Combustible Celluloid
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With: Freddie Highmore, Keri Russell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Robin Williams, Leon G. Thomas III, Terrence Howard, Jamia Simone Nash, William Sadler, Alex O'Loughlin, Aaron Staton, Becki Newton
Written by: Nick Castle, James V. Hart, based on a story by Nick Castle, Paul Castro
Directed by: Kirsten Sheridan
MPAA Rating: PG for some thematic elements, mild violence and language
Running Time: 100
Date: 10/06/2007

August Rush (2007)

1/2 Star (out of 4)

Mush Hour

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Kirsten Sheridan, who helped write her father Jim Sheridan's overcooked In America (2003), directs this awful drama, so soggy that her previous work looks positively austere. Freddie Highmore plays the title character, an orphan looking for his musician parents (Keri Russell and Jonathan Rhys Meyers). He turns out to be a prodigy and tries to "summon" them with his music. August's journey relies less on talent than on pure, stupid coincidence, accompanied by nervous camerawork and a near-constant barrage of middlebrow music. Robin Williams is at his worst as an exploiter of talented children, and even Terrence Howard seems lost. Russell and Rhys Meyers look like they're posing for makeup ads rather than giving performances. More appalling is the movie's slapdash treatment of black musicians, seen as inferior to -- and grateful for -- the little white whiz kid. (See also August Rush on Blu-ray.) August Rush

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