Films featuring
John Hurt

V for Vendetta

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A dystopian future is difficult to bring off on film, except as a broader metaphor. Attempts to equate the setting of such a film with current events usually come off as shrill and preachy. V for Vendetta succeeds largely on style points since its politics are ultimately obvious and shallow.

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Contact

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Contact is a nobly intentioned but ultimately unsatisfying adaptation of Carl Sagan’s only novel. It details the circumstances surrounding the first clear sign of intelligent life in outer space and their effects on the life of a young and idealistic radio astronomer named Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster).

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The Skeleton Key

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The Skeleton Key is a mildly effective thriller marred by a twist ending that seems to undermine everything that made it effective in the first place. Like The Others, another supernatural thriller about a woman left mostly alone in a dark, shambling mansion, The Skeleton Key seems to suffer from “M. Night Shyamalan syndrome,” the belief that these quasi-supernatural thrillers require that the plot throw the audience a curve. Unlike The Others, however, the curveball here misses the strike zone.

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