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| List: D.C. Movies |
By Matt Slovick
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Here is a list of major productions with scenes filmed in and around Washington, D.C. The year denotes when the footage was filmed. Many of the titles after 1986 have links to Post reviews. The list includes made-for-TV films and mini-series. (D.C. on Film main page)
"Birth of a Nation": Director D.W. Griffith's classic silent film covers the aftermath of the Civil War from the Southern perspective. Named one of the American Film Institute's 100 greatest movies.
"Gabriel Over the White House": When a corrupt politician is elected president, he experiences a complete change of heart.
"The President Vanishes": "War is good for business," so a cabal of business tycoons conspire to bring the United States into World War II. To secure the president from their negative publicity, his cabinet stages his "abduction."
"The Littlest Rebel": Shirley Temple is the daughter of a Confederate officer and prevents an execution by charming President Lincoln.
"Mr. Smith Goes to Washington": Jimmy Stewart stars in this Frank Capra film about an idealistic scoutmaster who steps into the position of a deceased senator only to confront the corruption in politics. Named one of the American Film Institute's 100 greatest movies.
"Tennessee Johnson": A biographical picture about Andrew Johnson, who become the 17th president after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Van Heflin plays Johnson.
"The More the Merrier": A comedy set in D.C. during the city's post-World War II housing shortage.
"Wilson": Film biography tracing Woodrow Wilson's progress from dean of Princeton to governor of New Jersey and finally to president of the United States.
"Without Love": Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy play a widow and a scientist in a comic marriage of convenience. Also starring Lucille Ball.
"Magnificent Doll": Dolly Payne (Ginger Rogers) falls in love with Aaron Burr (David Niven) and James Madison (Burgess Meredith).
"Born Yesterday": Tycoon Harry Brock comes to the nation's capital to buy himself a congressman or two and brings his mistress. Brock hires a newspaperman to make her more presentable to D.C. society. Instead, she falls in love with the newsman and discovers that Brock is corrupt. Judy Holliday and William Holden star.
"The Day the Earth Stood Still": Classic science fiction film about an alien who lands in Washington, D.C., with a robot, Gort, to deliver an anti-nuclear warning and finds opposition.
"Strangers on a Train": Robert Walker and Farley Granger play a psychopath and a tennis star who each agree to commit murder for the other. However, one takes the agreement seriously.
"A Man Called Peter": A film biography of Scottish clergyman Peter Marshall, who was appointed chaplain to the U.S. Senate.
"Earth vs. the Flying Saucers": Intelligent dialogue and solid performances boost the familiar story line of aliens invading Earth.
"Damn Yankees": Faithful adaptation of the Broadway musical about a baseball fan who puts his very soul on the line for his team.
"Houseboat": Comic romance ensues when Sophia Loren becomes housekeeper to widower Cary Grant and his three children.
"The FBI Story": Jimmy Stewart plays an FBI agent in this film history of the agency.
"Advise and Consent": A thrilling, behind-the-scenes look at the U.S. Senate adapted from the Allen Drury novel. Henry Fonda, Peter Lawford and Charles Laughton.
"Black Like Me": Moving drama based on the true story of a reporter who took drugs to pass as a black man and experience racial prejudices firsthand. James Whitmore and Roscoe Lee Browne.
"Dr. Strangelove": Black comedy about the threat of nuclear war from director Stanley Kubric. Starring Peter Sellers and James Earl Jones. Named one of the American Film Institute's 100 greatest movies.
"Fail Safe": Heads of state deliberate as time runs out when a U.S. bomber is mistakenly sent on a mission to bomb the U.S.S.R. Henry Fonda, Walter Matthau and Dom DeLuise.
"Kisses for My President": Comic results when Polly Bergen becomes president of the United States and her husband, Fred MacMurray, becomes caught in unprecedented protocol. "Seven Days in May": The military plots to overthrow the government. Screenplay by Rod Serling of "The Twilight Zone" fame. Starring Kirk Douglas and Ava Gardner.
"The President's Analyst": Psychiatrist James Coburn is assigned as the president's shrink in this brilliant satire.
"Who's Minding the Mint?": Comic consequences when a gang of thieves "help" a U.S. Mint worker replace money that he accidentally destroyed. Stars include Milton Berle, Joey Bishop and Walter Brennan.
"Wild in the Streets": What if the voting age were lowered to 14? In this dark satire, a rock star is elected president. Christopher Jones, Shelley Winters and Richard Pryor.
"Medium Cool": The events of the 1968 Democratic National Convention and the subsequent riots through the eyes of a detached cameraman (Robert Forster).
"Colossus: The Forbin Project": Colossus, a U.S. defense computer, links up with Guardian, the Soviet counterpart. The two become a super computer and threaten the world with the launch of nuclear weapons.
"The French Connection": Popeye Doyle (Gene Hackman) and Buddy Russo (Roy Scheider) begin tailing suspects, who are bringing a large shipment of heroin into the United States from France. Five Oscar wins in eight nominations include Picture, Actor (Hackman) and director (William Friedkin). The few scenes in the District show the National Mall, the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. Named one of the American Film Institute's 100 greatest movies.
"The Candidate": Robert Redford as an idealist on the campaign trail for a seat in the Senate.
"The Man": When the president is killed in an accident, a black senator (James Earl Jones) takes his place. An Irving Wallace bestseller adapted to screen by Rod Serling.
"Executive Action": Excruciatingly dull film that tries to solve the mystery of JFK's assassination. Burt Lancaster stars.
"Scorpio": Espionage and thrills when a mercenary who wants to clean up his act confronts the CIA. Burt Lancaster and Paul Scofield.
"The Exorcist": Set in Georgetown, the now classic horror tale stars Linda Blair as a 12-year-old possessed by the devil. William Peter Blatty, who wrote the novel and screenplay, graduated from Georgetown. He had heard of an exorcism that took place in Mount Rainier, Md. That inspired him to write the novel.
"The Godfather Part II": A compelling sequel that focuses on the next generation of the Corleone family. The film received 11 Oscar nominations and won six Picture, Supporting Actor (Robert De Niro); Director (Francis Ford Coppola); Adapted Screenplay (Coppola and Mario Puzo); Art Direction/Set Decoration; and Dramatic Score. Acting nominations went to Al Pacino, Talia Shire, Lee Strasberg and Michael V. Gazzo. Diane Keaton and Robert Duvall also starred. During the film, Michael Corleone must testify before a senate committee. The Hotel Washington is shown. Named one of the American Film Institute's 100 greatest movies.
"The Last Detail": Two career sailors Jack Nicholson and Otis Young must transport a kleptomaniac prisoner (Randy Quaid) to the brig. Nicholson and Quaid received Oscar nominations.
