Creation

  • Directors: Jon Amiel
  • Producers: Jeremy Thomas
  • Writers: John Collee
  • Genres: Biography, Drama
  • Actors: Paul Bettany, Jennifer Connelly, Jeremy Northam, Toby Jones, Benedict Cumberbatch

Following the death of his eldest daughter Annie in 1851, English naturalist Charles Darwin has a crisis of faith. Having returned from his expedition in the Galapagos Islands fifteen years earlier he has yet to compile his findings from his notebooks.

Darwin has an unshakeable illness and cannot write, though his friends Joseph Dalton Hooker and Thomas Henry Huxley encourage him to finish his book, having read his 230 page synopsis. Darwin’s depression is also the cause of a rift with his wife, Emma, whose devout faith contrasts with Darwin’s own loss of faith. Darwin explains her refuge in religion as her reaction to Annie’s death.

To provide evidence for his theory Darwin breeds pigeons. Darwin is stopped when he is sent a letter by Alfred Russel Wallace in 1855, which details the same findings as Darwin in twenty pages. He sees the discovery as a good thing, as he will not have to write his book and the strife with Emma will dissipate.

He subsequently visits Malvern to “take waters” and visit the guesthouse where Annie died. Cured of his illness after addressing his grief, Darwin finishes his manuscript and hands it to Emma to read, leaving the decision to publish in her hands. She reads it and packages it to send to the publishers.

Darwin dispatches the manuscript, and it is published on 24 November, 1859.

Blood Diamond

  • Directors: Edward Zwick
  • Producers: Gillian Gorfil, Marshall Herskovitz, Graham King, Paula Weinstein, Edward Zwick
  • Writers: Charles Leavitt
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Djimon Hounsou, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly, Michael Sheen, Arnold Vosloo

Set during the Sierra Leone Civil War in 1999, the film shows a country torn apart by the struggle between government soldiers and rebel forces.[1] The film portrays many of the atrocities of that war, including the rebels’ amputation of people’s hands to discourage them from voting in upcoming elections.

The film begins with the capture of Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou), a Mende fisherman, by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels when they invade the small Sierra Leonian village of Shenge. Separated from his family, Solomon is enslaved to work in the diamond fields under the command of a Warlord called Captain Poison (David Harewood) while his son Dia is conscripted into the rebel forces, the brainwashing eventually turning him into a hardened killer. The RUF use the diamonds to fund their war effort, often trading them directly for arms. While working in the RUF diamond fields as a forced laborer, Solomon finds a large, pink diamond inside a big, broken pipe in the diamond fields. Claiming that he must go to the toilet, Solomon hides the diamond between his toes to try and sneak it away to bury it. However, moments before government troops launch an attack, Captain Poison sees Solomon hiding the diamond. Captain Poison is injured in an attack by government forces before he can get the stone, and both he and Solomon are taken to prison in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone.

Solomon travels to London and, with the help of Bowen, he trades the diamond to Simmons for £2,000,000 and the reunification of his family, making the exchange as Solomon’s wife and children arrive via a Lear Jet at a London airport. Bowen, who secretly photographs the deal, later publishes a magazine piece exposing the trade in “conflict” or “blood” diamonds. The film ends with Solomon smiling at the photograph Maddy took of Archer earlier, now published in her magazine along with the complete story of their journey, before addressing a conference on blood diamonds in Kimberley, South Africa, describing his experiences. This refers to an actual meeting that took place in Kimberley in 2000 and led to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, which seeks to certify the origin of diamonds in order to curb the trade in conflict diamonds.

9

  • Directors: Shane Acker
  • Producers: Tim Burton, Timur Bekmambetov, Jim Lemley
  • Writers: Shane Acker, Pamela Pettler, Ben Gluck
  • Genres: Animation, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, War
  • Actors: Elijah Wood, John C Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer, Crispin Glover, Martin Landau

9 takes place in a world parallel to our own, in which the very legacy of humanity is threatened. A group of sapient rag dolls, living a post-apocalyptic existence find one of their own, 9 (Wood), who displays leadership qualities that may help them to survive.

