The Missing

  • Directors: Ron Howard
  • Producers: Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Daniel Ostroff
  • Writers: Thomas Eidson, Ken Kaufman
  • Genres: Adventure, Thriller, Western
  • Actors: Tommy Lee Jones, Cate Blanchett, Eric Schweig, Evan Rachel Wood, Jenna Boyd, Ray McKinnon, Val Kilmer, and Aaron Eckhart

Set in the late 19th-century New Mexico, Samuel Jones (Jones) reappears hoping to reconcile with his adult daughter Maggie Gilkeson (Blanchett). She is unable to forgive him for abandoning the family and leaving her mother to a hard life and early death. This situation changes when an Apache medicine man (Eric Schweig) and a dozen of his followers who have left the reservation pass through the area, ritualistically killing settlers and taking their daughters to be sold into prostitution south of the American border. Among those captured is the elder daughter of the family, Lily.

The U.S. Cavalry refuses to help retrieve the captive women as its resources are tied up conducting forced relocation of captive Native Americans. This leaves Maggie, her father, and the younger daughter alone in tracking the attackers. The group meets up with Kayitah, a Chiricahua, and an old friend of Jones, who also happens to be tracking the attackers with his son Honesco, because among the captives is a young Chiricahua woman who is engaged to Honesco. After the two agree to join the group, and Maggie treats Honesco’s injuries, Kayitah informs Maggie that Jones had been a member of their Chiricahua band where he gained the name Chaa-duu-ba-its-iidan (translates as “shit for luck”) during his wanderings.

It is finally with the combined efforts of the two families that they are able to free the women at the cost of Kayitah’s life and immediately flee to the mountains with the kidnappers behind them. Knowing they have no other choice but to stand their ground, the group fights off the remaining kidnappers and during the battle, Jones fights El Brujo, the one responsible for kidnapping his granddaughter, Lily. When Brujo attempts to kill Maggie, Jones sacrifices his life to save his daughter as both he and Brujo fall to their deaths. Maggie realizes her father’s love for her and finally forgives him at his death.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

  • Directors: Peter Jackson
  • Producers: Peter Jackson, Barrie M Osborne, Fran Walsh
  • Writers: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, J R R Tolkien
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
  • Actors: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys Davies, Bernard Hill, Christopher Lee, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving, Miranda Otto, David Wenham, Brad Dourif, Karl Urban, John Noble, Andy Serkis, Ian Holm, Sean Bean

The film begins with a flashback of how Sméagol recovered the One Ring, before forwarding to him as Gollum, taking Frodo and Sam to Minas Morgul. Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Gandalf, Théoden and Éomer meet up with Merry, Pippin and Treebeard at Isengard, now under the Ents’ control, where Gandalf concludes Saruman will pose no further threat. They also recover the palantír from the ruins. The group return to Edoras, where Theoden holds a feast in celebration of the victory at Helm’s Deep. Pippin’s curiosity gets the better of him at Edoras, and he looks into the palantír, where he sees a vision of a white tree burning, as well as being seen and mentally interrogated by Sauron, though Pippin tells him nothing regarding Frodo and the Ring. From this, Gandalf deduces Sauron is planning to attack Minas Tirith, and he rides off there with Pippin. In the meantime, Arwen, on her way to the Undying Lands, has a vision of her son by Aragorn and convinces Elrond to reforge the sword Narsil that cut the Ring from Sauron’s finger long ago. Sam also overhears Gollum’s treacherous plans to murder them and take the Ring for himself, but Frodo does not believe him. Gollum plays on this, trying to turn Frodo and Sam against each another.

Frodo and Sam are stranded until Gandalf arrives with the Eagles, and they awake in Minas Tirith, reuniting with their friends at long last. Aragorn is crowned King, heralding the new age of peace, and is reunited with Arwen. When Aragorn meets the hobbits who bow before him, he stops them and says ” You bow to no one”. He and the whole of Minas Tirith bow to the Hobbits in honor of their heroics. The hobbits return home to the Shire, where Sam marries Rosie. But Frodo is dealing with the psychological trauma of being the Ring-bearer, and also pain and illness on the anniversary of his wounds, and he leaves Middle-earth with Gandalf, Bilbo, Elrond, Celeborn and Galadriel at the Grey Havens, leaving his account of the story to Sam, who peacefully continues his family life.