"Three Days of the Condor": A CIA researcher (Robert Redford), who is paid to read books, passes along a theory he's developed. One day he returns from lunch to find all of his co-workers murdered. He calls headquarters and uses his code name, "Condor." He is told to meet an agent at a nearby hotel, but the fellow CIA man tries to kill him. Redford realizes his own organization is responsible for the slaughter. Determined to blow the whistle on the CIA, Redford randomly kidnaps a female photographer (Faye Dunaway) and forces her to help him. The cast also includes Cliff Robertson, Max von Sydow and John Houseman. One Washington scene includes a shot of the Washington Monument from inside the Lincoln Memorial.
"Airport '75": Charlton Heston heads the all-star cast as the air traffic controller who must keep a disabled 747 from crashing. Other stars include Dana Andrews, Karen Black, Linda Blair, Sid Caesar, Susan Clark, George Kennedy and Myrna Loy.
"All the President's Men": The story of how The Washington Post broke the news of the Watergate scandal. Jason Robards plays Ben Bradlee, the executive editor; Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman are reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.
"Airport '77": A private luxury jet is sabotaged and a daring ocean rescue must be performed. Another all-star cast includes Joseph Cotten, Olivia de Havilland, Lee Grant and George Kennedy.
"Billy Jack Goes to Washington": Tom Laughlin directed and stars in this updated remake of the "Mr. Smith" film.
"The Exorcist II: The Heretic": A preposterous sequel in which Linda Blair is still possessed. Richard Burton plays a priest. William Peter Blatty, who wrote the original, was not involved.
"Meteor": A meteor strikes Earth and devastates Manhattan. Sean Connery, Natalie Wood and Henry Fonda.
"Other Side of Midnight": A woman parlays her body into film stardom. Adapted from the Sidney Sheldon novel.
"F.I.S.T.": Sylvester Stallone in the story of an organized-labor kingpin inspired by the former Teamster boss Dave Beck.
"Hide in Plain Sight": A moving story about a man in the witness protection program who must choose between safety and being with his family. Danny Aiello, Jill Eikenberry and James Caan, who also directed.
"The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover": Must-see bio of former the FBI chief played by Broderick Crawford.
"The Seduction of Joe Tynan": Alan Alda as an idealistic political aspirant who faces moral dilemmas on his political ascension.
"Airport '79": On its flight from Washington to Paris, the the crew and passengers of the Concorde experience a number of mishaps before crash-landing in the Alps. The cast includes George Kennedy, Eddie Albert, Susan Blakely, Cicely Tyson and Robert Wagner.
"Americathon": In 1998, America is plagued with debt and the only way to save the country is to ... hold a telethon. Narrated by George Carlin.
"Being There": Peter Sellers as a simple, taciturn gardener who rises to political heights when his silence is mistaken for brilliance.
"Hair": Classic '60s musical tale of a conservative Midwesterner who falls in with a group of New York bohemians.
"Hopscotch": Walter Matthau is a maverick CIA agent who exacts revenge on his moronic boss, Ned Beatty. Matthau publishes his volatile memoirs.
"Nothing Personal": Romantic comedy starring Donald Sutherland as a professor lobbying to save baby seals and Suzanne Somers as a lawyer who helps him.
"Raise the Titanic": Jason Robards and Alec Guinness in this adaptation of Clive Cussler's story about the raising of the historic vessel.
"The Amateur": John Savage as a CIA agent who hunts down terrorists when his girlfriend is murdered.
"First Family": Unfunny farce about an inept president, his alcoholic wife and their motley family and aides. Stars include Richard Benjamin, Buck Henry, Madeleine Kahn, Harvey Korman, Bob Newhart and Gilda Radner.
"First Monday in October": Wills clash when the first woman enters the Supreme Court. Jill Clayburgh and Walter Matthau.
"Reds" The true romantic drama about radical journalist John Reed who covered the Russian Revolution of 1917. Oscar nominations for Beatty, Keaton and Best Picture. Beatty won for Director as did Maureen Stapleton for Best Supporting Actress.
"Wrong Is Right": Sean Connery as a star reporter who lands in trouble when his ties to a terrorist group are revealed.
"Best Friends": Burt Reynolds and Goldie Hawn as a pair of screenwriters who realize they function better as lovers than as husband and wife.
"Silkwood": Meryl Streep plays Karen Silkwood, a nuclear plant worker who is mysteriously killed when she tries to expose alleged dangers in her plant. Based on a true story. Oscar nominations went to Streep, Cher and director Mike Nichols.
"Daniel": A film adapted from E.L. Doctorow's "The Book of Daniel." The children of a couple patterned after Julius and Ethel Rosenberg must confront their heritage before they can deal with their present lives in the protest-filled 1960s. Edward Asner, Ellen Barkin, Lindsay Crouse, Timothy Hutton, Mandy Patinkin, Amanda Plummer.
"D.C. Cab": Take the bus instead. Comedy about a Washington cab company staffed by misfits who must get their act together. Stars include Gary Busey and Mr. T.
"The Man Who Wasn't There": Originally released in 3D, this bomb unsuccessfully marries espionage and invisibility. Steve Guttenberg is the star.
"The Imagemaker": A deposed politician's life is threatened when he threatens to tell all. Michael Nouri star.
"Lost in America": Easy Rider meets the Ivy League when two yuppies drop out of the rat race and hit the road. Albert Brooks and Julie Hagerty.
"The Man With One Red Shoe": An American remake of the French comedy "The Tall Blond Man With One Black Shoe" stars Tom Hanks as a violinist pursued by a ring of spies. Also starring Jim Belushi and Carrie Fisher.
"Prime Risk": Thriller involving two young thieves who plan to break into ATM machines but stumble onto an international plot.
"Protocol": Comedy starring Goldie Hawn as a do-nothing government employee who becomes a pawn in a plan to leverage a Middle Eastern potentate.
"Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins" In this thriller, a tough cop played by Fred Ward is trained by a Korean master to develop superhuman powers.
"St. Elmo's Fire": Most of the cast of "The Breakfast Club" returns as a group of recent Georgetown graduates unsure about their future. The new brat pack is formed: Emilio Estevez, Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy and Mare Winningham. Andie MacDowell also has a role. The University of Maryland in College Park was used for the graduation scene. Georgetown allegedy did not allow filming on campus because of some material university officials found objectionable.
"Starman": Karen Allen as a young widow abducted by an alien (Jeff Bridges) who takes the form of her dead husband.
"2010: The Year We Made Contact": In the sequel to "2001," a joint American-Soviet expedition is sent to Jupiter to discover what happened to the USS Discovery.
"Good to Go": Art Garfunkel plays a journalist who is framed on a rape-murder charge. Notable for highlighting D.C.'s ghetto go-go music scene.
