Cinderella Man

  • Directors: Ron Howard
  • Producers: Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Penny Marshall
  • Writers: Cliff Hollingsworth, Akiva Goldsman
  • Genres: Biography, Drama, Sport
  • Actors: Russell Crowe, Paul Giamatti

James J. Braddock is a hard-nosed, Irish-American boxer from New Jersey, formerly a light heavyweight contender, who is forced to give up boxing after breaking his hand in the ring. This is a relief and an upset to his wife, Mae, who cannot bring herself to watch the violence of his chosen profession, and yet knows without him boxing they’ll have no good income.

As the United States enters the Great Depression, Braddock does manual labor to support his family even after badly breaking his hand. Unfortunately, he can not get work every day. Thanks to a last-minute cancellation by another boxer, Braddock’s longtime manager Joe Gould offers him a chance to fill in for just this one night and make a little money. The fight is against the number two contender in the world and Braddock is seen as little more than a convenient punching bag.

Braddock stuns the boxing experts and fans with a third-round knockout of his formidable opponent. He believes that because his hand is now healed, he is fit to fight. Against his wife’s wishes, Braddock takes up Gould’s offer to return to the ring.

Mae resents this attempt by Gould to profit off her husband’s dangerous livelihood until she discovers that Gould and his wife also have been devastated by hard times.

On June 13, 1935, in one of the biggest upsets in boxing history, Braddock defeats the seemingly invincible Baer to become the heavyweight champion of the world.

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.


  • Directors: Ron Howard
  • Producers: Brian Grazer, Kip Hagopian, Scott Rudin
  • Writers: Story, Cyril Hume, Richard Maibaum, Screenplay, Richard Price, Alexander Ignon
  • Genres: Action, Crime, Thriller
  • Actors: Mel Gibson, Rene Russo, Gary Sinise

While multimillionaire airline owner Tom Mullen (Mel Gibson) attends a science fair in Central Park that his wife Kate (Rene Russo) is judging, their son Sean (Brawley Nolte) is kidnapped. Sean is taken to an apartment by Maris Conner (Lili Taylor), who previously worked for Mullen as a caterer at a party, along with small-time criminal Cubby Barnes (Donnie Wahlberg), Cubby’s older brother Clark (Liev Schreiber) and high-tech criminal Miles Roberts (Evan Handler). Tom and Kate receive an untraceable email from the kidnappers, demanding $2 million as ransom. Tom calls the FBI, who set up a base of operations in his apartment.

Detective Jimmy Shaker (Gary Sinise) of the NYPD is arresting a perpetrator in a convenience store when Cubby comes in and nervously buys some FrankenBerry cereal. Shaker follows Cubby into the building where the kidnappers are residing; Shaker is the mastermind behind the kidnapping and is romantically involved with Maris. He chides Cubby for buying a box of kids’ cereal in front of cops during a kidnapping investigation. The group argues over the plan to kill Sean once the ransom has been delivered. Cubby tells Clark that he plans to release Sean despite the risk of identification.

Cops converge on Tom and Shaker outside the bank. Shaker panics and opens fire, killing several cops. Tom throws himself at Shaker and Shaker loses his gun to Tom. Tom throws Shaker through a store window and when they emerge they are surrounded by armed policemen. Shaker draws his back-up revolver from an ankle holster. Tom and Hawkins fire first, killing Shaker. The film closes as Hawkins stops the police from arresting Tom.

The Da Vinci Code

  • Directors: Ron Howard
  • Producers: Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, John Calley
  • Writers: Novel, Dan Brown, Screenplay, Akiva Goldsman
  • Genres: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellen, Paul Bettany, Jean Reno, Alfred Molina

A man revealed to be Jacques Saunière is being pursued by a mysterious hooded character known as Silas through the Grand Gallery in the Louvre in Paris. Silas demands the location of the Priory’s clef de voûte or “keystone.” Under threat of death, Saunière finally confesses the keystone is kept in the sacristy of Church of Saint-Sulpice, “beneath the Rose.” Silas thanks him, and then shoots him in the stomach.