The Aviator

  • Directors: Martin Scorsese
  • Producers: Michael Mann, Sandy Climan, Graham King, Charles Evans Jr
  • Writers: John Logan, Michael Mann
  • Genres: Biography, Drama
  • Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, John C Reilly, Ian Holm, Kate Beckinsale, Jude Law, Alec Baldwin, Alan Alda, Brent Spiner, Frances Conroy, Willem Defoe

The Aviator has no opening credits other than the title. The film begins in 1914 with nine-year-old Hughes being bathed by his mother, who warns him of disease: “You are not safe.”

The film next shows him in 1927, as a 22-year old preparing to direct Hell’s Angels. Hiring Noah Dietrich (John C. Reilly) to run Hughes Tool Company, while he oversees the flight sequences for the film, Hughes becomes obsessed with shooting the film realistically, even re-shooting the dogfight himself. By 1929, with the silent film finally complete, Hughes realizes the premiere of the The Jazz Singer, which was the first part-talking film, means that sound films would soon become the industry standard. Hughes re-shoots Hell’s Angels with sound, costing another year and $1.7 million. Hell’s Angels released as a sound film in 1930 is a huge hit, and Hughes also produces Scarface (1932) and The Outlaw (1943). However, there is one goal he relentlessly pursues: aviation. During this time, he also pursues Katharine Hepburn (Cate Blanchett). The two go to nightclubs, play golf and fly together, and as they grow closer, move in together as well. During this time Hepburn becomes a major supporter and confidant to Hughes, and helps alleviate the symptoms of his obsessive-compulsive disorder. As Hughes’ fame grows, he is seen with more starlets.

Hughes successfully test flies the flying boat himself. After the flight, he talks to Dietrich and his mechanic, Glenn Odekirk (Matt Ross), about a new jetliner for TWA (the Avro C102 Jetliner) and makes a date with Gardner at a celebration party on the Long Beach shoreline. Hughes seems free of his inner demons until he sees three attendants in business suits and white gloves edging towards him, which triggers an obsessive-compulsive fit as he begins repeating “The way of the future.” Dietrich and Odekirk take Hughes in a bathroom and hide him there, while Dietrich fetches a doctor and Odekirk stands outside guarding the door. Alone inside, Howard has a flashback to his boyhood, being washed by his mother and resolving he will fly the fastest aircraft ever built, make the biggest movies ever and become the richest man in the world. As the film ends he mutters “the way of the future… the way of the future” into a darkened mirror.

Robin Hood

  • Directors: Ridley Scott
  • Producers: Brian Grazer, Ridley Scott, Russell Crowe
  • Writers: Screenplay, Brian Helgeland, Story, Brian Helgeland, Ethan Reiff, Cyrus Voris
  • Genres: Action, Drama
  • Actors: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Mark Strong, William Hurt, Matthew MacFadyen, Danny Huston

It is late 12th century England and Sir Robin Hood of Locksley, Earl of Huntington, (Russell Crowe) has returned to his North English village after fighting in the Third Crusade. Upon arrival, the nobleman and his servant discover the oppression caused by the new Sheriff of Nottingham (Matthew Macfadyen). Sir Robin uses his intelligence and military skills to free his home village from tyranny and corruption in England, by taking back what is rightfully his, and by taking back what rightfully is theirs, to restore justice and happiness to England. Robin must also win the affection of the recently widowed Lady Marian (Cate Blanchett) while leading his Merry Men of Sherwood Forest to victory and fairness. [3]

The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

  • Directors: Peter Jackson
  • Producers: Peter Jackson, Barrie M Osborne, Frances Walsh
  • Writers: Novel, J R R Tolkien, Screenplay, Frances Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Stephen Sinclair, Peter Jackson
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
  • Actors: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys Davies, Bernard Hill, Christopher Lee, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving, Miranda Otto, David Wenham, Brad Dourif, Andy Serkis

