V for Vendetta
Based on the excellent graphic novel from Alan Moore, V for Vendetta is the best film of the year so far. Produced and written by the Wachowski brothers and directed by first-timer James McTeigue (who helped out on The Matrix trilogy), this one makes up for a bit of the dreadful time that was the Matrix sequels. Intelligent, engaging and quite controversial in its subject matter, this is as intriguing an action picture as we’re likely to get this year. The film is set in a futuristic society where America is nothing more than a has been, having relinquished its mantle as the world’s superpower back to Great Britain. England is ruled by a Hitler-like dictator (John Hurt) with control over the media and a continuing state of martial law. Natalie Portman plays Evey, who encounters a mysterious vigilante named V (Hugo Weaving), a secretive man who’s determined to take down the British government. The film looks great and does justice to Alan Moore’s graphic novel, while updating it in many places.