“Doubt can be a bond as powerful as certainty.”

This afternoon, I saw Doubt. (A friend and I were inconvenienced a couple of weeks ago when we saw Seven Pounds and a fire alarm went off midway through. They gave us each free readmission tickets. I used one today.)

The movie is very good, especially in the acting. Meryl Streep, in particular, gives a wonderfully nuanced performance, but everyone’s terrific in it.

I just can’t get over that this was written and directed by the same person who wrote and directed Joe Versus the Volcano.

“Because you were home.”

I just finished watching The Strangers. I’m not sure I’d call that enjoyable, although it was a pretty intense way to kick off the new year.

Scott Tobias calls it “mostly psychological torture porn” — and that’s mostly admiringly — whereas Roger Ebert suggests that the movie “does what it sets out to do. I’m not sure that it earns the right to do it.”

I’m somewhere in the middle. I accept that I can admire a film and find it effective, while still not really liking it, and while wishing it had something more to offer. The Strangers really doesn’t have more to offer — although its subdued opening act and nuanced direction suggest that its director’s next film just might.

Although, given that his next project is a ghost story by the writer of the Jim Carrey horror movie The Number 23… At least he didn’t sign on for the planned The Strangers 2.

Movies of 2008

So these are the movies I’ve seen since January 2008, and I find I don’t have much of anything to say about them. There were highlights, of course — There Will Be Blood, The Dark Knight, The Visitor, Milk — and lowlights — Cloverfield, Jumper, Flightplan, Wanted. But most were just movies I saw, some good and some not so good. I could probably find something to say about any one of them, if you’re curious, but none move me to write about them in any depth like I did last year. Maybe that’s because I saw fewer new movies in ’08 — 14 in theaters, as opposed to last year’s 27 — or maybe it wasn’t as great a year for film.

I don’t know that that’s the case, though, because there’s plenty that was released this year that I hope I’ll get to see next year.