"Heartburn": A sophisticated couple think they have the perfect marriage, until she discovers that he's been having an affair -- while she's pregnant. Nora Ephron wrote the screenplay based on her autobiographical book about her relationship with former Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein. Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep and Jeff Daniels.
"Let's Get Harry": When an American is kidnapped in South America, his friends hire a mercenary to lead them on an expedition to free him. Robert Duvall, Mark Harmon, Gary Busey and Glenn Frey.
"Manhunter": To capture a serial killer, FBI agent William Petersen finds he must learn to think like one.
"Power": Richard Gere as a ruthless, political media manipulator who is conned by a politician whom he thought was above corruption.
"Spies Like Us": Comedy starring Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd as incompetents who apply for government jobs as spies ... and are hired.
"Assassination": Charles Bronson plays a Secret Service agent who is called on to guard the First Lady.
"Black Widow": FBI agent Debra Winger investigates an unusual series of deaths of wealthy men who have one thing in common -- they leave behind a young, and rich, widow (Theresa Russell). Reviews from Style and Weekend.
"Gardens of Stone": Cadet D.B. Sweeney joins the army to go to Vietnam, but is assigned to burial duties stateside near Arlington Cemetery and learns much about both war and himself. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring James Caan, James Earl Jones and Anjelica Huston. Reviews from Style and Weekend.
"No Way Out": In this thriller, Kevin Costner plays a naval hero whose dream job with the secretary of defense (Gene Hackman) lands him in a web of deceit over the murder of a young woman (Sean Young).
"Peggy Sue Got Married": Kathleen Turner plays a 40-ish housewife on the verge of divorce who time-warps back to her youth and has a chance to change her future. Also stars Nicolas Cage. Reviews from Style and Weekend.
"Broadcast News": Two reporters William Hurt and Albert Brooks vie for the attentions of a sexy producer, Holly Hunter, in this flashy look at the hectic and exciting lives of TV journalists. The film was written, directed and produced by James L. Brooks. It earned seven Academy Award nominations, including best picture, but failed to win even one.
"Suspect": Cher plays a lawyer who must defend a deaf-mute homeless man, Liam Neeson, from charges of murder, but her romantic involvement with one of the jurors (Dennis Quaid) puts her career, and their lives, in jeopardy. Reviews from Style and Weekend.
"War and Remembrance": Docudrama starring Robert Mitchum and Jane Seymour covers World War II from Pearl Harbor through battles with Hitler.
"Chances Are": A romantic comedy starring Robert Downey Jr. as the reincarnated husband (Christopher McDonald) of Cybill Shepherd whose memories of his past life return just as he is about to seduce "their" daughter, Mary Stuart Masterson. Ryan O'Neal plays a Washington Post reporter. Shepherd is a museum curator, thus scenes at the Smithsonian. Other scenes include the Capitol Building, Washington Post lobby, the Washington Monument, the Reflecting Pool, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Enid A. Haupt Garden and Glen Echo Park (Bethesda, Md). Henderson Forsythe plays Post Executive Editor Ben Bradlee. After McDonald is hit by a car and enters heaven, he tells an "angel" that he feels a bit strange. She tells him "Your body is cream sauce all over Wisconsin Avenue." During the scene in which her husband is killed, Shepherd watches from a nearby restaurant in Georgetown. Shepherd told The Post, "We're in this restaurant and it's full of people drinking and laughing and talking. Not extras! Real people who paid money for those drinks. I did this reaction. I'm supposed to scream out, 'Louie!' and then of course everyone in the restaurant goes, 'Louie! Louie!' Reviews from Style and Weekend.
"The Cover Girl and the Cop": A made-for-TV film starring Julia Duffy, Dinah Manoff, Blair Underwood and David Carradine.
"Elliott Faumann, Ph.D.": The love triangle of a professor studying sexual dysfunction in prostitutes, a prostitute and an actress dressed as a prostitute for an audition.
"In Country": Bruce Willis and Emily Lloyd in this drama about a Kentucky teenager's attempt to understand the Vietnam War and why her father had to die.
"Capital News": Lloyd Bridges and Helen Slater star in this TV movie directed by Mark Tinker.
"Guts and Glory: The Rise and Fall of Oliver North": David Keith as Oliver North in this film by Mike Robe.
"Navy SEALS": When American Stinger missiles fall into the hands of terrorists from the Middle East, it is a job for the Navy SEALS. Charlie Sheen and Michael Biehn. Reviews from Style and Weekend.
"The Hunt for Red October": Sean Connery plays a Soviet captain who uses his country's ultimate submarine as a means to defect to the United States. Alec Baldwin is Jack Ryan. Adapted from the novel by Tom Clancy. Reviews from Style and Weekend.
"The Silence of the Lambs": FBI cadet Jodie Foster must befriend cannibal psychopath Anthony Hopkins in the hopes of getting his help to capture a serial killer. A scene shot at the U.S. Department of Labor, Room 203, 200 Constitution Ave., shows the Capitol through the window. Oscar wins for Best Picture and Adapted Screenplay, and to Hopkins, Foster and Director Jonathan Demme. Joined "It Happened One Night" (1934) and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975) as the only film to win the five major Oscars Picture, Actor, Actress, Director and Screenplay. Reviews from Style and Weekend. Named one of the American Film Institute's 100 greatest movies.
"Top of the Hill": Kelsey Grammer stars in this TV movie directed by Alan Metzger.
"War of the Roses": The marriage of Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner turns into a truly vicious divorce battle. Danny DeVito directs and plays Douglas's lawyer. Reviews from Style and Weekend.
"The Exorcist III": William Peter Blatty, who penned the original, wrote this and also directed. The plot involves a serial killer who was executed the night of the exorcism in the first movie. Includes cameos by Larry King as himself and Patrick Ewing, the former Georgetown and current NBA star, as the Angel of Death. Look for Ascension & St. Agnes Church on Massachusetts Avenue and 12th Street NW. George C. Scott plays Lt. Kinderman, who was played by Lee J. Cobb in the first film.
"Russian Roulette": George Segal as a Royal Canadian mountie who becomes involved in a Secret Service plot to kidnap a Russian president.
"Separate but Equal": Sidney Poitier as Thurgood Marshall in this drama of the NAACP lawyer who took the fight for racial equality all the way to the Supreme Court with the "Brown v. the Board of Education" case.
"Shattered Dreams" A TV movie in which Lindsay Wagner, a Washington attorney, finally opens up about the domestic violence in her marriage to Michael Nouri, a powerful government official.
"True Colors": Impressive performances from James Spader and John Cusack in this drama about how the desire for power corrupts a political hopeful.