The film begins with a flashback set to the first film, with Gandalf battling the Balrog on the Bridge of Khazad-dûm, but this time continues from Gandalf’s perspective, with the scene continuing to follow both as they hurtle down below, fighting while in free-fall. Frodo awakens from his dream and continues his journey with his trusted and loyal friend, Sam. They are then attacked by the ring-possessed Gollum wishing to retrieve “his precious” from the ones he thinks stole it from him. The Hobbits subdue and bind him with Sam’s Elven rope given to him by the Elven elder Galadriel in Lórien. Sam distrusts Gollum and wishes to abandon him, but Frodo understands the burden of the creature and takes pity on him. Realizing they are lost in the Emyn Muil and in need of a guide, Frodo persuades Gollum to lead them to the Black Gate of Mordor.

In Rohan, the pack of Uruk-hai run across the grassy landscape with their captives Merry and Pippin. Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli are in pursuit, following three days of running, Legolas surmises the Hobbits are being taken to Isengard, where Saruman is marshalling his Uruk-hai forces to do the bidding of Sauron. In the kingdom of Rohan, home of the horse lords, King Théoden is mentally and physically weak due to the enchantments of his steward, Gríma Wormtongue, who is secretly in the service of Saruman. Orcs and Wild Men of Dunland incited by Saruman freely roam the land and kill the people including the king’s only son Théodred. Théoden’s nephew Éomer interrogates Gríma, angrily realizing he has lustful eyes for Éomer’s sister Éowyn and that he is now an agent of Saruman. Gríma banishes Éomer for undermining his authority and Éomer sets forth to gather the remaining loyal men of the Rohirrim throughout the land.

At the ruins of Osgiliath, Faramir and the Hobbits are confronted by a Ringwraith and its fell beast. With the help of Sam, Frodo narrowly escapes the Ringwraith’s efforts to capture him. Sam narrates how the story must go on and how they should keep pressing forward as Faramir decides to free them to finish their quest. Gandalf and the others now know a full war is inevitable (as Sauron will surely seek retribution for the defeat of Saruman) and hope rests with Frodo and Sam, who have resumed their journey to Mordor with Gollum. Accompanying them once again and having felt betrayed after his subsequent mistreatment by Faramir’s men, Gollum’s darker nature returns and decides to reclaim the ring by leading Frodo and Sam to “her.”

I m Not There

  • Directors: Todd Haynes
  • Producers: Christine Vachon, Jeff Rosen
  • Writers: Todd Haynes, Oren Moverman
  • Genres: Biography, Drama, Music
  • Actors: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, Ben Whishaw, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Julianne Moore, Peter Friedman

The film opens with Jude Quinn, played by Cate Blanchett (representing Dylan circa 1966)[3] walking on stage to perform at a concert, before cutting to him riding on a motorcycle and then crashing. The film then cuts to Quinn’s body on a mortuary slab and an autopsy begins. (This opening sequence refers to Bob Dylan’s motorcycle accident in July 1966).[4][5]

Woody Guthrie, an 11-year old African American boy played by Marcus Carl Franklin is seen carrying a guitar in a case labelled “This Machine Kills Fascists” as he travels the country, pursuing his dream of becoming a singer. (Folk singer Woody Guthrie had an identical label on his guitar.)[6] Woody befriends the African-American Arvin family, who give him food and hospitality and Woody in turn performs Bob Dylan’s 1965 song “Tombstone Blues”, accompanied by Richie Havens (as Old Man Arvin). At dinner, Mrs. Arvin advises Woody: “Live your own time, child, sing about your own time”.

Later that night, Woody leaves the Arvins’ home, leaving behind a note thanking them, and catches a ride on a train, where a group of thieves attempt to rob him. He jumps from the speeding train and dives into a river, where a white couple rescues him and takes him to a hospital before bringing him home. They receive a phone call from a juvenile correction center in Minnesota from which Woody had escaped. The phone call prompts Woody’s swift departure, and he takes a Greyhound bus to Greystone Park Hospital in New Jersey, where he visits the (real) Woody Guthrie. Woody leaves flowers at Guthrie’s bedside and plays his guitar. (Over the hospital sequence, Bob Dylan performs his song “Blind Willie McTell”).