The conflicted but resilient group includes 1 (Plummer), a domineering war veteran; 2 (Landau), an aged inventor; 5 (Reilly), a stalwart mechanic; 6 (Glover), a visionary and artist; and 7 (Connelly), a brave warrior.[4][5] The trailer also depicts 3 and 4 as identical, hooded rag dolls whose numbers are on their front, and 8 as a hulking warrior, whose number is marked on his right shoulder unlike the others, who bear their numbers on their backs.

Labyrinth

  • Directors: Jim Henson
  • Producers: George Lucas
  • Writers: Dennis Lee, Jim Henson, Terry Jones
  • Genres: Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Musical
  • Actors: Jennifer Connelly, David Bowie, Toby Froud

Protagonist Sarah Williams (Connelly) is a 15-year-old who loves reading and acting out fairy tales, whose parents are divorced and whose mother is a moderately famous actress. The movie opens with a scene of Sarah rehearsing lines from her book Labyrinth in a park. While trying to remember the final line of a speech in the book, she loses track of time, forgetting that she must babysit her infant half-brother, Toby. Upon belatedly remembering this, she runs home to find her stepmother Irene waiting angrily for her. They quarrel, after which Irene leaves with Sarah’s father on a date, while Sarah remains behind to babysit Toby. Here, the already furious Sarah realises that her treasured teddy bear, Lancelot, is missing from her room. Storming into Toby’s room, she finds Lancelot and reprimands Toby, whereupon he begins to cry. Sarah, possibly to tease him further in revenge, begins rehearsing more lines from Labyrinth, telling an account of a maiden granted special powers by the King of Goblins. According to the story, the girl (whom Sarah apparently uses to represent herself) could no longer stand her life and wishes for goblins to take away her screaming baby brother. As she ends the story and turns off the light, she remarks, “I wish the goblins would come and take you away…right now”, whereupon Toby suddenly stops crying. Worried, Sarah enters his room, to find that Toby has vanished.

In Toby’s room, she gives him Lancelot, then returns to her room. As Sarah clears her dressing table, she seems confused about whether she has undergone the turning point in her life between childhood and adulthood. Hoggle appears, along with Ludo and Sir Didymus, as images in the mirror. They seem to be bidding her goodbye as she leaves behind the fantasies of childhood, but remind her that they will still be available “should you need us”. Sarah insists she presently needs them, whereupon they appear in her bedroom. The film closes as the Labyrinth’s creatures celebrate in her room. Outside, the owl Jareth watches the party and then flies away into the night.

He s Just Not That Into You

  • Directors: Ken Kwapis
  • Producers: Drew Barrymore, Nancy Juvonen
  • Writers: Greg Behrendt, Liz Tuccillo, Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Scarlett Johansson, Justin Long, Jennifer Connelly, Ginnifer Goodwin, Kevin Connolly, Bradley Cooper, Kris Kristofferson

The plot chronicles the romantic misadventures of nine individuals in their twenties and thirties. Set in Baltimore, the common thread of the story is that one person in each relationship is more enamored with the other person than vice versa. At the core of these multiple stories is Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin), a young woman who repeatedly misinterprets the signs that men give her about their level of interest in her.

