Custom Search






November 12, 2015

Trumbo (***) R

As far as biopics go,Trumbo is one of the better efforts in what has turned out to be a movie going season chock full of them. It’s well cast, informative, quite funny at times and very well paced. Is it likely to set the box office woods on fire? Probably not, but for those who either want to know more about Oscar winning writer Dalton Trumbo, or, like myself, are simply movie geeks who can’t get enough of films that illuminate the creative processes involved in filmmaking, Trumbo will most likely deliver the goods.

Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad fame is ideally cast as the famed screenwriter of the film’s title. I wasn’t sure going into the film that he would be able to pull off the feat of portraying such a larger than life character as Trumbo, but he proves to be more than up to the task. He’s got Trumbo’s mannerisms and well documented speech patterns down pat and in doing so captures the essence of the man more than I could have imagined.

In case there are any of you reading this who aren’t familiar with Dalton Trumbo or his checkered history, it’s worth noting. Simply put, he was one of the infamous blacklisted screenwriters accused of being a Communist sympathizer during the Hollywood witch hunts orchestrated by Wisconsin

Helen Mirren & Bryan Cranston in Trumbo

Senator Joseph McCarthy. As a result, Trumbo, along with other left-leaning screenwriters on the list, were eventually banished from Hollywood and left unable to earn a living at their craft. Trumbo’s solution was to continue to write screenplays but only under assumed names. Ironically, he won two Oscars but found himself unable to take credit for either achievement.

The film follows Trumbo from the period immediately before he found himself blacklisted and charts his course through his struggles onward as he eventually finds his career rescued by actor Kirk Douglas, who insisted that Trumbo be credited in name as the sole writer of Spartacus. In the interim Trumbo winds up doing what he can to earn a living, even churning out low budget tripe for a poverty row studio producer (John Goodman, who has some of the film’s best lines) at one point.

The supporting parts of the film are all quite good, from Helen Mirren’s menacing turn as gossip columnist Hedda Hopper to Diane Lane’s sympathetic turn as Trumbo’s loving and supportive wife. Interestingly, one of the most surprisingly good turns comes from comic Louis C.K., who portrays a fictional screenwriter friend of Trumbo’s who is most likely a composite of several real life figures.

If there’s a bone to pick with the film it’s that it sometimes falls prey to the standard biopic trappings that films like this can succumb to from time to time. Even so, there’s enough to embrace about the film to more than recommend it. All the better if you know little to nothing about Dalton Trumbo and his captivating story.

Trumbo opens November 25.

Questions or comments? Write Adam at



Spectre & The Peanuts Movie

Steve Jobs & Our Brand Is Crisis

Crimson Peak & Room

Bridge Of Spies & Goosebumps

99 Homes

The Martian • Sicario & The Walk

The Intern • The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials • Everest

The Visit & Black Mass

Mistress America

The Diary Of A Teenage Girl A Walk In The Woods

American Ultra • No Escape • Sinister 2

Straight Outta Compton, The End Of The Tour, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Irrational Man & Fantastic Four

Ricki And The Flash & The Gift

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation • Southpaw • Vacation

Ant-Man & Trainwreck


Amy • Magic Mike XXL, Terminator: Genisys

Me & Earl & The Dying Girl, Ted 2

Inside Out & Dope

Love and Mercy & Jurassic World

Insidious Chapter 3

San Andreas & Aloha

Poltergeist &

Mad Max: Fury Road

Hot Pursuit

Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Ex Machina

While We’re Young & Unfriended

The Longest Ride

Fast & Furious 7

It Follows




Focus & The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Hot Tub Time Machine 2

Fifty Shades Of Grey

Jupiter Ascending

Still Alice

The Imitation Game A Most Violent Year

American Sniper Inherent Vice

Selma & Taken 3


Big Eyes • The Interview

Night At The Museum The Secret of the Tomb • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Top Five • Wild • Annie


Whiplash & The Theory Of Everything

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 • Horrible Bosses 2

Dumb And Dumber To

Birdman & Interstellar




The Judge

Annabelle & Gone Girl

The Equalizer & Happy 75th, GWTW!

