'The Good German'
(George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Beau Bridges, Tony Curran, et al / R / 98 mins / Warner Bros.)
Overview: In post-WWII Berlin, U.S. Army war correspondent Jake Geismar (George Clooney) becomes involved once again with Lena Brandt (Cate Blanchett), a former lover whose missing husband is the object of a manhunt by both the American and Russian armies. Jake tries to uncover the secrets Lena may be hiding in her desperation to get herself and her husband out of Berlin. Tully (Tobey Maguire), a soldier in the American army motor pool assigned to drive Jake around Berlin, has black-market connections that may be Lena's way out.
Verdict: It's just after World War II, and Clooney is searching for the woman he loves (Blanchett) in Berlin. He finds her, but she's descended into hard-boiled prostitution and exclamations about surviving. He also finds black-market dirty deeds that involve Maguire. You, the viewer, will find boredom! It's in black and white, filmed in the style of old '40s movies like Casablanca and Notorious, even acted in the way those movies were, with everyone presenting and declaring everything out loud. And that's kind of cool to look at. But if you have already seen movies like Casablanca and Notorious, why would you want to bother with this wannabe?! Blanchett does a decent Marlene Dietrich impersonation and does "doomed" well, actually acting like she's lived through a horrifying war. So if you're a die-hard fan of hers, you'll want to see her be her usual interesting self. Everyone else, ... get a life!