Short Redhead Reel Reviews for the week of Feb. 8

by Wendy Schadewald
Special to Sun Thisweek

Rating system:  (4=Don’t miss, 3=Good, 2=Worth a look, 1=Forget it)

For past Short Redhead Reel Reviews, click here.

“Firewall” (PG-13) (3.5) [Some intense sequences of violence.] [Opened Feb. 10, 2006] — An intricate robbery plot drives this taut, attention-grabbing, suspenseful thriller in which a longtime, well-respected security manager (Harrison Ford) at a Seattle bank desperately tries to save his wife (Virginia Madsen) and two kids (Carly Schroeder and Jimmy Bennett) after a meticulous and sinister kidnapper (Paul Bettany) and his four gullible goons take them hostage and then threaten to kill his family unless he agrees to cooperate with their well-laid plans and successfully wire transfer millions of dollars to an offshore Cayman Island account.

“Identity Thief” (R) (2.5) [Sexual content and language.] — After a responsible Denver accountant (Jason Bateman), who has a pregnant wife (Amanda Peet) and two daughters, finds himself the victim of identity theft in this funny, wacky, action-packed, star-studded (Robert Patrick, Jon Favreau, John Cho, Morris Chestnut, and T.I.) comedy, he heads to Winter Park, Fl., to find the smooth-talking, colorful, lonely, over-the-top con artist (Melissa McCarthy) and tries to persuade her to return with him to Colorado to save his job.

“Imagine Me & You” (R) (2.5) [Some language and sexual material.] [DVD only] — When sparks fly at the London wedding to her longtime lover (Matthew Goode) in this low-key, bittersweet love story, a guilt-ridden British writer (Piper Perabo) desperately tries to ignore the instant attraction she feels for a gay florist (Lena Headey).

“Side Effects” (R) (3) [Sexuality, nudity, violence, and language.] — After a New York City psychiatrist (Jude Law) begins treating an allegedly depressed 28-year-old patient (Rooney Mara) who tried to commit suicide and then ends up killing her husband (Channing Tatum), who was recently released from prison after four years for securities fraud, in her sleep while taking an experimental antidepressant medication in this intelligent, twist-filled, discussion-provoking, star-dotted (Blake Lively, Mamie Gummer, Vinessa Shaw, Greg Paul, et al.), Steven Soderbergh crime thriller, he tries to unravel the details behind the murder and to salvage his job and reputation by talking with her former therapist (Catherine Zeta-Jones), her devastated mother in-law, and coworkers.

“The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada” (R) (3.5) [Language, violence, and sexuality.] [Partially subtitled] [[DVD only] — After a rash, hotheaded U.S. border patrol officer (Barry Pepper) mistakenly kills a shy Mexican cowboy (Julio Cesar Cedillo) working illegally in Texas and then buries the body to cover his tracks in this gripping, heart-wrenching, factually inspired film, a no-nonsense ranch-hand (Tommy Lee Jones) goes out on a limb and on the lam from authorities (Dwight Yoakam, Mel Rodriguez, et al.) to honor the promise he made to his friend that if he were to die in the United States prematurely to return his body to his hometown in Mexico.

“Top Gun” (PG) (3) — Fancy flying and tricky maneuvers highlight this 3D rerelease of the entertaining, action-packed, fast-paced, thrilling, stat-studded (Tim Robbins, Meg Ryan, Tom Skerritt, Michael Ironside, Barry Tubb, Adrian Padsar, and John Stockwell) 110-minute 1986 film about a beautiful flight instructor (Kelly McGillis) who teaches hotshot students (Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, et al.) at a top-notch naval flight academy.

“The World’s Fastest Indian” (PG-13) (4) [Brief language, drug use, and a sexual reference.] [DVD only] —A charming, wit-filled, factually based story about the lifelong dream and amazing journey of a likable, nitroglycerine-popping, doggedly determined New Zealand pensioner, Burt Munro (Anthony Hopkins), who boards a Down Under freighter with his heavily tweaked, vintage 1920s Indian Scout motorcycle and heads to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah to attempt to set the land speed record in 1967.

Wendy Schadewald is a Burnsville resident.