Silver Linings Playbook

David O. Russell

How do you make a modern-day movie that deals with anger, broken relationships, disappointments and job losses but still manages to send out the message “Hope is the best medicine”? This film is the answer. Bradley Cooper is Pat Jr. Solitano, who suffers from bi-polar disorder. He gets in touch with Tiffany Maxwell (Jennifer Lawrence) who is a recent widow with a troubled past. Meanwhile Pat’s father (Robert DeNiro) is having problems managing finances. Pat Jr. tries to reconcile with his wife and takes Tiffany’s help. How these stories merge makes for a witty and gripping story.

Misery

Rob Reiner

Misery is a top-class Kathy Bates show from start to finish. Based on a Stephen King novel, the story traces the path of famous novelist Paul Sheldon (James Caan) who meets with an accident. A nurse named Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) rescues him and brings him back to her remote home. She flies in to a rage when she comes to know that one of her favourite characters in a recent book by Sheldon has been killed and insists that the author come up with another book that will revive the character. This results in Paul being held captive by Annie. Bates oscillates between being lovable and outrageously evil. Watch it for its horrifying tale.

Aliens

James Cameron

It is a near impossible task to get a perfect mix of storyline, characters and action especially when you do a film on other worldly creatures. This is one of those rare movies which gets that mix right. Every character connects with you and your heart races whenever the monsters show up. Sigourney Weaver steals the show as Lt. Ellen Ripley. She is the modern action heroine. The final battle scene where she confronts the aliens is the highlight of the film and special mention has to be made to the music score by James Horner.

The Dark Knight Rises

Christopher Nolan

The biggest drawback in creating a trilogy is that you run out of steam when you reach the final instalment. Surprisingly, this film does not have this and ends up being a much bigger hit than the previous two movies. Also having Bane (who is more physically and intellectually superior than Batman) as the villain for the epic final takes the super-hero story a couple of notches higher. There are plenty of typical ‘Nolan’ kind of twists that unravel as the movie progresses. Anne Hathaway is impressive as Cat Woman. Christian Bale does justice as Bruce Wayne/Batman. But Tom Hardy is phenomenal in his ruthless portrayal of masked villain Bane. The greatest accomplishment for this movie is Christopher Nolan’s vision of a dirty, grand and completely believable alternate world in Gotham City.

Slumdog Millionaire

Danny Boyle

A Mumbai teen who grew up in the slums participates in the Indian version of Who wants to be Millionaire? and is arrested on suspicion of cheating. As he gets interrogated, events from his life reveal why he knew the answers correctly. The story is extremely simple yet engaging, sad but heart-arming and with India as the back drop, Danny Boyle spins a story which combines an element of freshness on how he handles reality without compromising on emotions such as sorrow, joy, anger, friendship, love and an end that will make you applaud.

Those that almost made it

Unfaithful: Adrian Lyne

Shutter Island: Martin Scorsese

Prometheus: Ridley Scott

Frankenstein: Kenneth Branagh

Total Recall: Paul Verhoeven

Mudhalvan: Shankar

Peter Premraj is an LMS administrator who dreams of being a full-time movie critic.