Gangster Squad (2013)

Starring: Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Emma Stone, Anthony Mackie, Michael Peña Directed by: Ruben Fleischer R. 110 mins Despite glossy production design and a good-looking cast, this neo-noir is a hollow mess. Loosely based on the story of Brooklyn-born mob king Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn), the film is set in 1949 Los Angeles as…

The Tree of Life (2011)

Starring: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain Directed by: Terrence Malick PG-13. 138 mins. A sort of cinematic sermon, Tree of Life will be challenging for most but it’s worth the time for an exquisite journey through time and space. Malick’s depiction of childhood is breathtaking and the cast delivers some great performances in this…

Fair Game (2010)

Starring: Naomi Watts, Sean Penn, Noah Emmerich, Bruce McGill, Michael Kelly, Ty Burrell Directed by: Doug Liman PG-13. 106 mins A sobering account of the dirty politics that have come to dominate our world. Liman (Bourne Identity) directs this thriller  with intelligence and passion. Based on the books of real life diplomat Joseph Wilson and…

Milk (2008)

Starring: Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, James Franco, Diego Luna, Emile Hirsch, Alison Pill, Victor Garber, Joseph Cross, Denis O’Hare, Lucas Grabeel, Stephen Spinella Directed by: Gus Van Sant R. 128 mins A biopic that feels like so much more thanks to some touching performances, a passionate (Academy Award winning) script and Van Sant’s thoughtful direction…

Into the Wild (2007)

Starring: Emile Hirsch, Marcia Gay Harden, William Hurt, Jena Malone, Kristen Stewart, Catherine Keener, Brian Dierker, Vince Vaughn, Zack Galifianakis, Hal Holbrook Directed by: Sean Penn R. 147 mins Intensely intimate and incredibly inspiring, Into the Wild displays Sean Penn’s extraordinary talent as he successfully turned a book of non-fiction into an epic study on…

I am Sam (2001)

Starring: Sean Penn, Dakota Fanning, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dianne Wiest, Laura Dern, Richard Schiff, Loretta Devine Directed by: Jessie Nelson R. 132 mins A manipulative tear-jerker, I am Sam is only worth a watch to see the beautiful interactions between Penn, Fanning, and Pfeiffer. Sean Penn plays Sam, a developmentally-disabled adult who raises his young daughter…