I’ve seen four films over the last couple of weeks, all quite different, and all worthy of your attention.

(Note that I rate the films from one to five stars – */***** – and also at the end of each mini review, I am now adding the ratings from both individuals and the critics from Rotten Tomatoes. Also, I try to avoid any ‘spoilers’ when writing about the films.)

The Way ***1/2

Sometimes I think it’s a handicap knowing a bit of the background that a film portrays. That may have been the case in my watching this film. Several years ago Ellen and I went to Santiago de Campostela in western Spain and became fascinated by stories of the pilgrimage walks (800 km) from France to Santiago.

This film follows the journey of one man (played by Martin Sheen) on that pilgrimage. It’s a good story and involves not only his own reasons for the walk but his connections with three other folks who are also on the journey.

My mild disappointment with the film is that I’ve read a half dozen books about the Camino de Santiago and so perhaps came to the film with definite ideas of what the pilgrimage was like. Nevertheless, whether you know about the Camino or not, the film still is worthy of your consideration.

(Audience, 386 ratings, 76% Liked It

(Critics – 59 reviews, 79% Liked It)


The Debt ****

A thriller about three Mossad agents who hunted down a concentration camp doctor who experimented on Jews, it keeps you involved from beginning to end.

I found myself a bit confused at times when the action went back and forth over a period of 30 years. But if you go with someone, between the two of you, you can figure it out.

If you’re looking for a good espionage, escape type film with good acting (Helen Mirren and Sam Worthington) and good directing (John Madden), it’s a good hour and forty-five minutes.

(Audience – 3,562 ratings – 72% Liked It

Critics – 151 reviews – 76% Liked It)


Senna *****

I knew virtually nothing about Formula One racing – those sleek, small cars with big tires, but the reviews of this one were excellent. And since I’m always interested in the most outstanding individuals in any sport, I went in the middle of one afternoon a few days ago to check it out.

I’m glad I did.

Senna is Aytron Senna, a triple world champion in Formula One. The film is the story of his life’s mission to be the best in the world at this type of racing. The most I’ll say is that he attains his goal.

Check it out, even if you don’t think you have much interest in car racing.

(Audience – 2,572 ratings – 97% Liked It

Critics – 109 reviews – 92% Liked It)


My Afternoons with Maguerite *****

Two wonderful acting performances (Gerard Depardieu ad Gisele Casadesus) and a lovely story make this film worth finding (at present it is only playing in one theater in the DC area).

It’s the story of a mostly illiterate 50 year old man who happens to become friends with a little old lady and of how they affect each other. They spend afternoons on a park bench, reading and talking about literature, and other things. The love story that ensues is simply lovely.

(Audience – 246 ratings – 73% Liked It

Critics – 48 reviews – 81% Liked It)