Meanwhile, American symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks), who is in Paris as an AUP guest lecturer on symbols and the sacred feminine, is contacted by the French police, and summoned to the Louvre to view the crime scene. He discovers the dying Saunière had created an intricate display using black light ink and his own body and blood. Captain Bezu Fache (Jean Reno) asks him for his interpretation of the puzzling scene.

Silas calls a mysterious man known as “The Teacher”, revealing that he has killed all four protectors of the keystone and that all confirmed the same location. He dons a metal cilice on his thigh and proceeds to flagellate himself with a whip for the sins of murder. Facilitated by Bishop Manuel Aringarosa, Silas then travels to Saint-Sulpice and is admitted by an elderly nun; left alone, he excavates beneath the floor of the church to find a stone saying only JOB 38:11. He confronts the nun, who quotes the passage: “Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further.” Realizing that he has been deceived, Silas is enraged and kills the nun.

At his hotel, Langdon accidentally cuts himself while shaving and the line of blood on the sink reminds him of the Rose Line. He follows the Rose Line and finds the location of the Holy Grail, buried under the pyramid in the Louvre. Langdon then kneels above Mary Magdalene’s tomb as the Templar Knights did before him.

Curious George

  • Directors: Matthew O Callaghan
  • Producers: Ron Howard, David Kirschner, Bonne Radford, Jon Shapiro
  • Writers: Robert L Baird, Dan Gerson, Karey Kirkpatrick, Michael McCullers, Clare Sella, Joe Stillman
  • Genres: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family
  • Actors: Will Ferrell, Drew Barrymore, David Cross, Eugene Levy, Joan Plowright, Dick Van Dyke, Ed O Ross, Frank Welker, Phil Hayes

A clumsy, mischievous, and curious chimpanzee named George (voiced by Frank Welker) lives in the jungles of Africa. His behavior amuses the other young jungle animals, but angers their parents; therefore George is left sad and alone.

Meanwhile, at the Bloomsberry Museum, Ted (the “man in the yellow hat” of the earlier book series) (Will Ferrell), a museum employee, teaches schoolchildren about natural history, not realizing that his lectures bore them. Afterward, he has a talk with Maggie (Drew Barrymore), the school teacher, who admires him and for whom he has strong feelings. Later, Mr. Bloomsberry (Dick Van Dyke), the owner of the museum, tells Ted that he is pressed to close the museum by his son, Bloomsberry Junior (David Cross), who wishes to build a parking garage in its stead. This upsets Ted, who suggests, to revive the museum’s popularity, that they obtain a statue called the Lost Shrine of Zagawa. Excited, Mr. Bloomsberry thinks to go himself as he had been prevented from doing by his son’s birth, but finds that he is too old. Without thinking, Ted quickly volunteers to make the expedition. Mr. Bloomsberry accepts the idea and Ted prepares to leave for Africa. Junior, frustrated, modifies his father’s map of Africa to prevent Ted from finding the Shrine.

Upon the exhibit’s re-opening, Ted redesigns the entire museum to be more interactive, thereby igniting the children’s interest in history. The museum now includes a dinosaur rib cage, where the children can learn of the skeletal system, a space where they can learn about the solar system, a paint area, where the children can paint for and other exhibits. Junior is set to work parking customers’ cars, somewhat to his chagrin, but by fulfilling this task, however, he earns his father’s praise, which he has much coveted. Ted and Maggie are about to become sweethearts in earnest when George again interrupts them by hijacking a nearby spacecraft (The empty fuel tanks were filled by Clovis, accidentally). Ted and George orbit the Earth in this craft, which is itself a reference to the book series on which the film is based. The film concludes as they make their second and third orbits at a comically exaggerated speed.

Angels Demons

  • Directors: Ron Howard
  • Producers: Brian Grazer, John Calley
  • Writers: Screenplay, David Koepp, Akiva Goldsman, Novel, Dan Brown
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Tom Hanks, Ayelet Zurer, Ewan McGregor

CERN summons Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) to investigate a murder victim branded with the Illuminati ambigram. Langdon discovers the secret society’s plan to kill four Roman Catholic cardinals and destroy St. Peter’s Basilica with stolen antimatter during a papal conclave.

