Say this for director Robert Zemeckis: it takes guts to open a World War II story in Casablanca and then tell a story that turns the World War II classic Casablanca inside out. (Apparently, the problems of three little people do amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.) But that may be all that can be said for him here. And guts, alas, are not the same as energy, or scenebuilding, or even a sense of felt life. (When your wife asks to spend a day forgetting about the war, maybe don’t take her to picnic within sight of a downed bomber?) Even when stars Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard — Allied spies who start to enjoy their assumed roles as husband and wife during an assassination operation — are in the midst of a party or a war zone, the music and talk and bombs and gunfire fade into the background, so that they hardly seem real. (Often, they aren't.) And when they’re alone? They might as well be the last souls on earth (Pitt in particular looks miserable enough to have witnessed Armageddon). That makes Cotillard the sole bright spot, and even she risks being upstaged by her fantastic wardrobe. (2016) — Matthew Lickona
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