After a rejection from Conor (Kevin Connolly), Gigi begins getting dating advice from the romantic and promiscuous Alex (Justin Long), the manager of a bar and Conor’s best friend. Alex tells Gigi that Conor simply wasn’t interested in her since he hasn’t called, otherwise he would have definitely made a move. He also tells her that she should stop thinking that she is an exception to this rule, and to stop obsessing over every “sign” that she might pick up on during a date. Gigi proceeds to go on several unsuccessful dates, often calling Alex during dates for advice. Gigi starts believing that Alex is interested in her because he is so willing to take a call from her (even when he’s busy at work, or is with a girl), and because she thinks Alex intentionally botched a blind date he organized for Gigi and one of his friends. Alex then invites Gigi to a party he’s having at his apartment. Interpreting this invitation as an opportunity to “co-host” the party, Gigi helps make food for guests, and stays behind to clean up. When all the guests are gone, Gigi kisses Alex. Alex, surprised and very frustrated, tells her he wasn’t interested in her romantically, and if he was he would’ve pursued her. Gigi tells him that even though she obsesses over everything and has embarrassed herself many times, she is closer to finding love than he is. Gigi and Alex stop speaking to each other, but Alex feels continuously troubled at work. After being confronted by one of his employees he realizes he’s obsessing and over-analyzing his situation with Gigi, in the same way Gigi was at the beginning. Meanwhile, Gigi goes on a date with Bill (Alex’s friend who was meant to go on the blind date with her). After she returns home, Alex goes to see her at her apartment. He apologizes to Gigi and kisses her, telling her that she is his exception.

Gigi’s other co-worker, Beth (Jennifer Aniston), is living with her boyfriend Neil (Ben Affleck), who is also friends with Ben, and who she has been with for seven years. Although Beth wants to get married, Neil does not believe in signing a piece of paper to say you love someone. After listening to a rant about relationships from Gigi, Beth becomes upset and starts thinking about her relationship with Neil. When she arrives home after work she asks Neil if he’ll ever marry her; when he doesn’t respond, Beth breaks up with him. Neil moves out to live in his boat while Beth goes home to see her family and to be a bridesmaid at her younger sister’s wedding. During the reception, Beth’s father has a heart attack. Beth constantly looks after her father: she brings him food and keeps him company, and cleans the house. Meanwhile all the other sisters’ husbands do is watch football, make a mess, and are not concerned at all about their father in-law. Beth is constantly frustrated and worried, but Neil suddenly appears in the kitchen helping her wash dishes. Beth goes to see Neil on his boat and they get back together, telling him that he is more of a husband than her sister’s husbands will ever be. Back at their apartment, Beth scolds Neil for bringing back a pair of pants she told him to leave on the boat. Neil insists that if she’s going to throw them out then to check the pockets for any valuables. Beth complies and discovers a box with a diamond ring, and turns around to find Neil kneeling down behind her. Neil proposes to her, telling her that for him to be happy then Beth needs to be happy. Beth accepts his proposal.

The Day the Earth Stood Still

  • Directors: Scott Derrickson
  • Producers: Erwin Stoff, Paul Harris Boardman
  • Writers: David Scarpa, Harry Bates
  • Genres: Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, Jaden Smith, John Cleese, Kathy Bates

In 1928, a mountaineer (Keanu Reeves) encounters a glowing sphere while on an expedition in the snowy mountains of India. He then finds himself awakening after a sudden loss of consciousness, with the sphere now gone and a scar on his hand. In the present day, Dr. Helen Benson (Jennifer Connelly), a Princeton professor, and other scientists are hastily assembled by the government in order to formulate a survival plan when it is feared that a large unknown object with a speed of 3x107m/s[3] is due to impact Manhattan in approximately 78 minutes.

Nothing can be done about it because a vital military satellite has been disabled. The object is a large spherical biological spaceship, which slows down and lands gently in Central Park. A being (taking on the appearance of the man from the opening scene of the film) named Klaatu (Keanu Reeves) emerges from the sphere while accompanied by a large robot. Klaatu, a representative of a group of alien races, has come to assess whether humanity can reverse the environmental damage it has inflicted on planet Earth.

In the ensuing confusion, Klaatu is shot, but survives. The large robot activates and proceeds to disrupt all electrical systems in the city of New York, including many of the defense systems that the military has mustered in a perimeter around the spaceship. Before it can do any further damage, Klaatu orders it to shut down. While recovering from his injuries, Klaatu is detained by Regina Jackson (Kathy Bates), the United States Secretary of Defense, and is barred from speaking to the United Nations. Klaatu manages to escape with the help of Helen, and he soon finds himself eluding the authorities throughout Newark, New Jersey, and the forested Highlands, with Helen and her stepson Jacob (Jaden Smith).