The Shootist

  • Directors: Don Siegel
  • Producers: M J Frankovich, William Self
  • Writers: Glendon Swarthout, Scott Hale, Miles Hood Swarthout
  • Genres: Drama, Western
  • Actors: John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, Harry Morgan, Ron Howard, James Stewart

The Shootist tells the story of John Bernard (J.B.) Books (John Wayne) (born January, 29, 1843), an aging gunfighter, the most celebrated “shootist” extant, who is struggling with terminal prostate cancer. The movie begins with a clip montage of some of Wayne’s earlier western movies. Although Books is perceived by some of the characters as an amoral opportunist, he expresses his simple creed when he says, “I won’t be wronged, I won’t be insulted, and I won’t be laid a hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.” Arriving in El Paso, Texas (Carson City, Nevada in the movie) in 1901, Books seeks the second medical opinion of an old friend, Doc E. W. Hostetler (Jimmy Stewart).

Once Hostetler confirms the presence of the cancer, Books rents a room from the widow ‘Bond’ (“that’s a crackerjack of a name for a woman”) Rogers (Lauren Bacall), and her son Gillom Rogers (Ron Howard). Books’ presence in town is soon known to most, and the news spreads by telegraph throughout the country. This results in the arrival of troublemakers to lure Books back to his past. Not only does he have to deal with his inevitable death, but he has to deal with the vultures who come to profit from his infamy. Having never had trouble facing death in other men, Books now struggles with the fact that death is calling on him. On his 58th birthday, January 29, 1901 he confronts the three men, offering to settle an outstanding score, and they meet in an empty saloon, where he kills Mike Sweeney, Jack Pulford and Jay Cobb. Then the bartender shoots Books and in return Gillom shoots him, throws the gun away and walks out of the saloon and down the street.

Frost Nixon

  • Directors: Ron Howard
  • Producers: Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner
  • Writers: Peter Morgan
  • Genres: Drama, History
  • Actors: Michael Sheen, Frank Langella, Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt, Sam Rockwell, Matthew Macfadyen, Rebecca Hall, Toby Jones, Andy Milder

A series of news reports documents the role of Richard Nixon (Langella) in the bugging of members of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate complex up until news that the House of Representatives is likely to vote to impeach Nixon. The film then cuts to a behind the scenes view of Nixon making his resignation speech. Nixon is shown leaving the White House in a helicopter and flying away.

Meanwhile David Frost (Sheen) is finishing an episode of his talk show Frost Over Australia, until he comes off set to see Nixon entering the helicopter on a television. He asks a producer to ascertain the worldwide viewing figures for the event.

A few weeks later in the London Weekend Television (LWT) central office, Frost discusses with his producer and friend, John Birt (Matthew Macfadyen), the possibility of an interview. When Frost mentions Nixon as the subject, Birt doubts the likelihood that Nixon would be willing to talk to Frost. Frost then tells Birt that 400 million people watched President Nixon’s resignation on live TV.

Nixon is shown recovering from illness in La Casa Pacifica, in San Clemente, California, discussing his memoirs with literary agent Irving “Swifty” Lazar (Toby Jones), who tells the former president of a request by Frost to conduct an interview. Lazar mentions that CBS was offering $350,000 to Frost’s $500,000. In a series of cutaway interviews, Lazar explains how he managed to talk Frost up to $600,000.

Shortly before Frost returns to the UK, he and Caroline visit Nixon in his villa and Frost thanks him for the interviews. Nixon questions Frost if they really had a discussion on the phone, and asks what they discussed. Frost replies “cheeseburgers,” and bids goodbye to Nixon and leaves. The closing titles describe Frost’s future successes and Nixon’s continued controversy and absence from political activity until his death in 1994.


  • Directors: Ron Howard
  • Producers: Brian Grazer
  • Writers: Story, Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel, Ron Howard, Screenplay, Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama
  • Actors: Steve Martin, Tom Hulce, Rick Moranis, Martha Plimpton, Keanu Reeves, Jason Robards, Mary Steenburgen, Dianne Wiest

The story revolves around Gil Buckman (Steve Martin), a neurotic sales executive trying to balance the pressures of raising a family in the suburbs of St. Louis and succeeding in his career. Among Gil’s issues is a family of relatives who all face their own obstacles related to family and raising children such as Gil’s wife, Karen (Mary Steenburgen), his gruff and distant father, Frank (Jason Robards) and an assortment of other colorful relatives in a movie that raises the question: How easy is it to raise a family when you’re also trying to have your own life?

