A good year for women on film, as exemplified in new releases The Eyes of My Mother, Miss Sloane, and more
Matthew Lickona 5 p.m., Dec. 9
A two-hour commercial for the National Football League from Ivan Reitman, a man who once had sufficient command of his senses to direct Stripes. There's a great movie to be made about the chess match that is the NFL draft; this isn't it. Why on earth would the NFL bother to get on board with a (fictional) story about a real-life annual event that already rates its own prime-time extravaganza? Because the real thing is about stats and ingredients and the endless quest for cash via conquest - damn the concussions, full speed ahead - and that isn't the kind of PR the League needs right now. So instead, we get Draft Day, a film about heart and character and gut instincts and dead fathers and pregnant girlfriends and earnest young men and dreams coming true. A film full of exposition, canned sentiment, on-the-nose dialogue, and an endless parade of split screens that do little to heighten the drama of guys talking on the phone. Kevin Costner stars, sort of. With Jennifer Garner, Denis Leary. 2014.