The film ends with close-up footage of the real Bob Dylan playing his harmonica, a shot filmed by D. A. Pennebaker during Dylan’s 1966 World Tour.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

  • Directors: Steven Spielberg
  • Producers: Frank Marshall, George Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy
  • Writers: Screenplay, David Koepp, Story, George Lucas, Jeff Nathanson
  • Genres: Action, Adventure
  • Actors: Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Ray Winstone, John Hurt, Jim Broadbent, Shia LaBeouf

In 1957, Colonel-Doctor Irina Spalko and a convoy of Soviet agents posing as U.S. soldiers infiltrate a military base in the Nevada desert. They force Indiana Jones to lead them to a crate in “Hangar 51”, which holds the remains of an extraterrestrial creature that crashed ten years before in Roswell, New Mexico. Indiana attempts to escape but is foiled by his partner George ‘Mac’ McHale, who reveals that he is working with the Soviets. After a fight and an elaborate vehicle chase through the warehouse, Indiana escapes on a rocket sled into the desert, where he stumbles upon a nuclear test town and survives a nuclear explosion by hiding in a lead-lined refrigerator. While being debriefed, Indiana discovers he is under FBI investigation because of Mac’s Soviet ties. Indiana returns to Marshall College, where he is offered an indefinite leave of absence to avoid being fired because of the investigation. At a train station, Indiana is stopped by greaser Mutt Williams and told that his old colleague, Harold Oxley, disappeared after discovering a crystal skull near the Nazca lines in Peru. Indiana and Mutt go to a local diner, where they discuss the legend of the skull and the mythical city of Akator. Mutt passes Indiana a letter from Oxley, which contains a riddle written in an ancient Latin American language. Soviet agents approach them, and a chase commences on the college grounds. Indiana realizes that the Soviets were trailing Mutt to get him to decode Oxley’s letter.

After surviving an attack by Ugha warriors defending the temple, Indiana, Mutt, Marion, Oxley, and Mac arrive at the Temple of Akator, a Mayan-style pyramid in the Amazon rainforest. Claiming that he is a CIA double agent working against the Soviets, Mac enters the temple with Indiana and the group, but he is actually leaving a trail of homing devices for Spalko to follow. The group enters the temple and Indiana uses the skull to open the door to a chamber tomb, where thirteen crystal skeletons, one missing a skull, are seated on thrones. After the Soviets arrive and again reveal Mac’s complicity, Spalko places the skull onto a headless skeleton. It begins communicating to the group through Oxley using an ancient Mayan dialect. Indiana translates this to mean that the aliens want to reward them with a “big gift”. Spalko approaches and demands to “know everything”. The beings grant her request and begin to transfer their collective knowledge into her mind. As a portal to another dimension appears over the room, Oxley regains his sanity and explains that the aliens are interdimensional beings who taught the Ugha tribe their advanced technology, such as agriculture and irrigation. Indiana, Mutt, Marion, and Oxley escape from the temple, but Mac and the soldiers are sucked into the portal. The skeletons form into a single alien which continues to feed Spalko with knowledge; however, the collective knowledge of the thirteen beings is too much for Spalko. Her brain and body ignite and disintegrate â€“ her scattered essence absorbed into the portal as well. The temple crumbles, and a flying saucer rises from the debris and disappears as the Amazon river floods the valley. After they return home, Indiana is reinstated and made an associate dean at Marshall College, and he and Marion are married.

Fantastic Mr Fox

  • Directors: Wes Anderson
  • Producers: Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Allison Abbate, Steven Rales
  • Writers: Wes Anderson, Noah Baumbach, Roald Dahl
  • Genres: Adventure, Animation, Comedy
  • Actors: George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Anjelica Huston, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Meryl Streep

A clever fox (Clooney) constantly outwits three evil farmers who are angry with him for eating their produce.

Babel

  • Directors:
  • Producers: Steve Golin, Jon Kilik
  • Writers: Guillermo Arriaga
  • Genres: Drama
  • Actors: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Adriana Barraza, Rinko Kikuchi, Nathan Gamble, Elle Fanning

The movie focuses on four interrelated sets of situations and characters, and many events are revealed out of sequence. The following plot summary has been simplified, and thus does not reflect the exact sequence of the events on screen.