Gil never overworks himself, because he wants to be an active father, rather than a distant one like his own father was. His relationship with his father remains tense. His parenting skills are put under more pressure when he finds out that his wife is pregnant with their fourth child whom he is unsure of, and that his eldest son, Kevin, may have emotional problems [recognizably, in retrospect, a mild form of social anxiety disorder or possibly Asperger’s Syndrome] and may need to be placed in special classes or a private school if his issues don’t get better. Given Kevin’s issues, and some more minor issues with his other two children, Gil begins to blame himself and deeply question his abilities as a father. In addition, the financial burdens of another child and office politics at work may mean becoming the workaholic he despised his own father for being. When his father comes to Gil for advice on how to deal with Larry (Gil’s wayward brother) and says he is asking Gil’s advice because Gil is a good father, Gil has some closure about his feelings toward his father. Although this was a first step for Gil to realize that kids don’t come with an instruction manual, it is grandma and his wife that finally get him to relax and enjoy what life brings rather than over analyze it.

The film ends on a sentimental note with a new generation of Buckman children being born and the personal growth of the parents. For example, Frank lovingly hugs and cuddles his grandson Cool demonstrating that he changed his distant ways. The message of the film is seemingly that despite a family’s hectic problems, there is nothing better than being part of it and everyone has insecurities about their parenting skills.

American Graffiti

  • Directors: George Lucas
  • Producers: Francis Ford Coppola, Gary Kurtz
  • Writers: George Lucas, Gloria Katz, Willard Huyck
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Charles Martin Smith, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips, Cindy Williams, Wolfman Jack

The story is presented in a series of vignettes focused on the four main characters—Curt Henderson (Richard Dreyfuss), Steve Bolander (Ron Howard), John Milner (Paul Le Mat), and Terry “The Toad” Fields (Charles Martin Smith). The four meet in the Mel’s Drive-In parking lot at sunset as a car radio plays a rock and roll station. Steve and Curt are preparing to leave town to attend college in the East, and this is the last night they will spend with their friends. Despite receiving a scholarship from the local Moose Lodge, Curt is reluctant to head off for the unknown, but Steve is eager to get out of Modesto. His girlfriend Laurie (Cindy Williams), Curt’s younger sister, is unsure of his leaving, to which he suggests they see other people while he is away to “strengthen” their relationship.

Steve and Curt are off to the freshman Sock Hop, but John goes off to cruise the streets in his yellow deuce coupe. Steve lets Terry have his 1958 Chevy Impala for the evening and while he will be away at college. While cruising down 10th street, Curt sees a beautiful blonde girl (Suzanne Somers) in a white 1956 Ford Thunderbird. She mouths “I love you” before disappearing down the street. After leaving the hop, Curt is coerced into riding with a gang of greasers who call themselves “The Pharaohs.” He learns that disc jockey Wolfman Jack broadcasts from just outside of town (despite rumors to the contrary), and inside the dark, eerie radio station Curt encounters a bearded man he assumes to be the manager. Curt hands the manager a message for the “Blonde in T-Bird” to call him or meet him. As he walks away, Curt hears the voice of the Wolfman and realizes he had been speaking with him.

The next morning, the sound of a phone ringing in a telephone booth wakes Curt. He answers; it is the mysterious blonde girl. She tells him she might see him cruising tonight, but Curt replies that’s not possible, because he will be leaving town. At the airfield, Curt says goodbye to his parents, his sister, and his friends. While saying goodbye to Laurie, he asks Steve to join him. Steve tells him he is staying in town and enrolling in junior college instead. As the plane takes off, Curt gazes out of the window at the town and the life he is leaving behind. As he watches, he sees the white Ford Thunderbird, which belongs to the mysterious blonde. Curt smiles, and as the movie ends but prior to the closing credits, the fates of the main characters are depicted: John was killed by a drunk driver in December 1964; Steve became an insurance agent in Modesto, California; Terry “The Toad” was reported missing in action in December 1965 near An Loc, Vietnam; Curt was living in Canada as a writer.