"Without Warning: The James Brady Story": TV movie about Ronald Reagan's press secretary who was wounded in John Hinckley's assassination attempt on the president in 1981. Stars Beau Bridges and Joan Allen.
"A Few Good Men": When an unpopular Marine turns up dead at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, two young Marines are accused of a reprisal murder. The films becomes a military courtroom drama featuring a dramatic showdown between novice Navy lawyer Tom Cruise (Lt. Daniel Kaffee) and Marine veteran Jack Nicholson (Col. Nathan R. Jessep). Oscar nominations for Nicholson and the film. Other stars include Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland and J.T. Walsh. A scene took place at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Congress Heights. Cruise and Kevin Pollack walk Pollack's baby in a stroller at 20th Street NW and Belmont Place NW in Adams-Morgan. Reviews from Style and Weekend.
"JFK": Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman and Tommy Lee Jones star in this Oliver Stone film about the mystery surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy. Eight Oscar nominations including Stone, Jones and the film. Reviews from Style and Weekend.
"Live Wire": A senator is killed by a bomb, yet no trace of explosive can be found. Pierce Brosnan leads the investigation as an FBI agent.
"Radio Flyer": Two kids attempt to escape their abusive stepfather by turning their Radio Flyer wagon into a flying machine. Narrated by Tom Hanks. Reviews from Style and Weekend.
"Thunderheart": Val Kilmer and Sam Shepard as FBI agents who investigate a Sioux murder on a reservation in South Dakota.
"Born Yesterday": Starring Don Johnson, Melanie Griffith and John Goodman in an updated remake of the 1950 film. Ben Bradlee, the former executive editor of The Washington Post, and his wife, Sally Quinn, a former Post reporter, appear in several scenes as the secretary of the Navy and his wife. Reviews from Style and Weekend.
"Dave": In this comedy, Kevin Kline plays an actor who impersonates the president. When the real president has a stroke, the look-alike is asked to charade as the leader.
"The Distinguished Gentleman": Comedy starring Eddie Murphy as a small-time hustler who hustles his way to the big time: a seat in Congress. Reviews from Style and Weekend.
"In the Line of Fire": Clint Eastwood plays a Secret Service agent who must prevent a psycho from assassinating the president. Also stars John Malkovich and Rene Russo. "Majority Rule": A made-for-TV flick starring Blair Brown as a U.S. general who decides to run for president.
"Meteor Man": Robert Townsend stars and directs this film about a teacher in an inner-city neighborhood who acquires superpowers.
"Point of No Return": A remake of the 1990 French film "Le Femme Nikita." Bridget Fonda plays Maggie, a convicted cop murderer who is sentenced to death by lethal injection. But Maggie wakes up to find that the government has staged her execution. She can have life if she agrees to become a government assassin. Also stars Gabriel Byrne, Anne Bancroft and Harvey Keitel. Reviews from Style and Weekend
"Running Mates": This made-for-cable romantic comedy features Ed Harris as a presidential candidate whose relationship with children's book author Diane Keaton becomes a political vulnerability.
"The Firm": In this adaptation of John Grisham's suspense thriller, Tom Cruise plays an ambitious young lawyer who finds that his dream job with a Memphis law firm involves him in a ring of corruption and murder. A scene in the office of the FBI chief was filmed at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 15th and Constitution streets NW. Reviews from Style and Weekend.
"Guarding Tess:" Secret Service agent Nicolas Cage doesn't want to continue his assignment of guarding former First Lady Shirley MacLaine. Reviews from Style and Weekend.
"The Next Karate Kid": The return of Mr. Miyagi. This time, he teaches martial arts to a high school girl threatened by bullies.
"Patriot Games": Harrison Ford in his first appearance as Jack Ryan is a CIA analyst who must rescue his family from Irish terrorists. Reviews from Style and Weekend.
"The Patriots": An 18-year-old leaves Paris and his family to live in Israel. He secretly joins the Mossad, the Isreali secret service.
"The Pelican Brief": An adaptation of John Grisham's political thriller. A law student (Julia Roberts) stumbles onto a conspiracy to assassinate Supreme Court justices. She seeks the help of an investigative reporter (Denzel Washington) at the Washington Herald. Scenes were shot at the Warner Theatre Lobby and at the Riggs Bank at 1503 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. See a special feature on Journalists in the Movies.
"Quiz Show": Ralph Fiennes plays Charles Van Doren and John Turturro is Herb Stempel. The two were quiz show contestants during the TV scandal of the 1950s. Robert Redford (director), Paul Scofield and the film were nominated for Oscars. The screenplay was written by Paul Attanasio, a former Washington Post film critic. Reviews from Style and Weekend.
"Timecop": Jean-Claude Van Damme is a "timecop" who uses time travel to capture people who have gone back in an attempt to get rich or manipulate history. The timecop also discovers a scandal involving a senator (Ron Silver). Includes a scene at Georgetown Park Mall. Reviews from Style and Weekend.
"True Lies": Jamie Lee Curtis thinks her husband, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is a boring computer salesman when he is actually a top secret agent. He tries to save his marriage and battle nuclear terrorists. Great chase scene in Georgetown Park and Arnold rides a horse through the lobby of the Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Ave. NW. Reviews from Style and Weekend
"The American President:" Michael Douglas is a widowed president who falls for lobbyist Annette Benning.
"Clear and Present Danger": Harrison Ford returns as Jack Ryan in this adaptation of the espionage thriller from Tom Clancy. A close friend of the President and his family are murdered aboard their yacht in the Caribbean. It leads to revenge tactics by the President and an ensuing cover-up that leads Ryan into a confrontation with the Columbian drug cartel. Reviews from Style and Weekend
"Drop Zone": Wesley Snipes as a U.S. Marshal out for revenge for the killing of his brother. Reviews from Style and Weekend
"The Enemy Within": A made-for-TV movie with Sam Waterson as the president. Also stars Jason Robards and Dana Delaney.
"Forrest Gump": Tom Hanks plays Forrest, a man with a low IQ, a good nature and incredible luck. He met Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon, so he made a number of visits to the nation's capital. The crowd scene at the Reflecting Pool actually was done with 700 extras, who were moved around the pool and filmed in different locations. A scene with the Black Panthers took place at Independence and 3rd streets. The acutal Watergate Hotel, 2650 Virginia Ave. NW, was used. The movie won six Oscars, including Best Picture. It's No. 5 on the all-time box office list at $329 million. Named one of the American Film Institute's 100 greatest movies.
"National Lampoon's Senior Trip": Wacky exploits of a bunch of deadbeat high students in Ohio who are assigned to write a letter to the president during detention and end up getting an invitation to the nation's capital.
"Op Center": A TV movie from Tom Clancy that stars Harry Hamlin and Deidre Hall.
