Movies: Victoria and Abdul, Flatliners, American Made

Victoria and Abdul

This fascinating film is based on true events about the friendship between Queen Victoria and Abdul Karim, her Indian attendant of more than a decade.  For context, this was several years after the death of her husband Prince Albert and the death of her confidante, John Brown.

This story is fast tracked through history that effectively demonstrates the Queens deep friendship with Abdul, the clear disfavor of her family, and the backlash of the Royal peers and members of her Royal Court.

The acting is excellent.  Judi Dench plays a perfect Queen Victoria.  Ali Fazel, an Indian actor, is perfect as Abdul.  Eddie Izzard plays Bertie, the Prince of Wales and Victoria’s successor.  There are a total of 54 actors in the cast.

The film is rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and language.  The genre is noted as Drama/Biography.  It runs just under 2 hours.  We enjoyed the film and hope you will too.

It’t too early to tell, but Ms. Dench may be considered for another acting Oscar for her role.  Costume Design might get consideration as well.



I resisted seeing this movie because I did not like the premise.  Maybe it reminded me of my years working in hospitals putting myself through college.  In any case, today I acquiesced.

The good news is it wasn’t terrible.  In fact it was somewhat thought provoking.  Alternatively, it wasn’t great either.  That said, it was intriguing, unique, dark, more than a bit creepy and sometimes intense.

The acting was generally believable.  The cast was surprisingly good.  Nina Dobrev, Ellen Page, Kiersey Clemons are the most important female characters.  Diego Luna, James Norton and Kiefer Sutherland round out the key male actors.

We were a bit surprised at the PG-13 rating given the violence and terror factor, sexual content, thematic material and drug references.  We would not consider it appropriate for children.

The genre is listed as Drama, Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy.  We would agree with that list completely.  The run time is 1 hour, 50 minutes.  If you see this, please share your thoughts!


American Made

We literally just got home from seeing this film.  I will admit it was another movie not high on the hit list.  The truth is I am less and less a Tom Cruise fan as his career hobbles along…

It appears to be based on true events during the Reagan Administration when the CIA jumped into the “communist” threat in Central America with covert operations involving several parties, including drug cartels and the Iran Contra scandal.

The cast is headlined by Tom Cruise as a TWA Pilot.  Sarah Wright play his wife.  Domhnall Gleeson plays a great operative for the covert operations.  There are a dozen more characters playing government officials and such.

Unfortunately, the story is filled with so many scenes reflective of real historical events, deplorable behavior and criminal mentality, it was hard to view the movie as entertainment.  It is rated R for language and some sexuality/nudity.  We strongly do not recommend this film for children.  The genre is noted as Drama, Mystery and Suspense running 1 hour, 55 minutes.


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