I was not expecting to like this movie. Halle Berry is good but Benicio Del Toro is excellent in this film about love, loss, friendship and grief. Playing a man fraught with agony over the death of his best childhood friend and dealing with a debilitating drug addition, Del Toro’s performance makes this so-so movie a very strong film. The death of his friend, who was Berry’s husband, is the focal point of the film…most everyone’s struggles and problems stem from that event. Except Del Toro’s…the death of his friend is just one of many things that have snowballed downhill in his life. If you are not enticed by the plot, watch it for Del Toro’s performance. I’m sure you will not be disappointed.

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For his final outing as the ever-clever MI-6 spy James Bond, Pierce Brosnan has a so-so script to work with but he does a great job, as usual, of keeping the lack-luster story alive. He is joined, this time, by a showy Halle Berry (who adds very little to the film) and some other less-than-exciting characters (with the exception of Rosamund Pike who plays a great friend then foe to Bond). So, even with the daunting challenge of keeping the movie entertaining despite obstacles, Brosnan comes through with a bang! He is really charged here as Bond, finally finding his 007 footing…he’s tough and charming and cynical, yet confident. It’s a shame that this was his last 007 film (though new Bond Daniel Craig is also good spy material, which he proves in 2006’s Casino Royale) but for four films, Brosnan brought life back into a fledgling series…just as he brings life to this fledgling movie.

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