"First Kid": Sinbad plays a jokey, wide-eyed Secret Service agent whose assignment is to guard the president's bratty son.
"Eraser": Arnold Schwarzenegger plays John Kruger, an elite marshall with the Federal Witness Protection Program. His job is to protect whistleblowers until they testify, then change their identities. His latest assignment is Lee Cullen (Vanessa Williams), an employee of a defense contractor who has uncovered a corporate plan to sell lethal "rail guns" to international terrorists. Scenes were shot at the 17th Street Rainbow Pool and the Phoenix Park Hotel.
"Get on the Bus": The Spike Lee film is about a group of black men traveling from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., in 1995 for the Million Man March. The cast includes Andre Braugher, Ossie Davis and Charles S. Dutton. "Independence Day": The president of the United States, Bill Pullman, and hot-shot fighter pilot Will Smith try to save the world from an alien invasion. See the White House get blown to smithereens.
"The Long Kiss Goodnight": Geena Davis, directed by husband Renny Harlin, plays an amnesiac who hires Samuel L. Jackson's gumshoe to help her rediscover her past. "The Net": Sandra Bullock is a shy cybergirl who stumbles across sensitive data and finds her identity being systematically "erased." Reviews from Style and Weekend
"Nixon": Anthony Hopkins plays the title role in Oliver Stone's three-hour film bio of the former president. Hopkins and Joan Allen (Pat Nixon) received Oscar nominations.
"A Perfect Candidate": The filmmakers follow Oliver North's unsuccessful 1994 bid for a Virginia Senate seat against Chuck Robb.
"The Shadow Conspiracy:" Bobby Bishop (Charlie Sheen) was an adviser to the president of the United States. But he ends up being a murder suspect and running from a ruthless professional killer.
"Beavis and Butt-head Do America": This deserves an asterisk. Since it's an animated movie, scenes were not actually filmed in Washington. But the MTV cartoon duo did visit the nation's capital as part of the big-screen adventure of tracking down their stolen television.
"A Child's Wish": A car salesman is fired after he misses too much work to be with his daughter, who has cancer. The incident leads to the Family and Medical Leave Act. President Bill Clinton appears as himself. The stars include John Ritter, Tess Harper and Anna Chlumsky.
"Absolute Power": A criminal witnesses members of the Secret Service murdering the U.S. president's mistress. Clint Eastwood is the star and director. Gene Hackman plays the president. Other stars include Ed Harris, Scott Glenn and Judy Davis. As director, Eastwood chose to film most of our neighborhood sequences in Baltimore, using the capitol specifically for establishing shots.
"Mars Attacks!" Tim Burton directs this film about martians invading the Earth. The cast includes Jack Nicholson (President), Glenn Close (First Lady), Rod Steiger (military adviser), Pierce Brosnan, Martin Short, Sarah Jessica Parker and Lukas Haas.
"Murder at 1600": Diane Lane is a Secret Service agent who helps a detective (Wesley Snipes) investigate a murder in the White House. A member of the First Family is a suspect. Characters in the film mention the Interstate Commerce Commission a number of times. The ICC no longer exists as of 1995. Also, a Secret Service agent dives out of the second floor of the White House and lands in an alley. That's geographically impossible. However, production designer Nelson Coates supervised construction of a 30,000 square foot White House set which was built on soundstages. Coates's research included a number of White House visits, during which he took notes and drew sketches. He also consulted recently published books about the White House and souvenir guide books put out by the administration. By viewing many photographs of the same area of the White Hosue from different camera angles, the crew pasted together a jigsaw puzzle-type image. The carpet in the Oval Office is a laser-cut reproduction of the one in President Clinton's office.
"My Fellow Americans": President Dan Aykroyd frames ex-presidents Jack Lemmon (conservative) and James Garner (liberal). In addition to re-creating various American landmarks, filmmakers shot for a week in Washington, D.C., at Union Station, the Postmaster General's office and the Daughters of the American Revolution headquarters (the rooftop of which doubled as the rooftop of the White House). The production also filmed the Lincoln Memorial, the White House gate on Pennsylvania Avenue and the Jefferson Memorial. The White House interior sets the Green Room and the entrance to the White House, The Oval Office and Anteroom, the third floor residential hallway, the White House Guest Quarters and Gym and the National Archives encompassed most of Stages 3-7 at Warner Hollywood Studios. The finale of required numerous activities that, for security reasons, could actually be filmed on the White House lawns. The director wanted to stay on the East Coast because it provided vegetation that would match Washington, D.C. They went to the Asheville, N.C., area, on the historic Biltmore Estate, built by George Vanderbilt in 1895. The exterior White House set took 5 1/2 weeks to build.
"The People vs. Larry Flynt": Woody Harrelson plays Larry Flynt, the founder of Hustler magazine who was shot in a murder attempt that left him paralyzed. The title refers to his successful court battle in which he used the First Amendment to protect his pornography industry. Courtney Love stars as Flynt's wife, Althea Leasure.
"24-7": An urban action-drama that tells the tale of three young brothers growing up in Anacostia, and the choices they make to survive in the whilwind of drugs and violent crime that threatens to engulf the community. Written, directed and produced by Washington native Bruce Brown.
"Air Force One": A Russian (Gary Oldman) holds the president of the United States (Harrison Ford) and his family hostage on Air Force One. Glenn Close plays the vice president. Wolfgang Petersen of "In the Line of Fire" directs. The 747 that stands in for Air Force One in all the exterior shots is a rented passenger plane. It took 10 people on round-the-clock 12 hour shifts four days to paint the aircraft. Harrison Ford, director Wolfgang Petersen and production designer William Sandell had a guided tour of the real Air Force One while the President was vacationing in Wyoming. They were not allowed to take photos or see all of the plane for security reasons.
"Contact": Jodie Foster plays Dr. Eleanor Arroway, a driven astronomer who realizes her dream when she detects intelligent radio signals from outer space. While the countries of the world unite in an effort to decode the transmission, she finds herself among those vying to become the single representative who will explore the mysteries conveyed from the unknown alien source. Also stars Matthew McConaughey, John Hurt, James Woods, Tom Skerritt, David Morse and Angela Bassett. Using the same special effect he used in "Forrest Gump," director Robert Zemeckis puts President Bill Clinton in the film by using news footage. The production designer and his team constructed more than 25 sets, including the Cabinet Room of the White House. A former White House staffer was used to consult on Washington, D.C., and government protocol issues. The Hotel Washington was used for a balcony scene with Foster and McConaughey. You can see the Washington Monument in the background. The two also filmed a scene at the Lincoln Memorial and at the U.S. Treasury building.