In a remote desert location in southern Morocco, Abdullah, a goatherder, buys a high-powered .270 Winchester M70 rifle and a box of ammunition from his countryman Hassan Ibrahim to shoot the jackals that have been preying on his goats. Abdullah gives the rifle to his two young sons, Yussef and Ahmed (played by local non-professional actors Boubker Ait El Caid and Said Tarchini), and sends them out to tend the herd. Competing gently between themselves and doubtful of the rifle’s purported three-kilometer range, they decide to test it out, aiming first for rocks and then for a bus carrying Western tourists on the highway below. Yussef’s bullet hits the bus, critically wounding Susan Jones (Cate Blanchett), an American woman from San Diego[3][4] who is traveling with her husband Richard Jones (Brad Pitt) on vacation. The two boys realize what has happened and flee the scene, hiding the rifle in the hills that night.

Glimpses of television news programs reveal that the US government holds the shooting to be a terrorist act and is pressuring the Moroccan government to apprehend the culprits. Having traced the rifle back to Hassan, the Moroccan police descend quickly on his house and roughly question him and his wife until they reveal that the rifle was given to him by a Japanese man, and then sold to Abdullah. The two boys see the police on the road and confess to their father what they have done. (They believe at the time that the American woman has died of her wounds.) The three flee from their house, retrieving the rifle as they go. The police corner them on the rocky slope of a hill and open fire. After his brother is hit in the leg, Yussef returns fire, striking one police officer in the shoulder. The police continue shooting, eventually hitting Ahmed in the back, seemingly killing him. As his father rages with grief, Yussef eventually surrenders and confesses to all the crimes, begging clemency for his family and medical assistance for his brother. The police take him into custody. The family’s fate is unresolved.

At the end of the movie, a phone conversation between Amelia and Richard is repeated from Richard’s end of the phone. This is the original phone call at the beginning of Amelia’s story. In this conversation it can be heard that he is allowing Amelia to go to her son’s wedding because Susan’s sister will be able to watch the twins. It is not until the next morning on another phone call they learn that Susan’s sister cannot take care of them and thus Amelia is forced to take the children with her.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

  • Directors: David Fincher
  • Producers: Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Cean Chaffin
  • Writers: Screenplay, Eric Roth, Screen story, Eric Roth, Robin Swicord, Short story, F Scott Fitzgerald
  • Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance
  • Actors: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Taraji P Henson, Julia Ormond, Tilda Swinton

The elderly Daisy (Cate Blanchett) is on her deathbed with her daughter Caroline (Julia Ormond) in a New Orleans hospital as Hurricane Katrina approaches in August 2005. Daisy tells the story of a blind clockmaker named Gateau (Elias Koteas), who was commissioned to create a clock to hang in the New Orleans train station. After receiving news of his son’s death in World War I, he continued work on his clock, but intentionally designed it to run backward, in the hope that it would bring back those who died in the war. After her cryptic story, Daisy asks Caroline to read aloud from a diary containing photographs and postcards written by Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt). Caroline begins to read as the story transitions to Benjamin’s narration.

On November 11, 1918, just as the people of New Orleans are celebrating the end of World War I, a baby boy is born with the appearance and physical maladies of an elderly man. The mother of the baby dies shortly after giving birth, and the father, Thomas Button (Jason Flemyng), takes the baby and abandons him on the porch of a nursing home. Queenie (Taraji P. Henson) and Tizzy (Mahershalalhashbaz Ali), a couple who work at the nursing home, find the baby. Queenie, who is unable to conceive, decides to take the baby in as her own, against Tizzy’s wishes. She names the baby Benjamin.

In the 2005 hospital room, the hurricane raging outside downs the electrical system. As Caroline briefly leaves the room, Daisy passes away, her wish of seeing Benjamin again seemingly answered by a hummingbird hovering outside the storm-drenched windows. Against the sounds of the city’s emergency sirens and reports of breached levees, the backwards clock is shown in a basement, still working, as floodwaters envelope the storage room where it is kept.