Date Night

  • Directors: Shawn Levy
  • Producers: Shawn Levy, Tom McNulty
  • Writers: Josh Klausner
  • Genres: Comedy
  • Actors: Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Mila Kunis, Kristen Wiig, Common, Taraji P Henson

Claire and Phil Foster (Tina Fey and Steve Carell) are a suburban couple slogging through their daily lives and marriage. Even their “date nights” of dinner and a movie have become routine. To reignite the marital spark, they visit a trendy Manhattan bistro, where a case of mistaken identity hurtles them through the city at breakneck speeds, into non-stop adventure. Remembering what made them so special together, Phil and Claire take on a couple of corrupt cops, a top-level mobster—and a crazed cabbie—as their date becomes a night they’ll never forget.[2][3]

The Brothers Bloom

  • Directors: Rian Johnson
  • Producers: Wendy Japhet, Ram Bergman, James D Stern
  • Writers: Rian Johnson
  • Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Crime, Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Rachel Weisz, Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo, Rinko Kikuchi, Maximillian Schell, Robbie Coltrane

The film opens during the childhood of the orphaned protagonists, Stephen (Mark Ruffalo) and Bloom (Adrien Brody). Stephen, the older of the two, instigates various acts of dishonesty and mayhem, while younger brother Bloom is content to play along the shenanigans. The brother’s unrepentant mischief making causes their constant eviction from one foster home to the next.

Eventually, the brothers are transferred to a close-knit small town filled with friendly children their age. Bloom begins to long for the comfort of a normal and honest social life, and develops a crush on one of the girls there. Stephen, realizing he can use his brother’s interest in the children, manipulates his brother into befriending their schoolmates in order to execute their first big con.

Stephen has Bloom convince his new friends that a mysterious old man told him of a cave that contains a magical creature. The man, Bloom claims, will reveal the location of the cave for $30. The children believe the story, collect $30 among the group, and venture out to the cave. Stephen hides inside the cave just out of their sight, waving a lantern to hint at the magic fairy just out of sight. The excited children run toward the light. Bloom, caught up in the moment, runs too, but, catching sight of his brother, remembers the hollow con and becomes disheartened. The other children, however, are gleeful as they gallop through the muddy cave. Later, however, the fuming parents of the hoodwinked children confront the brother’s foster parents. The boys return the $30, but end up profiting through the con’s true target: they take a cut of the profits made by the town’s lone dry cleaner, who benefited by cleaning the muddy clothes of the bamboozled children. The brothers are soon evicted to another foster home.

Later, Bloom wakes up in the car and slowly discovers that Stephen’s blood stain on his shirt has turned from red to brown (earlier in the film, it is noted that the one flaw of fake blood is its inability to change color). The scene changes back to Stephen, who is dragging the chair to the center of the stage. Still bleeding from the gunshot, he slowly sits down and it is shown he has the Queen of Hearts up his sleeve (revealing he knew what card Bloom would be thinking about) and dies. Bloom, realizing what actually happened, breaks down on the side of the road while Penelope is trying to comfort him. She tells him what Stephen once told her, “That there are no such thing as unwritten life. Just a badly written one.” She tells him that they’re going to live like they’re telling the best story in the whole world. As they’re leaving, Bloom reminisces about another thing Stephen had once told him, “The perfect con is one, where everyone involved gets just the thing they wanted.” For Penelope and Bloom, what they wanted was life with each other, while for Stephen it was happiness for his brother. The two drive off into the distance as the film ends.

Shutter Island

  • Directors: Martin Scorsese
  • Producers: Martin Scorsese, Brad Fischer, Mike Medavoy, Arnie Messer
  • Writers: Novel, Dennis Lehane, Screenplay, Laeta Kalogridis, Steven Knight
  • Genres: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Emily Mortimer, Michelle Williams, Jackie Earle Haley, Max von Sydow

In 1954, two U.S. marshals Teddy (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Chuck (Mark Ruffalo) investigate the disappearance of a patient, Rachel, from a hospital for the criminally insane on an island in Massachusetts. They run into trouble when they read a note Rachel left (‘Who is 67’) and realize that there is another, unknown, prisoner on the island. However, they are deceived multiple times by everyone else on the island, a hurricane hits and an inmate riot traps them on the island. Soon, a cryptic warning tells them that there is no escape.[1]

Zodiac

  • Directors: David Fincher
  • Producers: Mike Medavoy, Brad Fischer, Arnold Messer, James Vanderbilt
  • Writers: Book, Robert Graysmith, Screenplay, James Vanderbilt
  • Genres: Biography, Crime, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Edwards, Brian Cox

The film starts in July 1969 with the Zodiac killer’s second attack, the shooting of Darlene Ferrin and Mike Mageau at a lovers’ lane in Vallejo. Mageau survives while Ferrin dies from her injuries. A letter written by the Zodiac arrives at the San Francisco Chronicle in August of that same year.

Paul Avery (Robert Downey Jr.) is a Chronicle crime reporter. Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a political cartoonist there. The newspaper receives encrypted letters that the killer sends, taunting the police. Because of Graysmith’s status as a cartoonist, he is not taken seriously by Avery and the editors and is excluded from the initial details about the killings despite his interest in the case. In particular, he is drawn to the encrypted code that is included with the letters and is given access to one. When he is able to crack one of the codes and makes several correct guesses about the killer’s actions, Avery begins sharing information with him.

The Zodiac killer stabs Bryan Hartnell and Cecelia Shepard (Pell James) at Lake Berryessa in Napa County. Shepard dies as a result of the attack. Soon afterwards, cab driver Paul Stine is shot and killed in Presidio Heights. San Francisco police detectives Dave Toschi (Mark Ruffalo) and his partner Bill Armstrong (Anthony Edwards) are assigned to the case, liaising with other detectives such as Jack Mulanax (Elias Koteas) in Vallejo and Ken Narlow (Donal Logue) in Napa. The killer, or someone posing as him, continues to toy with authorities by speaking on the phone with celebrity lawyer Melvin Belli (Brian Cox) when he makes an appearance on a television talk show. Avery and Graysmith form an alliance, delving deeper into the case.

Final title cards, however, inform the audience that Allen’s DNA did not match samples gathered from the Zodiac letters.

Collateral

  • Directors: Michael Mann
  • Producers: Michael Mann, Julie Richardson
  • Writers: Stuart Beattie, Michael Mann, Frank Darabont
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Mark Ruffalo, Jada Pinkett Smith, Javier Bardem

Cab driver Max Durocher (Jamie Foxx) drives U.S. Justice Department prosecutor Annie Farrell (Jada Pinkett Smith) to work. During the drive, she tells him about an upcoming case she’s prosecuting and he tells her about his dream of owning his own limousine service. When they arrive at the Justice Department building, Annie leaves him her business card. Moments later, Max picks up a man named Vincent (Tom Cruise), who was seen earlier exchanging a briefcase with a stranger played by Jason Statham at Los Angeles International Airport.

Vincent directs him to a tenement building, and impressed with Max’s efficiency, asks him to be his personal chauffeur for his remaining stops. Max reluctantly agrees when Vincent offers to pay him double his normal nightly profit. Vincent instructs him to park in an adjacent alley while he enters the building. Minutes later, a body drops onto the cab, cracking the windshield and propelling Max out of the cab. He realizes Vincent killed the man. Unable to escape, he is forced to help Vincent put the body in the trunk of the cab.

Vincent reveals that he is a hitman, and that he is in Los Angeles to murder five people before departing in the morning. Originally hoping to keep his occupation a secret, Vincent forces Max to drive him to his other destinations. Upon reaching the second target, Vincent ties Max to the steering wheel of the cab in order to make sure he doesn’t run away while Vincent makes the second kill. While alone, Max tries to arouse the attention of passers by in order to free him, but the people that walk up to the cab turn out to be street thugs, and steal Max’s wallet and Vincent’s briefcase. As they walk away, Vincent appears and asks for the briefcase back. The thugs refuse, and then attempt to rob Vincent, who knocks one thug’s gun and performs the Mozambique Drill, shooting both thugs twice in the chest and once in the head.

Spotting the handgun Vincent left behind, Max overpowers the policeman and cuffs him to the flipped cab before running toward Annie’s office building, where he discovers the building security guard is dead and his handgun is missing. He reaches Annie on a stolen cell phone and warns her about Vincent’s approach. Max enters the building and stops the assassination attempt by shooting at Vincent, grazing his face; he then flees with Annie to the Metrorail station under the building. With the guard’s handgun, an angry Vincent follows and corners them in an empty rail car. Vincent and Max fire at each other through a closed door, with Max escaping injury by stepping to the side as the rail car’s lights flicked off, and shooting through the glass, fatally wounding Vincent who had used his routine manner of killing and attempted to perform the Mozambique drill on Max through the door, missing. Dropping his gun and collapsing into a seat, Vincent waits for death as Max and Annie silently look on. Vincent sardonically asks Max if anybody will notice he has died, echoing an earlier story of Vincent’s about a man who died on the MTA and sat undiscovered by LA commuters for hours. Max and Annie get off the train at the next station while the train continues toward Long Beach with dawn breaking, and with a now dead Vincent sitting slumped in his seat.