"G.I. Jane": Demi Moore stars as Navy intelligence officer Lt. Jordan O'Neil, who is recruited to become the first female SEAL. Anne Bancroft plays Sen. Lillian DeHaven. Ridley Scott directs. Because the U.S. Capitol cannot be used for security reasons, Scott filmed in the temporarily vacant Interstate Commerce Commssion Building. DeHaven's home became a mansion in Maryland that overlooks the Potomac River. O'Neil's modest house also was on the Potomac. The Washington sequences did pose scheduling problems since some scenes required a long-haired Moore and others Moore with a shaved head. Thus, later scenes were filmed in Richmond, Va., where the Staet of Virginia Capitol Building posed as the U.S. Capitol and thet back of a house on the James River became O'Neil's house on the Potomac.
"The Jackal": Remake of the 1973 film "The Day of the Jackal," which was about a plot to assassinate French President Charles DeGaulle. In this film, Bruce Willis is "The Jackal," a master of disguise hired for $70 million to kill someone of importance in Washington, D.C. Richard Gere plays a convicted Irish terrorist who is promised his freedom is he stops Willis. Sidney Poitier and Patrick Stewart also star. Locations here included a stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue near the Capitol as well as residential streets and private residences in Georgetown. Reviews from Style and Weekend.
"Kiss the Girls": A thriller based on James Patterson's novel, features Morgan Freeman as a D.C. detective in search of a serial collector, who adds Morgan's niece to his stock of kidnapped lovelies. Ashley Judd also stars as the woman who escaped the kidnapper.
"Wag the Dog": A comedy directed by Barry Levinson starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro. The two act as conspirators in a media blitz to create a positive image for the President of the United States, who was accused of sexual misconduct on the eve of his reelection. De Niro is Conrad Brean, the ultimate spin doctor. Hoffman is Stanley Motss, a Hollywood producer. Their plan is to make the public believe the United States is about to go to war with Albania. Review from Weekend.
"Armageddon": Bruce Willis plays a demolitions expert fired into space to detonate an asteroid that's headed for Earth. Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler and Steve Buscemi also play major roles. The Washington shots were your basic scenes of monuments to show a location. Reviews from Style and Weekend.
"Mercury Rising": Bruce Willis is an outcast FBI agent and the only person who can protect a 9-year-old autistic savant. After cracking a top secret code, the boy becomes the target of government assassins. The action/thriller also stars Alec Baldwin. The Post reported that a scene was filmed at Eastern Market on Capitol Hill. Exhibitors from the Sunday Flea Market participated, according to Tom Rall, Flea Market manager. In the film, a man fearing for his life buys an antique typewriter at an outdoor flea market in order to type a letter. Another scene takes place at Rock Creek Park. Reviews from Weekend and Style.
"Species II": The sequel to the 1995 sci-fi horror film that grossed more than $110 million worldwide left town at summer's end. In the original, Natasha Henstridge is Sil, a creation of alien and human DNA. One moment she's a woman, the next a scary killing machine. Her goal is to find a mate and breed. In No. 2, an astronaut gets infected with alien DNA during the first mission on Mars. The surviving team members from No. 1 use genetically altered Sil, who is now called Eve, to help capture the monster/astronaut. Henstridge and Michael Madsen return. James Cromwell, George Dzundza and Mykelti Williamson also star. The majority of the movie was filmed in Howard County, Md. The Washingotn Suburban Sanitary Commission's Filtration Plan at Route 198 and Sweitzer Lane in Laurel was used for a scene. A "Virginia Is for Lovers" billboard was constructed in Columbia, which does not allow billboards.
"Deep Impact:" The cast of this thriller about impending collision between Earth and a comet includes Morgan Freeman, Tea Leoni, Robert Duvall, Vanessa Redgrave and Elijah Wood. It's a remake of "When Worlds Collide," which won an Oscar for special effects in 1951, about a scientist who tries to convince a doubting population that Earth is in the path of a rogue planet and its sun. Location manager Peggy Pridemore said that a Washington building suitable for a rooftop helicopter eventually was found. In May 1997 she said, "There's this huge no-fly zone right in the middle of this town." Filming took place at the Reflecting Pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial, the roof of the HUD Building, at the Sequoia restaurant, 3000 K St. NW on the Potomac River with the Kennedy Center in the background (planes from nearby National Airport ruined a number of takes with Leoni and Redgrave), at the D.C. Department of Employment Services, which served as the D.C. morgue since the director wanted the U.S. Capitol in the background, on the Chesapeake Bay near Annapolis, Md., and in Manassas, Va., on a stretch of not-yet-open roadway. The Key Bridge was closed July 20 for filming and a few hundred people watched. It was reported that about 15 "takes" were shot throughout the day. The final scene will take up less than two minutes of screen time. Reviews from Weekend and Style.
"Slam": The film features Saul Williams as a young inner-city man using poetry as a survival tool. It won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. Reviews from Style and Weekend.
1998"Arlington Road": Jeff Bridges is an anti-terrorism expert who grows suspicious of the all-too-normal family that moves into his upscale neighborhood. Tim Robbins and Joan Cusack play the neighbors. Hope Davis is Bridges's girlfriend. The map on the "Arlington Road" Web site puts the street in the District near Washington Avenue and Virginia Avenue. However, Arlington Road does not exist in the District, and the neighborhood in the movie is actually near Reston, Va. The screenplay was written by 26-year-old Ehren Kruger, a 1990 graduate of Alexandria's Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.
"Dick": The comedy looks at Watergate through the experiences of bungling investigators and high school students Michelle Williams and Kirsten Dunst. The cast includes Dan Hedaya (President Nixon), Dave Foley (Bob Haldeman), Harry Shearer (G. Gordon Liddy), Will Ferrell (Bob Woodward) and Bruce McCulloch (Carl Bernstein). The film was shot almost entirely on location in Toronto. The crew designed the White House sets, including Nixon's desk. The designers also produced a replica of The Washington Post offices. Scenes include the White House, the Washington Monument, the Watergate building and the C&O Canal in Georgetown.
"The X-Files": David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson bring FBI agents Mulder and Scully to the big screen. Reviews from Style and Weekend.
"Enemy of the State": Will Smith's latest project started in the Baltimore area and moved to Washington. Connecticut Avenue NW was closed between Q and R streets during one weekend. The film was produced by No Such Productions, which the city said spent an estimated $2 million while filming here. When we first meet high-powered lawyer Robert Dean (Will Smith), he has a thriving labor law practice, a house in Georgetown, a lovely wife, a cute kid and a boring life except he negotiates with violent mobsters for a living. One day Dean runs into Daniel Zavitz, an agitated old college buddy who secretly drops something into Dean's shopping bag just moments before dashing out into the street-where Zavitz is promptly run over by an ambulance. It seems the unlucky fellow was being hounded by paramilitary thugs under the personal command of a shadowy man named Reynolds (Jon Voight), a megalomaniacal State Department officer on loan to the NSA. Reynolds is eager to retrieve the package that Dean has unwittingly come into possession of a videotape showing that Uncle Sam will stop at nothing, even murder.The next thing you know, Dean's credit cards don't work, he's framed for murder and he's running through traffic in underwear and a bathrobe as murderous G-men try to run him over. The only person who might be able to save him is an elusive former agency operative known as Brill (Gene Hackman).