There, it is revealed that Jacob and Helen have been infected by the nanites. She pleads with Klaatu to save Jacob. Klaatu saves both of them by transferring the infection to his own body, then sacrifices himself to stop GORT by walking through the nanites to the sphere and touching it. His actions cause the sphere to emit a massive EM pulse which destroys GORT, saving humanity, but at the price of all of Earth’s technology becoming apparently useless and immobile. Klaatu disappears, and the giant sphere leaves Earth.

Hulk

  • Directors: Ang Lee
  • Producers: Avi Arad, Larry J Franco, Gale Anne Hurd, Stan Lee, James Schamus, Kevin Feige
  • Writers: Screenplay, James Schamus, Michael France, John Turman, Story, James Schamus, Comic Book, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
  • Genres: Action, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, Sam Elliott, Nick Nolte, Josh Lucas

David Banner is a genetics researcher who experiments on himself, trying to improve human DNA. Once his wife gives birth to their son Bruce, David realizes his mutant DNA has been passed on and attempts to find a cure for his son’s condition. The government, represented by Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, shuts down his research after learning of his dangerous experiments. David, in a fit of rage, causes a massive explosion of the facilities’ gamma reactor, and accidentally kills his wife. He is then put into a mental hospital, while 4-year-old Bruce is sent into foster care and adopted, taking on the last name of Krenzler, believing his biological parents are deceased. The events surrounding his mother’s death leave Bruce unable to recall details of his early childhood.

Years later, Bruce is a brilliant researcher freshly graduated at the University of California, Berkeley. The military-industrial complex, represented by the unscrupulous Major Talbot, becomes interested in the research to build regenerating soldiers. David reappears and begins infiltrating Bruce’s life, working as a janitor in the lab building. Ross, now an Army general, also begins to investigate. Ross, the estranged father of Bruce’s ex-girlfriend and co-researcher Betty Ross, becomes concerned both for his daughter’s safety around Bruce, but also because Bruce is working in the same field as the father he does not remember.

Talbot, seeing an opportunity to profit from the Hulk’s strength and regenerative capability, attacks and taunts Bruce, but fails. Talbot puts him in a sensory deprivation tank and induces a nightmare that triggers his repressed memories and transforms him into the Hulk, eventually leading to the death of Talbot. David confronts Betty and offers to turn himself in. In exchange, he asks to speak to Bruce “one last time.” The Hulk escapes the base in the process. He battles the army in the desert, defeating four tanks and two Comanche Helicopters, and leaps all the way to San Francisco to find Betty again. Betty contacts her father and convinces him to take her to meet the Hulk, believing that he needs “a chance to calm down.” Bruce’s love for her comes through the Hulk, and he transforms back into his human form. David is allowed to visit the base and talk to Bruce. David, having descended into megalomania, fails to convince Bruce to give him his power. David transforms into a powerful electrical being after biting into a wire and absorbing the energy. Bruce then transforms into the Hulk and battles his father. Both are presumed dead after Ross orders a Gamma Charge Bomb to end the fight, leaving no trace of them. A year later there have still been numerous sightings of the Hulk. Bruce finds exile in the Amazon Rainforest as a doctor in a medical camp.

A Beautiful Mind

  • Directors: Ron Howard
  • Producers: Brian Grazer, Ron Howard
  • Writers: Book, Sylvia Nasar, Screenplay, Akiva Goldsman
  • Genres: Biography, Drama
  • Actors: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Paul Bettany

John Nash (Russell Crowe) arrives at Princeton University as a new graduate student. He is a recipient of the prestigious Carnegie Prize for mathematics; although he was promised a single room, his roommate Charles (Paul Bettany), a literature student, greets him as he moves in and soon becomes his best friend. Nash also meets a group of other promising math and science graduate students, Martin Hansen (Josh Lucas), Sol (Adam Goldberg), Ainsley, and Bender (Anthony Rapp), with whom he strikes up an awkward friendship. Nash admits to Charles that he is better with numbers than people, which comes as no surprise to them after watching his largely unsuccessful attempts at conversation with the women at the local bar.

