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An ordinary man with an extraordinary gift must save the planet from evil in this action-packed fantasy. Unknown to most people, the world is crowded with spirits both good and evil who walk among us in human guise. One of the few who can see these spirits is John Constantine (Keanu Reeves), but the responsibility of his vision is more than he can stand, and he tries to kill himself. Saved from death, Constantine must now atone for his actions by acting as a guardian in the middle ground between Paradise and Hell. Constantine also makes the acquaintance of Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz), a police detective who becomes aware of his unusual gift while looking into the death of her sister; he leads her into the unknown world of the spirits and soon circumstances demand that they join forces in a desperate bid to save humanity from evil. Constantine also features Tilda Swinton, Peter Stormare, and Gavin Rossdale, the latter best known as the lead singer of the rock group Bush. Michelle Monaghan (Made of Honor) was originally in the film (cast as a half-breed demon) but director Francis Lawrence cut her scenes. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
V for Vendetta
Based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore, V for Vendetta takes place in an alternate vision of Britain in which a corrupt and abusive totalitarian government has risen to complete power. During a threatening run in with the secret police, an unassuming young woman named Evey (Natalie Portman) is rescued by a vigilante named V (Hugo Weaving) -- a caped figure both articulate and skilled in combat. V embodies the principles of rebellion from an authoritarian state, donning a mask of vilified would-be terrorist of British history Guy Fawkes and leading a revolution sparked by assassination and destruction. Evey becomes his unlikely ally, newly aware of the cruelty of her own society and her role in it. ~ Cammila Collar, Rovi
300's Zack Snyder brings Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' critically acclaimed comic book Watchmen to the big screen, courtesy of DC Comics and Warner Bros. Pictures. Set in an alternate universe circa 1985, the film's world is a highly unstable one where a nuclear war is imminent between America and Russia. Superheroes have long been made to hang up their tights thanks to the government-sponsored Keene Act, but that all changes with the death of The Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), a robust ex-hero commando whose mysterious free fall out a window perks the interest of one of the country's last remaining vigilantes, Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley). His investigation leads him to caution many of his other former costumed colleagues, including Dr. Manhattan, Night Owl (Patrick Wilson), Ozymandias (Matthew Goode), Sally Jupiter (Carla Gugino), and her daughter, The Silk Spectre (Malin Akerman). Heralded for bringing the world of superheroes into the literary world, Watchmen gave the super-powered mythos a real-life grounding that had been missing in mainstream comics to that point. The film adaptation had languished in one form of development hell or another for years after the book's release, with various directors on and off the project, including Terry Gilliam, David Hayter, and Darren Aronofsky, as well as Paul Greengrass, whose eventual dismissal stemmed from budget conflicts with the studio. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi