Twister

  • Directors: Jan de Bont
  • Producers: Ian Bryce, Michael Crichton, Kathleen Kennedy
  • Writers: Michael Crichton, Anne Marie Martin
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, Jami Gertz, Cary Elwes, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Alan Ruck, Zach Grenier

In June 1969, a young Jo watches her father get sucked into a tornado after trying to hold a storm cellar door shut to keep his family safe. Decades later, meteorologists at the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) are discussing a building storm system over Oklahoma which could produce a record outbreak of tornadoes. Meanwhile, retired storm chaser Bill Harding (Bill Paxton) and his fiancée Dr. Melissa Reeves (Jami Gertz) are heading out to meet Bill’s former storm-chasing team to get the final divorce papers from Bill’s ex-wife, Dr. Jo Harding (Helen Hunt), who, since the day her father died, has sworn to hunt down as many tornadoes as possible, not wanting the same fate to happen to someone else. Besides Jo, the team consists of the eccentric Dusty Davis (Philip Seymour Hoffman), Robert “Rabbit” Nurick (Alan Ruck) navigator, Laurence (Jeremy Davies) photographer, Joey (Joey Slotnick), Alan Sanders (Sean Whalen) Rabbit’s driver, Tim “Beltzer” Lewis (Todd Field), Haynes (Wendle Jospeher) who rides with Beltzer, and Jason “Preacher” Rowe (Scott Thomson).

Jo, who is still in love with Bill, tries to stall because she does not want the marriage to end. Jo then tells Bill she wanted him out on the field because his idea for a tornado-analyzing device has been built. Called Dorothy, they will put it in the path of a tornado to measure it from inside. Four of the so-called “Dorothy” weather machines have been built. Haynes tells them of storm activity, and they head out. Bill’s rival team shows up, led by Dr. Jonas Miller (Cary Elwes) with his assistant Eddie (Zach Grenier). According to Bill, Jonas is in the storm-chasing business “for the money, not the science.” While Jonas’s team is passing Bill’s team on the road, one of Jonas’s team members runs Bill off the road. They head to a tire shop to get Bill’s flat tire fixed, and Bill sees Jonas giving an interview to some local reporters. Bill finds out that Jonas has stolen his idea for the Dorothy weather machine. Bill accuses him of stealing his idea, but Jonas says it was an “unrealized idea.” Everyone gets drinks at a local diner next door to the garage while Bill stays outside. Inside the diner, Melissa confronts Jo about her trying to keep together her failed marriage to Bill. Outside, Bill notices the sky is turning green, the sign of an approaching violent storm.

Haynes receives readings from Dorothy’s sensors that indicate the tornado will shift its track again. Bill and Jo, now without radios, are at first unaware, and start running towards a nearby farm as the F5 heads right at them. They first take cover in a barn, but it is filled with sharp metal tools. They run out the other side to find the tornado bearing down. It destroys the barn, and they dodge debris as they run to take cover in a small outbuilding. They find metal pipes inside this shelter, and tie themselves to the pipes with leather belts. The tornado destroys the structure, and they are pulled upside while anchored to the pipes. They manage to see the inside of the F5 tornado as it passes over them. It is filled with lighting and a smaller tornado in the core. Seconds later, the entire storm dissipates, and the family from the farm comes out of their underground storm shelter. Bill and Jo debate who will run the lab and who will analyze the new data while the rest of the team arrives.

Cold Mountain

  • Directors: Anthony Minghella
  • Producers: Albert Berger, William Horberg, Sydney Pollack, Ron Yerxa
  • Writers: Anthony Minghella, Charles Frazier
  • Genres: Drama, Romance, War
  • Actors: Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Eileen Atkins, Kathy Baker, Brendan Gleeson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Hunnam, Natalie Portman, Giovanni Ribisi, Donald Sutherland, James Gammon, Jack White, Ethan Suplee

At the film’s inception Jude Law plays a young man named W. P. Inman at a provincial North Carolina town. He meets Ada (Nicole Kidman) and is at the fledgling stages of a relationship with her when he marches off to war as a Confederate soldier.