The headmaster of Princeton informs Nash, who has missed many of his classes, that he cannot begin work until he finishes a thesis paper, prompting him to seek a truly original idea for the paper. A woman at the bar is what ultimately inspires his fruitful work in the concept of governing dynamics, a theory in mathematical economics.

After the conclusion of Nash’s studies as a student at Princeton, he accepts a prestigious appointment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), along with his friends Sol and Bender.

Nash eventually earns the privilege of teaching again. He is honored by his fellow professors for his achievement in mathematics, and goes on to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for his revolutionary work on game theory. Nash and Alicia are about to leave the auditorium in Stockholm, when Nash sees Charles, Marcee and Parcher standing and watching him with blank expressions on their faces. Alicia asks Nash, “What’s wrong?” Nash replies, “Nothing. Nothing at all.” With that, they both leave the auditorium.

Requiem for a Dream

  • Directors: Darren Aronofsky
  • Producers: Eric Watson, Palmer West, Scott Vogel
  • Writers: Novel, Hubert Selby Jr, Screenplay, Darren Aronofsky, Hubert Selby Jr
  • Genres: Drama
  • Actors: Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans, Christopher McDonald

The film charts three seasons in the lives of mother and son Sara (Ellen Burstyn) and Harry Goldfarb (Jared Leto), Harry’s girlfriend Marion Silver (Jennifer Connelly), and Harry’s friend Tyrone C. Love (Marlon Wayans). Each character is ultimately destroyed by addiction and self-delusion.

The story begins in summer. Sara Goldfarb, an elderly widow living alone in her Brighton Beach apartment, spends her time watching infomercials on television. After a phone call announces that she will be invited to attend a live taping of a television show, she becomes obsessed with matching her appearance to a photograph from her son Harry’s graduation, her proudest moment. In order to fit into her old red dress, the favorite of her deceased husband, she begins taking a regimen of prescription weight-loss amphetamine pills throughout the day and a sedative at night. The pills alter her behavior, but she passionately insists that the chance to be on television has given her a reason to live. Over the fall, however, her invitation does not arrive, and she begins to up her dosage, causing nightmarish hallucinations.

Meanwhile, Harry is an irresponsible heroin addict. Together with his friend, Tyrone, who is also a heroin addict, and his girlfriend, Marion, an aspiring fashion designer and cocaine addict, the group enters the drug trade in an attempt to realize their dreams. With the money they make over the summer, Harry and Marion hope to open a fashion store for Marion’s designs, while Tyrone dreams of escaping the street and making his mother proud. However, at the beginning of fall, Tyrone is caught in the middle of a drug gang assassination, causing Harry to use the majority of the money they’ve earned to bail him out of prison. Meanwhile, because of the arrests and shootings of dealers, it becomes very hard to obtain any drugs, throwing Harry, Tyrone, and Marion into a state of deprivation. Growing more desperate, Harry convinces Marion to have sex with her psychiatrist in exchange for money, causing a rift between the pair. The group continues to deteriorate as Marion begins prostituting herself and Harry’s arm becomes severely infected from his heroin injections.

With winter comes the final arc in the characters’ downward spirals. Sara completely breaks down and becomes hospitalized, where she undergoes painful electroshock therapy. Harry and Tyrone travel to Florida, believing they can start over there, but Harry’s deteriorating condition forces them to visit a hospital, where they are arrested. Harry’s arm is amputated, while Tyrone must deal with hostile prison guards, hard labor, and drug withdrawal all alone. Harry has a recurring dream of Marion waiting for him at a pier, but awakens and realizes that she is gone and he has lost his arm. Marion continues to degrade herself at orgies for cocaine. Meanwhile, Sara has become emaciated and catatonic at a mental asylum. Lost in misery, each character curls into a fetal position. In Sara’s dream, however, she finally makes her television appearance and wins a prize. Harry is portrayed as a successful businessman, engaged to Marion. Mother and son hug and say how much they love one another through the cheers of the crowd and the glowing stage lights.