Anthony Hopkins' Movies Reviews

Ahhh…If only every actor out there were Anthony Hopkins! He is the class act that delivers his lines almost effortless, as if they weren’t memorized but of his own harvest. Among the Anthony Hopkins’ movies that I have seen, there are only three that I thought were below par, namely The Wolfman (♦♦♦), Hearts in Atlantis (♦♦♦) and The Lion in Winter (♦♦♦).

In The Wolfman, Hopkins stars opposite Benicio del Toro (Traffic, Things We Lost in the Fire) and Emily Blunt (Young Victoria, The Devil Wears Prada) as the father of two young men, one of who disappears in strange circumstances. Soon after the man’s disappearance, his beau (Emily Blunt) visits Lawrence Talbot, an actor who is her brother-in law (Benicio del Toro), to plead him to come back to his family estate to investigate his brother’s whereabouts. Upon his arrival, Mr. Talbot gets bitten by a werewolf and the tragic story of a family curse is revealed. In my opinion, there is an enormous waste of talent in this movie; I didn’t hate it, but it is so bloody that it becomes annoying. In Hearts in Atlantis, a Stephen King’s story and another waste of Hopkins’ talent, he is a psychic, nearly blind man who bonds with a young boy when he asks the boy to read to him the newspaper every day. It turns out that the man is wanted by spies for his work on a government program related to his psychic ability. Another flimsy story! The Lion in Winter (♦♦♦) is a classic starring Katherine Hepburn and Peter O’Toole. On Christmas Eve, King Henry II meets with his family to announce who will succeed him. The movie is polluted with the royal family’s betrayals and petty fights; by the end I was disgusted and exhausted.

In contrast to the previously discussed movies, the rest are just what the doctor ordered! In Fracture (♦♦♦♦♦), Hopkins brilliantly stars as an engineer who plans to kill his wife, knowing that she’s been having an affair with a policeman. He gets away due to the lack of fundamental physical evidence, but thinking himself untouchable, he gets caught on a technicality by a persistent assistant district attorney interpreted by Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson, The Notebook). In All the King’s Men (♦♦♦♦♦) star Kate Winslet (The Reader, Titanic), Sean Penn (Mystic River, Milk), Jude Law (Alfie, Cold Mountain) and Mark Ruffalo (Zodiac, 13 Going on 30). If you ever want to know the end of every populist politician and every violent revolution, then this movie is made for you. If you think that the world is all good, then don’t see it because you won’t get it! Most violent revolutions end up destroying the very ideals they said to defend, just as every populist politician says exactly what people want to hear. That is exactly the topic of this movie, brilliantly accomplished by a star-studded cast. In Proof (♦♦♦♦♦), Hopkins is an aging mathematical genius who embarks on writing the proof of a theorem, but his crippling mental illness prevents him from doing so; upon his death, a student of his discovers the sought proof written by no other than the man’s daughter. Also star Gwyneth Paltrow (Shakespeare in Love, A Perfect Murder) and Jake Gyllenhaal (The Prince of Persia, Brokeback Mountain). In Amistad (♦♦♦♦♦), Hopkins portrays ex-president John Quincy Adams, who gets commissioned to represent in court a group of African slaves that had rebelled against their captors in the ship Amistad captured in American waters. The speech that wins the case is an amazing testament of the American spirit of liberty and equality for all. The movie has an all-star cast which includes Matthew McConaughey (Contact, A Time to Kill), Morgan Freeman (Driving Miss Daisy, The Bucket List) and Djimon Hounsou (Gladiator, Blood Diamond). All of them deliver astounding performances.

Despite getting better with every performance, some of them will simply pass the test of time, namely The Human Stain (♦♦♦♦♦), Nixon (♦♦♦♦♦), The Remains of the Day (♦♦♦♦), and the ever so creepy The Silence of the Lambs (♦♦♦♦♦). In The Human Stain, an adaptation on the book by Philip Roth, Hopkins is a distinguished university professor who gets entangled with a cleaning lady (Nicole Kidman) who has a violent ex-husband. In this movie is the ending that packs quite a punch for the story unravels with tragic consequences. In Nixon, Hopkins gloriously portrays former president Nixon from his rise to power until his final days in the presidency. Hopkins conveys Nixon’s state of mind along the movie, as if he were possessed by the man himself. Joan Allen (The Contender, The Bourne Supremacy) also excels as Nixon’s wife; however, it is Hopkins who steals the show. Strongly recommended! The Remains of the Day is a very subdued drama centered on World War II’s England. In it, Hopkins is the butler of a wealthy man with Nazi sympathies. His work is everything this butler cares about in the world, or so it seems, but his unprofessed love for a housekeeper may turn that around if only he allows it. Emma Thompson (Sense and Sensibility, Last Chance Harvey) also costars, but the screen definitely belongs to Hopkins. Last, but not least, it would be a sin to ignore The Silence of the Lambs, Hopkins’ masterpiece for which he won an Oscar in the Best Actor category. In it he stars as Hannibal Lecter, a psychiatrist with cannibalistic instincts. Young FBI trainee Clarice Starling, Jodie Foster also in an Academy Award role, is summoned by her superiors to go to prison to pick Lecter’s brain regarding a case of young women’s corpses with missing patches of skin. The FBI has labeled this killer Buffalo Bill, a former patient of Lecter. But Starling doesn’t know what she gets herself into, or better yet, she doesn’t have any choice for she isn’t the one running the show. Lecter kills and goes free while the clock is ticking to find the next victim before it’s too late. Creepy but so worth it!

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