, Ryan Murphy, Jennifer Salt
  • Genres: Drama
  • Actors: Julia Roberts, Billy Crudup, James Franco, Javier Bardem, Viola Davis, Richard Jenkins

After trying and failing to become pregnant, a woman realizes she is not getting what she wants out of life, and, after a painful divorce, sets on a journey across the world.

Mission Impossible III

  • Directors: J J Abrams
  • Producers: Tom Cruise, Paula Wagner
  • Writers: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, J J Abrams
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Thriller
  • Actors: Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ving Rhames, Michelle Monaghan, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Billy Crudup, Laurence Fishburne, Maggie Q, Simon Pegg, Keri Russell, Eddie Marsan

Six years after the events of Mission: Impossible II, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has retired from being an IMF team leader, instead opting for a quiet life with his fiancée Julia (Michelle Monaghan), a hospital nurse. During their engagement party, Ethan receives a call from his old friend John Musgrave (Billy Crudup), who provides him with a disposable camera. After viewing a video hidden in the camera, he finds out Musgrave wants him to rescue Agent Lindsey Farris (Keri Russell), Ethan’s protégé, who has been captured in Berlin by Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a prominent dealer in the international black market. He reluctantly agrees to participate in the mission and meets the team which has been selected for him, consisting of Declan Gormley (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), Zhen Lei (Maggie Q), and his old partner, Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames).

The team assaults an enemy stronghold in Berlin and extracts Agent Farris successfully, who had been taped to a chair, but she dies during their escape when an explosive capsule placed inside her head detonates. After Lindsey’s funeral, Ethan is notified of a “package” sent to him by Lindsey, and discovers that it is a microdot hidden in a blank postcard. Ethan discusses its possible importance with Luther and both decide to keep its existence a secret.

Back at headquarters, Ethan is congratulated for his heroic actions, and then leaves for his honeymoon with Julia, with the blessing of his applauding teammates and promises for another mission which the White House is keen to contact him about. Ethan isn’t sure whether or not he’s going to retire, but promises to think about it and Brassel promises to tell him what the Rabbit’s Foot really is if he does come back.

Watchmen

  • Directors: Zack Snyder
  • Producers: Lawrence Gordon, Lloyd Levin, Deborah Snyder
  • Writers: David Hayter, Alex Tse, Dave Gibbons, Alan Moore
  • Genres: Action, Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Carla Gugino, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Patrick Wilson, Matt Frewer, Stephen McHattie

The story takes place in an alternate timeline in which masked, costumed heros fight crime in America, originally in response to a rise in masked and costumed gangs and criminals. In the 1930s and ’40s, some of the vigilantes formed a group called the Minutemen to “finish what the law couldn’t.” Of the eight Minutemen, three died violently, one disappeared, and one was committed to an asylum. Decades later, a second generation of “superheroes” attempts to form a similar team called the Watchmen. Various historical events are shown to have been altered by the existence of superheroes, such as the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the Vietnam War. The American victory in Vietnam, due to the intervention of the godlike being Doctor Manhattan, leads to Richard Nixon’s third term as President following the repeal of term limits in the United States. By the 1980s, however, the Watchmen have been outlawed by Congress after an outpouring of anti-vigilante sentiment in the country, and tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union have escalated the Cold War with threats of nuclear attack.

By 1985, only three Watchmen remain active: the Comedian and Doctor Manhattan, both of whom act with government sanction, and the masked vigilante Rorschach, who refuses to retire and remains active illegally. Investigating the murder of government agent Edward Blake, Rorschach discovers that Blake was the Comedian, and concludes that someone may be trying to eliminate the Watchmen. He attempts to warn his retired comrades—his former partner Daniel Dreiberg (Nite Owl), the emotionally detached Dr. Jonathan Osterman (Doctor Manhattan), and Dr. Manhattan’s lover Laurie Jupiter (the Silk Spectre). Dreiberg is skeptical, but nonetheless relates the hypothesis to billionaire Adrian Veidt (Ozymandias), who dismisses it.

With the end of the Cold War and the uniting of humanity, Jupiter and Dreiberg return to New York City as it’s being rebuilt to begin a new life together. The film closes with a newspaper editor in New York complaining of having nothing worthwhile to print because of the worldwide peace. He tells a young employee that he may print whatever he likes from a collection of crank mailings, among which lies Rorschach’s journal.

