ALLIED (2016) 2 Stars (Out of 5)


allied-movie-posterAccording to the New York Times, 38 new 2016 films will be released during the month of November. 47 additional films will be released throughout December. It is next to impossible for any film critic to see every film as it was intended –shown at a large screen movie theatre with state of the art sound. Lately, we have been seeing as many as 5 films per week. As the end of the year approaches, we are now expected to also view scores of the CD screeners that we are receiving in the mail. They are sent directly to us to view at home by the studios. It is the studios who determine in advance — which films (and in what categories) they will promote for Oscar and Guild nominations.

Like most film critics, there was interest, if not anticipation — in seeing Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard on the screen, playing undercover World War II operatives who fall in love, while posing as husband and wife on a secret government mission.

My expectation was even higher because the film was directed by Robert Zemeckis. The Oscar winning director has helmed some of our most favorite movies: ROMANCING THE STONE, BACK TO THE FUTURE, WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT, FOREST GUMP, CONTACT, CAST AWAY, THE POLAR EXPRESS and FLIGHT.

Unfortunately, for me ALLIED is a disappoint. When I left the theater I felt that something was definitely missing. Maybe it was World War II fatigue. Maybe it was Brad Pitt World War II fatigue. Maybe it was the lack of chemistry between Pitt and Cotillard. Maybe it was a weak screenplay . Maybe it was weak direction.

Truth be told, it is probably a little bit of “all of the above”. This film rates only 2 Stars (out of 5) awarded for the muted and faded look of the film, the strong production design and the period costumes. Call it wishful thinking, but towards the sad and dark climax of the story of marital trust, I wondered just how different my review would have been written — had the stars of ALLIED been Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. “Here’s looking at you kid!” (CASABLANCA)

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