DON'T SAY A WORD: When psychiatrist Nathan Conrad discovers that his daughter has been kidnapped, the only way he can get her back is to pry critical information from the mind of a seriously disturbed teenager with a secret stuck deep in a blocked memory. The Conrads are the prototypical happy family: Nathan, a successful doctor (Michael Douglas); his loving wife, Aggie (Famke Janssen), who is bedridden with a broken leg suffered in a skiing accident; and eight-year-old Jessie (Skye McCole Bartusiak), an extremely intelligent and well-loved young girl. But late one night Jessie is abducted and used as collateral for a dangerous group of men who will stop at nothing to recover a stolen ten-million-dollar jewel.
Gary Fleder (KISS THE GIRLS) has crafted an excellent thriller shot on the streets of New York City, getting help from a fine supporting cast, including Oliver Platt as one of Dr. Conrad's medical colleagues, Jennifer Esposito as a cop out to get to the bottom of a series of unexplained murders, and Sean Bean as a violent criminal who will kill anyone who gets in his way. But this is Douglas's movie, starring as a loving family man and dedicated doctor who has to compromise his ethics in order to save his daughter's life and free a teenager from a dangerous psychosis.
WALL STREET: Oliver Stone opened fire on the greed decade of the 1980s with this morality tale set on Wall Street. It stars Charlie Sheen as Bud Fox, an ambitious rookie stockbroker from a blue-collar background who is mesmerized by Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas), a Mephistophelean superbroker who specializes in corporate takeovers. Despite his initial resistance to Bud's entreaties, Gekko finally takes on the eager beaver as his protégé, schooling him in the kind of slash-and-burn maneuvers that have taken Gekko to the top. This style is far more attractive to Fox than the more prosaic but principled approach to investing preached by veteran Lou Mannheim (Hal Holbrook). And, at first, it's impossible to dispute his preference; as Bud's life moves into the fast lane, he quickly acquires an upscale apartment and a girlfriend to match, interior designer Darien (Darryl Hannah). But when Gekko demands that Bud not only break the law but directly undermine his union-leader father, Carl (Martin Sheen), and jeopardize the jobs and lives of his friends and family, he realizes that the cost of success might be more than he's willing to pay. WALL STREET is a riveting, testosterone-fueled tour of the Street's upper echelons, featuring standout performances by Michael Douglas and Martin Sheen.
WAR OF THE ROSES: Danny DeVito directs this black comedy about a long-married couple in the throes of divorce at the height of the materialistic 1980s, and his second feature far surpasses his first effort, THROW MOMMA FROM THE TRAIN, in style, substance, and comic impact. Barbara and Oliver Rose were the perfect couple: he was a prominent Washington lawyer, she had a wildly successful catering business, they had a great house, great art, great cars and great kids. But when Barbara begins to wonder about life without Oliver, she likes what she sees and sues for divorce; unfortunately, neither of them likes the prospect of life without their opulent home, and war is waged to determine who will keep it. The pair become increasingly outlandish in their battle tactics, moving from cunning to cruel to outright surreal, and DeVito's camera echoes this mood with its unorthodox angles and movement. DeVito himself narrates the action as Oliver Rose's lawyer, and Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas prove once again their chemistry as a passionately antagonistic couple (ROMANCING THE STONE, JEWEL OF THE NILE).
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