Tales of the Black Freighter

  • Directors: Zack Snyder
  • Producers: Lawrence Gordon, Lloyd Levin, Deborah Snyder
  • Writers: David Hayter, Alex Tse, Dave Gibbons, Alan Moore
  • Genres: Animation, Short, Horror
  • Actors: Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Carla Gugino, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Patrick Wilson, Matt Frewer, Stephen McHattie

The story takes place in an alternate timeline in which masked, costumed vigilantes fight crime in America, originally in response to a rise in masked and costumed gangs and criminals. In the 1930s and ’40s, the vigilantes formed a group called the Minutemen to “finish what the law couldn’t.” Of the eight Minutemen, three died violently, one disappeared, and one was committed to an asylum. Decades later, a second generation of “superheroes” attempts to form a similar team called the Watchmen. Various historical events are shown to have been altered by the existence of superheroes, such as the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the Vietnam War. The American victory in Vietnam, due to the intervention of the godlike being Doctor Manhattan, leads to Richard Nixon’s third term as President following the repeal of term limits in the United States. By the 1980s, however, the Watchmen have been outlawed by Congress after an outpouring of anti-vigilante sentiment in the country, and tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union have escalated the Cold War with threats of nuclear attack.

By 1985, only three Watchmen remain active: the Comedian and Doctor Manhattan, both of whom act with government sanction, and the masked vigilante Rorschach, who refuses to retire and remains active illegally. Investigating the murder of government agent Edward Blake, Rorschach discovers that Blake was the Comedian, and concludes that someone may be trying to eliminate the Watchmen. He attempts to warn his retired comrades—his former partner Daniel Dreiberg (Nite Owl), the emotionally detached Dr. Jonathan Osterman (Doctor Manhattan), and Dr. Manhattan’s lover Laurie Jupiter (the Silk Spectre). Dreiberg is skeptical, but nonetheless relates the hypothesis to billionaire Adrian Veidt (Ozymandias), who dismisses it.

With the end of the Cold War and the uniting of humanity, Jupiter and Dreiberg return to New York City as it’s being rebuilt to begin a new life together. The film closes with a newspaper editor in New York complaining of having nothing worthwhile to print because of the worldwide peace. He tells a young employee that he may print whatever he likes from a collection of crank mailings, among which lies Rorschach’s journal.

Almost Famous

  • Directors: Cameron Crowe
  • Producers: Cameron Crowe, Lisa Stewart, Ian Bryce
  • Writers: Cameron Crowe
  • Genres: Drama, Music
  • Actors: Billy Crudup, Frances McDormand, Kate Hudson, Jason Lee, Patrick Fugit, Anna Paquin, Fairuza Balk, Noah Taylor, Phillip Seymour Hoffman

In 1973, William Miller (Patrick Fugit) is a 15-year-old boy aspiring to be a rock-and-roll journalist, despite the desires of his eccentric, overprotective mother, Elaine (Frances McDormand), who wants him to go into law. Shunned by his classmates (most of whom are two or three years older than he is), he writes for underground papers in his hometown, San Diego.

He goes one morning to watch as a local radio station interviews pioneering rock journalist Lester Bangs (Philip Seymour Hoffman). The two hit it off, and Bangs gives William a $35 assignment to write up a Black Sabbath concert. William, without credentials or a ticket, cannot get into the arena. He meets up with some semi-groupies who call themselves “Band-Aides,” named Estrella Starr (Bijou Phillips), Polexia Aphrodisia (Anna Paquin), and Sapphire (Fairuza Balk), as well as their leader, Penny Lane (Kate Hudson). Then he runs into the opening band on the card, Stillwater, who was running late. At first they dismiss him as a journalist, “the enemy”, but when he calls them by their names and praises their most recent work in detail, they realize that he is a genuine fan and allow him backstage.

The final scenes are a picture of the cover of the Rolling Stone issue that will feature William’s story with Russell’s picture on the front with the rest of the band behind him. We then see images of Penny leaving on her dream trip to Morocco, William at home with his sister and mother, and of Doris, which will take the band (without William) on its 1974 tour (with the marquee “NO MORE AIRPLANES TOUR 1974”). Though, as Bangs suggested, rock ‘n’ roll may be changing from an art form to a profit center, it is implied that at least Stillwater will be immune from this.

