Director: James McTeigue
Year Released: 2006
Preachy and bleak adaptation of the Alan Moore/David Lloyd graphic novel by the Wachowski Brothers about a protofascist government - led by John Hurt (in 1984 he was the oppressed; now he is the oppressor) - and the suggested takeover of such an organization by an anonymous figure who sports a cape, daggers and taste for Rembrandt and Chan Marshall. The fascination with things vaguely Hitler-related (the Holocaust-like burying of bodies via bulldozer, menacing flags and chanting, Hurt-as-Mein Fuhrer, Natalie Portman - who was born in Jerusalem, remember - having her head shaved and getting tortured) is so hollow it comes across as icky and intellectually questionable. Portman does all right, considering - you try to appear convincing when talking to someone wearing a mask - and Stephen Rea is the epitome of a world-weary police officer (it's his heavy eyes that do all the sighing), but it might only appeal to teenagers who don't want to read 1984 and enjoy wallowing in their jadedness.