The film opens early in the morning of July 30, 1864. Confederate troops are entrenched outside Petersburg during its siege. The teenaged Oakley (Lucas Black) is handing out clothes from a wheelbarrow while Inman reads letters from Ada. The soldiers are tired and bored. Most are seasoned veterans who have been fighting for over three years. But meanwhile Union engineers are filling a mine under the Confederate trenches with gunpowder barrels while above, hundreds Union troops are waiting to attack. Suddenly back at the Confederate siege works, a rabbit hops into the trench. Just as one of the men is about to capture it the ground rises from under him and there is a huge explosion. The Union lit the barrels and most of the trench exploded. As Inman and Oakley get up dazed from the blast they see Union troops charging at them. As the Union charge they run right into the crater where the trench used to be and are trapped in a kill zone. The Confederates fire down at them but the fighting becomes hand to hand and Oakley is pulled down in by a Union soldier and Inman goes after him. Before Inman can reach him Oakley is bayoneted but survives. Inman shoots the Union soldier with a LeMat revolver he finds and pulls Oakley out of the chaos. The battle ends with a huge Union defeat. As the Confederates are cleaning up after the battle, Inman comforts Oakley as he is pulled to the hospital on a cart. Later that day Oakley dies in the hospital with Inman and Stobrod Thewes (Brendan Gleeson) beside him.

The film ends several years later with Ada, Ruby and their families celebrating Easter. Ruby has married Georgia, and the two have an infant child. Her father Stobrod is revealed to have survived, and it is revealed that Ada’s night with Inman had given her a child, Grace Inman.

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.

The Boat That Rocked

  • Directors: Richard Curtis
  • Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Hilary Bevan Jones
  • Writers: Richard Curtis
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Music, Romance
  • Actors: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, Nick Frost, Kenneth Branagh

Carl (Tom Sturridge) arrives on the pirate radio ship, Radio Rock, after being sent to stay with the ship’s Captain, his godfather, Quentin (Bill Nighy), to hopefully set his life on a different track after being expelled from school. Here he meets Radio Rock’s crew of ramshackle disc jockeys, led by The Count (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a buoyant rock-loving American, along with the suave and bawdy Dave (Nick Frost) and the naive but good hearted Simon (Chris O’Dowd). Also filling the airwaves is self proclaimed New Zealand “nut,” Angus (Rhys Darby), the mysterious Midnight Mark (Tom Wisdom) and the even more mysterious, reclusive and downright disillusioned late-night DJ Smooth Bob (Ralph Brown). Serving as the ship’s crew are the shy lesbian cook Felicity (Katherine Parkinson) and radio assistants, Harold (Ike Hamilton) and the appropriately nicknamed Thick Kevin (Tom Brooke).

Dave wastes no time in introducing Carl to women, only for both of Carl’s attempts to be foiled by Dave himself, including Carl’s first crush, Quentin’s niece, Marianne (Talulah Riley), although, by the end of the film, Carl and Marianne make up and get together. Simon also is unlucky in love, meeting and marrying the too-good-to-be-true Elenore (January Jones) only to find her affections are really placed with the returning “king of the airwaves”, Gavin (Rhys Ifans). The Count objects to Gavin’s antics with Elenore, leading to a clash of egos that ends in a truce after both suffer physical injuries jumping from the top of the ship’s radio mast in a contest of courage.

The film concludes with captions stating that, despite the end of “the golden age of pirate radio”, the dream lives on, with 299 music radio stations across the UK playing rock and pop music 24 hours a day, and that, forty years on, rock and roll is still going strong, ending with a montage of successful music albums covering the entire forty year period.

Mary and Max

  • Directors: Adam Elliot
  • Producers: Melanie Coombs
  • Writers: Adam Elliot
  • Genres: Animation, Comedy, Drama
  • Actors: Toni Collette, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Eric Bana

The film takes place from 1976 to 1994 and tells the story of the unlikely pen-pal friendship that lasts for 18 years between Mary, a chubby lonely 8-year-old girl who lives in Mount Waverley, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, and Max, a 44-year-old, severely obese, atheistic, Jewish man with Asperger syndrome who lives in New York City.[2]

The central focus of the movie is the letters shared between Mary and Max (from the ages of 8 to 26 and 44 to 62, respectively) and the stories behind their life and the lives of people around them.