"Tom Clancy's Netforce": In this ABC miniseries that aired in February 1999, a cyber-mogul attempts to take over the world by taking over the Internet in the year 2005. Scott Bakula and Kris Kristofferson work for Netforce, a new unit set up by the FBI whose sole purpose is to police the Web.
"Random Hearts": Reviews from Style and Weekend. Author Warren Adler's 1984 novel may be lousy, but that didn't mean they had to make the movie version worse. Director Sydney Pollack's lavish production cannot hide this atrocious adaptation, which stars Harrison Ford as a cop with the weirdest hairdo in cinema history (call him Dandelion Head) and Kristin Scott Thomas as an icy Republican senator. The thing that brings them together: a plane crash which claims the lives of their respective spouses who happened to be having an affair. Directed by Pollack and written by Kurt Luedtke, the film departs so radically from the book's initial flight pattern that it disappears from the radar screen. And if this downward spiral is remarkable for anything, it's how long the darn drama takes to hit the water. Over the numbing course of almost 2 1/2 hours (an eternity for a studio-generated thriller), "Random Hearts" freefalls past four or five clear narrative outs in the movie before crashing into the predictably uplifting ending. Adler, Dossier magazine owner and a former Washingtonian, had another book made into a film, "The War of the Roses."
"Monument City": The working title of this indepedent film was "Untitled DC," which was filmed during 15 days in October 1998. The movie is the story of four people whose paths intersect one day as each struggles to rise above the history that overshadows them. Gregory returns to town after 10 years and recognizes Isabel from his childhood. Her boyfriend, Raymond, works for Gregory's father, a congressman. They meet Roz, who wants to stop a monument slated for her Southwest neighborhood.
1999"The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle" (PG): As anarchic as the 1959-1964 TV series, this part live-action, part animated feature picks up exactly where the old cartoons left off, that is with Bullwinkle J. Moose (voice of Keith Scott) and Rocket J. Squirrel (voice of June Foray) in hot pursuit of nefarious Pottsylvanian plotters Boris (Jason Alexander) and Natasha (Rene Russo). This time, the Eastern European bad guys have been able to step from the world of 'toons by inking a production deal with a corrupt studio mogul. Being flesh and blood enables them to better serve their Fearless Leader (Robert De Niro), who means to take over the U.S. by numbing our brains with really bad television. Of course, none of this can happen without our brains being numbed by the barrage of really bad (i.e., good) puns and silly wordplay that were a hallmark of the delirious original. Contains cartoon violence.
"The Contender" (R): When President Jackson Evans (Jeff Bridges), a Democrat, selects a female senator named Laine Hanson (Joan Allen) to replace his late vice president, he faces stiff resistance from the deceptively charming Republican congressman Shelly Runyon (Gary Oldman) and his confirmation committee. At first, the movie is a thoroughly engrossing inside-Washington thriller with great performances from Allen, Sam Elliott (as a presidential advisor) and Oldman. But Rod Lurie's film trips headlong on its politically liberal agenda. And to make matters worse, there's a fourth-quarter dramatic twist that ruins everything. Contains nudity, sexual scenes and obscenity.
"Hollow Man" (R): In yet another brutal, stupid, horror-film admonishment against playing God, Kevin Bacon plays an arrogant scientist who has learned how to make people invisible. Surrounded by his subordinate researchers, including ex-lover Linda McKay (Elisabeth Shue) and Matthew Kensington (Josh Brolin), he submits himself as the first guinea pig. The premise is irresistible, and the special effects terrific. But after taking us into this thrilling zone of meta-existence, director Paul Verhoeven takes a quantum leap into foolhardiness. When they can't bring him back, Sebastian becomes a head-case. Just flips out. So does the movie. It gets gory and unintentionally laughable. It's hard to really get scared, when humanity is threatened by the star of "Footloose." Contains nudity, sexual scenes, urination, obscenity and disturbing violence. Filming took place at the Pentagon, the Willard Hotel and an Alexandria house. A climactic scene with Shue will be shot at a warehouse in Anacostia, with Oldies 100 radio jock Dave Adler playing a detective as one of the extras.
"The Replacements" (PG-13): Keanu Reeves is Shane Falco a failed college football hero living down a disatrous performance in the 1996 Sugar Bowl in a ratty little houseboat, where he makes a living scaping barnacles off the hulls of rich folks' yachts. Since the ignominious choking he hasn't picked up a football except to toss a rusted metal one broken off a trophy he finds floating at the bottom of the harbor. After a midseason walkout by the professional football players union, the Washington Sentinels bring in coaching legend Jimmy McGinty (Gene Hackman) out of retirement to quickly round up a team of scab players to take them to the playoffs. Shane (Reeves) is tapped, naturally, for the quarterback slot, Messiah to a bunch of gridiron wannabes with nothing better to do than wait for fate to come knocking.
"Rules of Engagement" (R): Col. Terry Childers (Samuel L. Jackson), a 32-year Marine veteran, is being court-martialed for his involvement in the deaths of 83 unarmed citizens demonstrating outside the U.S. Embassy in Yemen. Caught on the roof of the embassy, Childers and his Marine expeditionary force were under fire, apparently by snipers ensconced in high nooks and crannies across the way. But Childers seemingly ordered his men to fire on the innocent demonstrators, whom he deemed to be in league with the snipers. The fact that he fulfilled his mission to evacuate the ambassador, his wife and young son from this hellhole has no bearing on the trial. The White House is hanging Childers out to dry because the U.S. government needs a scapegoat to quell the international furor. Childers asks his longtime friend, Col. Hays Hodges (Tommy Lee Jones), to represent him.
"Seven Days": This TV movie is about Russians who attempt to assassinate the president and vice president. On the first day, the production took over Lafayette Square and blocked traffic on 16th street. Of course, scenes were shot in front of the White House. The non-Russian stars are Jonathan LaPaglia ("New York Undercover") and Don Franklin ("seaQuest DSV").
