Rated 4.0

Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, apart from having a difficult name to spell, is quickly becoming one of my favorite filmmakers. Like his brilliant 21 Grams, this story of an American tourist named Susan (Cate Blanchett) getting shot in Morocco is told out of order in mesmerizing fashion. The film tells three stories, one in Morocco, one in Mexico and the other in Japan, and they all intertwine in a way that is slowly revealed. While the Japan story turns out to be the film’s weakest part, the Morocco and Mexico plotlines are powerful and engaging. Brad Pitt, in a relatively small role, makes the most of every moment as Susan’s husband, desperate to get his wife help in the middle of nowhere. Adriana Barraza and Gael Garcia Bernal anchor the compelling Mexico story. The film features some of 2006’s best acting. Barraza is especially good, and deserves an Oscar nom.