The film states in the opening credits that it is based on a true story.

Magnolia

  • Directors: Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Producers: Paul Thomas Anderson, Joanne Sellar
  • Writers: Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Genres: Drama
  • Actors: John C Reilly, Tom Cruise, Julianne Moore, April Grace, Philip Baker Hall, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ricky Jay, William H Macy, Alfred Molina, Jason Robards, Melora Walters

In an introduction three events are described (by an uncredited Ricky Jay) showing coincidences. The events, which are well-known urban legends in the universe of the film, are as follows:

Forthright police officer Jim Kurring (John C. Reilly) is called to investigate a disturbance at the home of a woman named Marcie (Cleo King). He finds a body in her closet, but when the other police officers arrive they pay little attention to his report on the situation. A young boy, Dixon (Emmanuel Johnson) offers to help Jim with the case by performing a self-penned rap. Dixon claims that in the words of the rap he told Jim who committed the murder, but, thinking the boy is just joking, Jim ignores him.

Former TV producer Earl Partridge (Jason Robards) is in the final stages of cancer, and is being cared for by a nurse, Phil Parma (Philip Seymour Hoffman), while his young trophy wife Linda (Julianne Moore) is out collecting prescriptions for a strong dose of liquid morphine that will end his pain. Earl mentions to Phil that he has an estranged son and asks him to find him, saying his name is Frank Mackey. Phil, aware that Mackey is the author of the “Seduce And Destroy” self-help system for men, orders in some pornographic magazines, hoping to find a phone number for his self-help system in there. Frank Mackey (Tom Cruise) is giving a seminar to an audience of men, instructing them how they can manipulate women into “sleeping” with them. As his seminar breaks for lunch, a reporter named Gwenovier (April Grace) takes him aside to interview him. He is initially very confident in his interview, but tells Gwenovier that his father is dead.

Just then, frogs suddenly start to rain from the sky. As Rose drives through the rain of frogs, she crashes her car outside Claudia’s apartment and runs in fear to a reconciliation with her daughter. As Jimmy is about to kill himself, the frogs fall through his skylight and cause him instead to shoot the TV, meaning his house begins to catch fire – whether he survives is never made clear (though in the original script, his body is later seen being removed from the house). The frogs cause Donnie to fall from the pole, smashing his teeth, eliminating his need for braces. The rain of frogs abruptly ceases with a final incongruous object – Jim’s gun falls from the sky and lands right in front of him. Jim helps Donnie replace the money and to forgive himself – Jim chooses to act in forgiveness, rather than in duty, which would have compelled him to arrest Donnie. Having been given the liquid morphine by Phil, Earl dies as Frank watches (the two of them perhaps finally reconciled). Frank then goes to the hospital to see Linda, who is making a gradual recovery. Stanley goes to his father and tells him that he needs to be nicer to him. Rick curtly responds by telling Stanley to go to bed. The film ends as, the next morning, Jim goes to visit Claudia. He talks to her, telling her that he wants to be honest with her as she told him to, and he wants to make things work out between them. She breaks the fourth wall and smiles at the camera.

Charlie Wilson s War

  • Directors: Mike Nichols
  • Producers: Tom Hanks
  • Writers: George Crile, Aaron Sorkin
  • Genres: Biography, Drama
  • Actors: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Ned Beatty, Om Puri

The film shows Wilson having a very gregarious social life of women and partying, including having his congressional office staffed with young, attractive women. The film also shows how the partying causes a federal investigation into allegations of cocaine use by Wilson, conducted by then-federal prosecutor Rudy Giuliani as part of a larger investigation into congressional misconduct. The investigation results in no charge against Wilson.