Big Fish

  • Directors: Tim Burton
  • Producers: Richard D Zanuck
  • Writers: Daniel Wallace, John August
  • Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Comedy, Adventure
  • Actors: Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange, Alison Lohman, Steve Buscemi, Danny DeVito

At his son’s wedding party, Edward Bloom tells the same tale he’s told many times over the years: on the day Will was born, he was out catching an enormous uncatchable fish, using his wedding ring as bait. Will is annoyed rather than pleased by this tale-telling; he explains to his wife, Josephine, that because his father never told the straight truth on anything but insisted on embellishing it with tales, he felt that he could not trust him. He is troubled to think that he might have a similarly difficult relationship with his future children.

Will becomes a journalist in Paris, and his relationship with his father becomes so strained that they do not talk for three years. But when his father’s health starts to fail, Will and his pregnant wife Josephine return to Alabama. On the plane, Will recalls his father’s tale of how he braved a swamp as a child, and met a witch who showed him his death in her glass eye. With this knowledge, Edward knows there are no odds he cannot face.

Edward still has a knack for tall tales. As he tells it, he spent three years confined to a bed as a child, with his body growing incredibly fast. He became a successful sports player but found the town of Ashton too small for his ambition. Finding a kindred spirit in the misunderstood giant Karl, they set off. Edward takes an abandoned path down a supposedly haunted forest. He discovers the tiny hidden town of Spectre, where the missing poet Norther Winslow has settled with people so friendly that no one ever leaves, and everyone comfortably walks around barefoot. Edward still feels he does not want to settle anywhere yet and leaves, but promises to the young girl Jenny that he will return.

At his funeral, Will sees many of his father’s more unusual friends, confirming at least a grain of truth from many of his tales. He sees Amos, Karl, Ping and Jing and Norther Winslow amongst others, although they are not entirely the same as in the stories, (for example, Ping and Jing were Siamese not as in conjoined, but as in “from Siam”—i.e. Thailand, also, Karl turned out to be just a tall man, not an ogre). When his own son is born, Will passes on his father’s stories, remarking that his father became his stories, allowing him to live forever.

Mononoke-hime

  • Directors: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Producers: Toshio Suzuki
  • Writers: Hayao Miyazaki, Neil Gaiman
  • Genres: Animation, Action, Adventure, Fantasy
  • Actors: Yoji Matsuda, Yuriko Ishida, Kaoru Kobayashi, Billy Crudup, Claire Danes, Minnie Driver, Billy Bob Thornton

Set in feudal Japan, a time of upheaval of samurai and isolated villages, Princess Mononoke follows the journey of the last Emishi prince,[2] Ashitaka, and his attempts to make peace between the human settlement, Irontown (Tataraba in the original Japanese), and the creatures living in the forest that surrounds it.

The film begins with Ashitaka receiving a curse during a battle with a demonic giant boar called Nago which is threatening to destroy his village. During the fight, Ashitaka receives a wound on his right arm; the cursed wound will spread to the rest of his body and eventually kill him. Ashitaka resolves to journey to the boar’s origin, the lands to the West, and find a cure for the curse. He cuts his hair, signifying his permanent departure from his village,[3] and rides out with his steed Yakul, his loyal red elk. On his journey, Ashitaka passes by a village suffering a samurai attack. Some samurai attack him, and Ashitaka defeats them with the supernatural strength of his cursed arm. In a nearby town he meets Jigo, a wandering monk impressed by his feats of arm, who informs Ashitaka that the god of the forest in the mountains of the west may be able to help him.

In the ensuing battle, Irontown successfully sets a trap for the boars, devastating their army. Jigo’s hunters also succeed in corrupting Okkoto in the same way as Nago, and San becomes entangled in Okkoto’s demonic tentacles. Moro, also badly wounded, saves San, and then is killed, along with Okkoto, by the Forest Spirit, in mercy for their suffering. Eboshi then succeeds in shooting off the Forest Spirit’s head while it is transforming into the night-walker. Jigo collects the head while the body is transformed into a god of death covering the surrounding land with a lethal black ooze that completely destroys all life and turns the land barren. The hunters scatter before the ooze and the population of Irontown moves into the surrounding lake, leaving Irontown to destruction. Ashitaka and San manage to take the head from Jigo and return it to the Forest Spirit. It collapses into the lake and the land becomes green again. Ashitaka and San part, vowing to see each other occasionally while Ashitaka, finally freed of his curse, helps rebuild Irontown. Eboshi survives, albeit without an arm, and vows to rebuild Irontown along more harmonious lines. The film ends with a kodama appearing in the rejuvenated forest.