Where the Wild Things Are

  • Directors: Spike Jonze
  • Producers: Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, Maurice Sendak, John B Carls, Vincent Landay
  • Writers: Picture book, Maurice Sendak, Screenplay, Dave Eggers, Spike Jonze
  • Genres: Adventure, Drama, Family, Fantasy
  • Actors: Max Records, Catherine Keener, Mark Ruffalo, Lauren Ambrose, Chris Cooper, James Gandolfini, Catherine O Hara, Forest Whitaker

The film concerns the imaginary adventures of a young boy named Max, who is angry when his mother, Connie, invites her boyfriend over. After causing one mischievous antic after another, he is sent to his room without supper. Feeling angry and unloved, he then creates a forest bordering a massive ocean, and sails away to an island inhabited by many large imaginary monsters called the Wild Things, who crown him as their ruler.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

  • Directors: Michel Gondry
  • Producers: Anthony Bregman
  • Writers: Michel Gondry, Charlie Kaufman, Pierre Bismuth
  • Genres: Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood, Tom Wilkinson, Jane Adams, David Cross, Thomas Jay Ryan

Emotionally withdrawn Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) and dysfunctional free spirit Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet) meet each other for the first time at a beach party in Montauk, New York, and subsequently become romantically involved. However, two years into their relationship, they fall out of love with each other. Clementine discovers the services of Lacuna, Inc., a firm led by Dr. Mierzwiak (Tom Wilkinson) that claims to be able to erase all specific memories from a person’s mind. Clementine opts to have Lacuna erase Joel from her mind, handing over all of her possessions relating to their romance. When Joel seeks out Clementine the next day to try to make up, he finds she is completely unaware of who he is and is being wooed by Patrick (Elijah Wood), a technician from Lacuna who became smitten with Clementine and is using her past memories and the items given to Clementine by Joel to seek her affection. Joel investigates further and discovers Lacuna, opting to have his mind wiped of Clementine, giving them all the items he believes came about from his relationship with her.

The Lacuna technicians, Patrick and Stan (Mark Ruffalo), arrive at Joel’s apartment to perform the mind wipe as he sleeps, an all-night process; Mary (Kirsten Dunst), Stan’s girlfriend who is also a Lacuna employee, shows up later. Patrick leaves the apartment to spend time with Clementine. Stan and Mary are left to mind the machine but instead have sex and get stoned. Inside Joel’s mind during a lucid dream, Joel discovers his memories of Clementine are being erased in reverse order, and as he experiences the earlier, happier times with her, he becomes aware that he wants to stop the procedure and keep the memories, and begins to fight the mind wipe by trying to hide Clementine in deep memories of his mind. Joel’s resistance causes the machine to fault, and Stan and Mary are forced to call Dr. Mierzwiak to help finalize the procedure. While Dr. Mierzwiak is able to restore the process to normal, his arrival brings about several awkward feelings between himself and the stoned Mary. Shortly later she learns that she had her mind wiped of her former affair with Dr. Mierzwiak. Joel finds he cannot stop the process, but before his last memory of Clementine at the Montauk beach house is erased, she tells him she loves him and to “meet me in Montauk.”

Joel wakes up the next day and decides to skip work, instead taking the Long Island Rail Road train to Montauk where he happens to meet Clementine. Neither aware of who the other is, they quickly bond and begin to form a new relationship. The same day, Mary quits her job and steals the client files from Lacuna and mails them back to their clients. After returning to the city, Joel drives Clementine to her home to get her toothbrush so she can spend the night at his place, but is met by Patrick, who is there to continue to woo Clementine and wonders why Joel is still seeing her. When Clementine returns, she finds her Lacuna file in the mail and plays the tape from it for her and Joel, causing Joel to think that she is toying with his feelings, after which he forces her to leave his car and drives off alone. Patrick attempts to cheer Clementine up but she verbally lashes out at him and breaks off their budding relationship. Clementine travels to Joel’s apartment to find Joel with his own Lacuna tape and holding a drawing from their former relationship that he missed when handing over his possessions. They both become aware of the truth of their former relationship. The two recognize that their relationship may have problems based on their past, but decide not to let those failings prevent them from seeing other, and the movie ends with them in a teasing snowball fight on the Montauk beach.