"Thirteen Days" (PG-13): Director Roger Donaldson's taut, understated thriller pulls you into a powerfully engaging, and historical situation. When the Soviets outfitted Cuba with enough medium-range missiles to blow up several American cities in 1962, President John F. Kennedy, his advisers and the entire world found themselves contemplating the distinct possibility of global nuclear war. the movie about President Kennedy's agonizing dilemma during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. It's October 1962. Kevin Costner, who plays JFK's political adviser, Kenneth P. O'Donnell, is just a conduit into the story. Bruce Greenwood is fine as President Kennedy, and so is Steven Culp as his brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. David Self's screenplay, based on historical records and documents, White House tapes, memoirs and interviews with some of the players, feels like classic television theater at its best. And for a drama that's obliged to turn on ideas, memos, nuances and situation-room chatter, "Thirteen Days" is tremendously effective. Contains emotional intensity, some offensive language.
2000"Along Came a Spider" (R): Morgan Freeman, reprising his role from "Kiss the Girls" as a Sherlock Holmesian forensic psychologist, once again enlivens the formulaic cat-and-mouse genre in director Lee Tamahori's taut version of James Patterson's first novel in the Alex Cross series. Unlike the 1997 film, whose character-driven story got its spark from to the chemistry between Freeman's DC police detective and victim/collaborator Ashley Judd, "Spider" is all twisty, jolting plot. Here, Cross and a disgraced secret service agent looking to redeem herself (Monica Potter) match wits with a brilliant psychopath (Michael Wincott) who has kidnapped the daughter of a U.S. senator (Mika Boorem). The surprises are as effective and necessary, since it already looks like we know whodunit as the frequent (but never gratuitous) gunfire. Contains obscenity, a bit of sexually oriented dialogue, numerous shooting deaths and a child in jeopardy.
"Hannibal" (R): In this uneven adaptation of Thomas Harris's gruesome novel, FBI agent Clarice Starling (Julianne Moore) finds herself back in the eager hands of Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), her cannibalistic opponent who helped her out in "Silence of the Lambs." They come together again, thanks to a manipulative chess game orchestrated by one of the doctor's surviving victims (played by Gary Oldman, made up to suggest a melted Muppet). The movie is well mounted at first, thanks to the combined efforts of director Ridley Scott, scriptwriters Steven Zaillian and David Mamet, and two principal performers. But it should be clear to everyone, whether they've read the Harris novel or not, that "Hannibal" is hellbound for a gruesome denouement. And if you have read the book, you can expect some radical departures from the Harris story, particularly at the end. Even by its own dark standards, the movie's conclusion is as dramatically dissatisfying as it is disturbing. "Hannibal" dies from auto-asphyxiation. But Moore's performance makes that perfectly structured, alabaster face even more alluring. And Hopkins is always electrifying, even in a movie as problematic as this. Contains gruesome violence, some nudity and strong language.
"Traffic" (R): Director Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Stephen Gagham, who based this on a British television miniseries called "Traffik," have created an often exhilarating, soup-to-nuts expose» of the American drug trafficking scene. The movie — a sort of narcotic "Nashville" — hops omnisciently all over the NAFTA hemisphere, showing us Mexican drug cartels and upscale American drug dealers, impoverished Mexican street cops and amply funded American federal agencies. There's a ton of strong performers, as well, including Michael Douglas as the newly appointed national drug czar, Catherine Zeta-Jones as the wife of a suspected drug dealer, and Don Cheadle and Luis Guzman as DEA agents on her husband's trail. But as Javier Rodriguez, a Mexican policeman caught between overwhelming corruption and his granite-encased integrity, Benicio Del Toro's the cool conscience of the movie. How he fares on the streets of Mexico is the best reason of all to watch. Contains pervasive drug usage and content, obscenity, violence, sexual scenes and overall emotional intensity.
2001"Collateral Damage" (R): In this by-the-numbers action flick, Los Angeles firefighter Gordy Brewer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) goes into the Colombian jungles to avenge the terrorist bombing death of his Central Casting wife, Anne (Lindsay Frost) and adorable son, Matt (Ethan Dampf). The movie's head-scratchingly ordinary, given Schwarzenegger's presence. The supporting roles, featuring John Leguizamo and John Turturro (as Gordy's helpmates in the jungle) and Francesca Neri as the terrorist's wife, are cliched. Even the action scenes, including a white-water escape from guerrillas, the usual helicopter attack on a terrorist camp and a lackluster finale back on American soil, elicit only moderate excitement. Contains violence, scenes of intensity and some obscenity.
"Minority Report" (PG-13): In Washington in 2054, Chief John Anderton (Tom Cruise) is a detective who busts would-be murderers before they commit the crime, thanks to intelligence from three psychics, known as "Pre-Cogs," who lie in a liquid suspension chamber. But when the pre-cogs finger Anderton as the next potential killer, he goes on the run. The fugitive has to reach out for help from his boss (Max von Sydow), his estranged wife (Kathryn Morris) and Agatha (Samantha Morton), a sort of Joan-of-Arc psychic who takes a shine to Anderton. With the usual gifted team at his disposal -- including composer John Williams, cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, editor Michael Kahn and costume designer Deborah L. Scott -- director Steven Spielberg takes assured control of this flashy thriller. Contains violence, obscene language, some sexuality and drug content.
"Spy Game" (R): Set in the Langley headquarters of the CIA, Tony Scott's smart, engrossing thriller uses flashbacks and quick cuts to remote locales to open up its tale of espionage and moral compromise. On the morning of the day he is set to retire, veteran CIA operative Nathan Muir (Robert Redford) wakes up to learn that protege Tom Bishop has been arrested by the Chinese and is slated for execution in 24 hours. As Muir's superiors (evil paper-pushers Larry Bryggman and Stephen Dillane) search for an excuse to publicly disavow the rogue spy, Muir is forced to debrief them on his own history with the young agency hothead. Meanwhile, under the table Muir works the system he knows only too well to free his friend. Sharp and surprisingly suspenseful, "Spy Games" explores the ethical gray areas of a career that considers people expendable "assets" and betrayal an occupational hazard. Contains obscenity, war carnage and scenes of torture.
"The Sum of All Fears" (PG-13): Producer Mace Neufeld, who has made all the Clancy-based films ("The Hunt for Red October," "Patriot Games" and "Clear and Present Danger"), has revamped, politically corrected (and prequeled) Tom Clancy's novel to attract Ben Affleck's youthful fan base. He plays Jack Ryan, a CIA researcher who tries to convince the American powers that be that a nuclear attack on American soil has not been caused by the Russians. But like the nuclear dirty bomb that drives the story, the movie lacks trajectory and range. Affleck's presence may attract young viewers and introduce them to the Ryan series. And Morgan Freeman is a class act as CIA Director William Cabot. But for all its powerfully charged elements, "Sum" is surprisingly uninvolving. Contains alarming depictions of post-nuclear attack.
Sources include the Mayor's Office of Motion Picture and Television, "Celebrity Washington" by Jan Pottker, The Washington Post.
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