The Drop • A Walk Among & The Tombstones

No Good Deed

The Identical

As Above, So Below & November Man

If I Stay & Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

The Giver • Code Black & The Expendables 3

Boyhood • Into The Storm & Magic In The Moonlight

Get On Up & Guardians Of The Galaxy


Begin Again & The Purge: Anarchy

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

Chef & Tammy

Transformers: Age Of Extinction

Jersey Boys

22 Jump Street & How To Train Your Dragon 2

The Fault Is In Our Stars & Edge Of Tomorrow

A Million Ways To Die In The West

X-Men: Days Of Future Past Maleficent

Godzilla • Summer Preview

Neighbors • Godzilla

The Amazing Spiderman 2 & Belle

The Other Woman & Brick Mansions

A Haunted House 2 & Heaven Is For Real

Oculus & Rio 2

Captain America: The Winter Soldier



The Grand Budapest Hotel & Veronica Mars

300: Rise of the Empire

Non-Stop & Son Of God

Three Days To Kill

Robocop & The Past • About Last Night

The Monuments Men

Labor Day

I, Frankenstein

Inside Llewyn Davis & Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Lone Survivor & August: Osage County

Her • Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom & The Wolf Of Wall Street

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, Saving Mr. Banks, American Hustle, Anchorman 2

The Hobbit: The Desolation & Of Smaug • Nebraska

Dallas Buyers Club & Oldboy & Out Of The Furnace

Philomena & The Book Thief

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire & Delivery Man

About Time & All Is Lost

Thor: The Dark World & 12 Years A Slave

Ender’s Game & Last Vegas

Bad Grandpa &The Counselor

Carrie & The Fifth Estate

Captain Phillips, Enough Said & Machete Kills

Gravity & Runner Runner

Metallica: Through The Never , Rush & Don Jon

Prisoners & Rush

Insidious: Chapter 2 • The Family & The Spectacular Now



The World’s End You’re Next

Lee Daniels’ The Butler • Jobs • Blue Jasmine

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters & Elysium

2 Guns

Blue Jasmine • The Wolverine & Fruitvale Station

Fruitvale Station • The Conjuring & The Way Way Back

Pacific Rim & Grown Ups 2

The Lone Ranger & Despicable Me 2

The Heat & White House Down

Monsters University, World War Z, Before Midnight & The East

Man of Steel & This Is The End

The Internship & The Purge

After Earth, Now You See Me & Frances Ha

The Hangover Part III Before Midnight

Star Trek: Into Darkness & Fast and Furious 6

The Great Gatsby & Frances Ha

Iron Man & Peeples

Pain and Gain & Mud

Oblivion & Lords of Salem

42 and Scary Movie 5

Evil Dead & Jurassic Park 3-D

G.I. Joe: Retaliation Tyler Perry’s Temptation

Spring Breakers Admission

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone • The Call

Oz: The Great And Powerful West Of Memphis

Jack the Giant Slayer The Last Exorcism, Part II

Dark Skies & Snitch

A Good Day to Die Hard & Safe Haven

Side Effects & Identity Thief

Bullet To The Head Warm Bodies




BannerEventAd-01.jpg   BannerEventAd-01.jpg

PO Box 1721 | Hickory, NC 28603 | 828.322.1036 | Office Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9am - 5pm |

Home • Reviews: MoviesAdam Long • Editorials: FocusHave Chainsaw Will TravelSid On SportsBobbi GSara MawyerPeople PicturesPlaces/PeopleExtra Events Listing
Out Of Focus • News: Local NewsNational NewsHoroscopes • Info/Links: Staff/ContributorsList Of AdvertisersOnline AdvertisingOnline ClassifiedsContact UsFocus BLOGStoreLinks

© 1978 - 2018 Tucker Productions, Inc.