FANTASTIC MR. FOX
Pros: Clever/funny screenplay, stellar voice work, great score (Alexandre Desplat) and soundtrack, a funny and catchy original song that actually progresses the plot, great production design/costumes
Cons: Too short
Comments: George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Michael Gambon and Wally Wolodarsky (as opossum Kylie) are the true stand-outs. For the first time since The Royal Tenenbaums, Wes Anderson's oddly anachronistic touches fit naturally. I have to see this again.
STATE OF PLAY
Pros: Great chemistry between Russell Crowe and Rachel McAdams, majority of actors bring their A-game, suspenseful and thrilling without resorting to car chases, actually had me at the edge of my seat, Robin Wright Penn
Cons: Final "twist" trifle annoying and out of nowhere, Helen Mirren plays one note, intrusive score, story needs more room to breathe
Comments: I feel like there was so much that wound up on the cutting-room floor, especially for poor Jeff Daniels. When is that guy going to get a break? I do think Russell Crowe is one of the most consistently watchable actors working today. I would have liked to see this done with Ed Norton in the Ben Affleck role, though. That would have been interesting.