A friend and romantic interest, Joanne Herring, encourages Wilson to do more to help the Afghans, and persuades Wilson to visit the Pakistani leadership. The Pakistanis complain about the inadequate support of the U.S. to oppose the Soviets, and they insist that Wilson visit a major Pakistan-based Afghan refugee camp. Deeply moved by their misery and determination to fight, Wilson is frustrated by the regional CIA personnel’s insistence on a low key approach against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Wilson returns home to lead an effort to substantially increase funding to the mujahideen.

As part of this effort, Wilson befriends the maverick CIA operative Gust Avrakotos and his understaffed Afghanistan group to find a better strategy, especially including a means to counter the Soviets’ formidable Mi-24 helicopter gunship. This group was composed in part of members of the CIA’s elite Special Activities Division, including a young paramilitary officer named Michael Vickers. As a result, Wilson’s deft political bargaining for the necessary funding and Avrakotos’ group’s careful planning using those resources, such as supplying the guerrillas with FIM-92 Stinger missile launchers, turns the Soviet occupation into a deadly quagmire with their heavy fighting vehicles being destroyed at a crippling rate. The CIA’s anti-communism budget evolves from $5 million to over $500 million (with the same amount matched by Saudi Arabia), startling several congressmen. This effort by Wilson ultimately evolves into a major portion of the U.S. foreign policy known as the Reagan Doctrine, under which the U.S. expanded assistance beyond just the mujahideen and began also supporting other anti-communist resistance movements around the world.

Wilson follows Avrakotos’ guidance to seek support for post-Soviet occupation Afghanistan, but finds almost no enthusiasm in the U.S. government for even the modest measures he proposes. The film ends with Wilson receiving a major commendation for the support of the U.S. clandestine services, but his pride is tempered by his fears of what unintended consequences his secret efforts could yield in the future and the implications of U.S. disengagement from Afghanistan.

Doubt

  • Directors: John Patrick Shanley
  • Producers: Scott Rudin
  • Writers: John Patrick Shanley
  • Genres: Drama, Mystery
  • Actors: Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Viola Davis

Set in 1964 at a Catholic church in the Bronx, New York, the film opens with Father Flynn (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) giving a sermon on the nature of doubt, noting that, like faith, it can be a unifying force. That evening, Sister Aloysius (Meryl Streep), the strict principal of the attached school, discusses the sermon with her fellow nuns, the Sisters of Charity of New York. She asks if anyone has observed unusual behavior to give Father Flynn cause for preaching about doubt, and instructs them to keep their eyes open for any such behavior.

Sister James (Amy Adams), a young and naïve teacher, observes the closeness between Father Flynn and Donald Miller, the school’s only black student and an altar boy. One day during class, Sister James receives a call in her class asking for Donald Miller to meet Father Flynn in the rectory. When he returns, Donald is distraught and Sister James notices the smell of alcohol on his breath. Later, while her students are learning a dance, she sees Father Flynn placing a white shirt in Donald’s locker. On guard for unusual behavior, Sister James reveals her suspicions to Sister Aloysius.

Under the pretext of discussing problems with the school’s Christmas play, Sisters Aloysius and James confront Father Flynn with their suspicions that his relationship with Donald may be inappropriate. Several times, Father Flynn asks them to leave the matter alone as a private issue between the boy and himself but Sister Aloysius persists. The priest relents, revealing that Donald had been caught drinking altar wine. He explains that he had promised the student not to tell anyone about the incident, and that he could remain an altar boy. Having now been forced to break that promise and reveal the truth, he will need to dismiss Donald as an altar boy. Father Flynn tells Sister Aloysius that he is disappointed in the way she handled this.

Following his final sermon, the nuns sit together in the church garden. Sister Aloysius tells Sister James that although Father Flynn has left, he has been given a more prestigious parish with its parochial school, in effect a promotion. She goes on to reveal that she lied about speaking to a nun at Father Flynn’s former church. Repeating a line from earlier in the film that “In the pursuit of wrongdoing, one steps away from God,” she adds that there is also a price. Aloysius breaks down in tears and says to Sister James, “I have doubts.”

