The Aviator

Rated 4.0 Director Martin Scorsese recounts the life of legendary billionaire Howard Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio). Or, rather, the first half of it: John Logan’s script stops in 1947 after Hughes’ pyrrhic triumph with the flight of the Spruce Goose, before his retreat into reclusive eccentricity. It only hints at the near-madness that descended on his later years. The film divides its attention more or less equally between Hughes’ dabbling in Hollywood and his more focused efforts in developing experimental aircraft and building TWA into a major airline. It’s all rather sprawling and a bit disjointed, but Scorsese’s vigorous pacing and eye for detail hold it all together and provide a vivid setting for DiCaprio’s masterful performance (his best work yet). Cate Blanchett also shines as Katharine Hepburn.