Red Dragon

  • Directors: Brett Ratner
  • Producers: Dino De Laurentiis
  • Writers: Screenplay, Ted Tally, Novel, Thomas Harris
  • Genres: Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Edward Norton, Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes, Harvey Keitel, Emily Watson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Mary Louise Parker, Anthony Heald, Frankie Faison

In his Baltimore townhouse, famous local psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter hosts a dinner party. The main subject of conversation over dinner is the disappearance of a local musician who was criticized for playing several wrong notes at a concert that Lecter attended. He then serves what the guests see as a delicious meal.

After dinner, Lecter is visited by Will Graham, a young gifted FBI agent, with whom he has been working on a psychological profile of a local serial killer. Edible body parts of the victims, such as the kidneys and liver were removed from the bodies after being killed, and Graham is convinced that the killer is actually a cannibal. During the consultation and brainstorming session, Graham discovers evidence implicating Dr. Lecter in the murders, shortly before Lecter returns and attacks Graham, wounding and nearly killing him before Graham resists and subdues him.

Lecter is subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment in an institution for the criminally insane while Graham, severely traumatized by the experience, retires from the FBI.

Years later, another serial killer appears. Nicknamed the Tooth Fairy, he stalks and murders seemingly random families during sequential full moons. Hoping to speed things up and capture the killer before his next attack, Special Agent Jack Crawford seeks out Graham and pleads for his assistance. Graham, believing the death of another family to be an unbearable burden on his conscience, reluctantly agrees. After checking over the crime scenes, with only minimal insight, he comes to the realization that most of his previous successes were achieved due to the insightful collaborations of Dr. Lecter, and concludes that he must once again visit Lecter and seek his help in capturing the Tooth Fairy.

It is learned in Hannibal that Lecter chose his victims based on his belief that they were rude in some manner. In the film, it is mentioned that he had attended the concert in which the missing musician had played the wrong notes, ruining the piece. This falls directly into Lecter’s definition of someone being rude. Since Red Dragon was written before Hannibal, this was also not mentioned in the book.

Patch Adams

  • Directors: Tom Shadyac
  • Producers: Mike Farrell, Barry Kemp, Marvin Minoff, Charles Newirth
  • Writers: Patch Adams, Maureen Mylander, Steve Oedekerk
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama
  • Actors: Robin Williams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Monica Potter

The film tells the story of Hunter “Patch” Adams (portrayed by Robin Williams), a medical doctor who became famous for his unconventional approach to medicine. After a suicide attempt, Adams seeks psychiatric help and is institutionalized. During this time he is inspired to become a medical doctor, and discovers that he is able to forget his own problems by helping others. Two years later, he enrolls at Virginia Medical University (a fictitious school shot at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus) and he is the oldest first year student. He questions the school’s approach to medical care, and clashes with the school’s Dean Walcott (played by Bob Gunton) because of his belief in the necessity of personal interaction with patients. Because of this and other incidents, including a prank during a medical conference, he is dismissed from the school, although he is later reinstated.

Adams develops a relationship with a fellow student, Corinne Fisher (played by Monica Potter), and develops his idea for a medical clinic built around his philosophy of doctor-patient interaction. With the help of Arthur Mendelson (Harold Gould), a wealthy man who was a patient whom Patch met while in the mental hospital, he purchases 105 acres (425,000 m²) in West Virginia to construct the future Gesundheit Institute. Together with Corinne, Truman Schiff (another medical student, played by Daniel London), and some old friends, he renovates an old cottage. When they get the clinic running, they treat walk-in patients without medical insurance, Patch commonly doing minor comedy sketches such as wearing thick glasses and pretending to be near-sighted. Corinne is fascinated by Patch’s talent and their friendship turns into deep love. More encouraged than ever by Patch and his spirit, Corinne wants to help a psychologically disturbed patient, Lawrence “Larry” Silver (Douglas Roberts), by visiting him at home. Larry turns out to be far more disturbed than anybody had expected, and he murders her, turning the shotgun on himself soon after.

Even at graduation, Patch cannot help but be a non-conformist. After he is handed his diploma, the dean of the school states, “Well, I see you’ve finally decided to conform”. Patch responds, “More than you know”, and bows to the professors, revealing his nude bottom under his gown.