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Jan Wahl Movie Review: ‘Unknown’

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Liam Neeson in scene from movie "Unknown", Warner Bros. Pictures (AP)

Liam Neeson in scene from movie “Unknown”, Warner Bros. Pictures (AP)

JanWahl20100909_KCBS_0564r Jan Wahl
Vancouver Magazine called her “San Francisco's sharp-witted so...
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(KCBS) – KCBS Entertainment Editor Jan Wahl reviews the action thriller starring Liam Neeson, plus a Mexican Jewish comedy called ‘Nora’s Will.’

UNKNOWN (PG-13)

Liam Neeson gives gravitas and a magnetic intensity to his performances. Often he is the best thing in a bad film. Taken was one of his better movies recently, an action flick that really moves as a father tries to save his daughter from the international sex trade. This one is less plausible, easy to figure out, but still moves and is an escapist night at the movies. At least he gives us someone to root for, as Neeson plays a brilliant botanist suffering from amnesia. Why are these people trying to kill him? Why is he doing battle with strangers who want him dead? The good news is Neeson and the fine supporting cast, including Aidan Quinn (Songcatcher) Diane Kruger and Bruno Ganz. It’s a chance for Madmen fans (like me) to see January Jones married to someone other than Don Draper. It will play fine on DVD, but an OK action movie if you’re trying to get out of the cold and rain. 2 1/2 hats

NORA’S WILL (NOT RATED)

Here’s something different and charming: a Mexican Jewish comedy about lost faith and family bonds. A woman comes back from the grave in order to put together a fabulous Passover dinner banquet, complete with an atheist ex-husband and irascible rabbis. Was it a way for the deceased to get her family back together or a plot from beyond to have everyone re-explore their own lives and loves? This is a glimpse into Mexican Jewish culture as well as funny, engrossing, poignant and lively. 3 1/2 hats.

SEE RIGHT NOW: CEDAR RAPIDS, THE COMPANY MEN, THE ILLUSIONIST, INSIDE JOB, THE KING’S SPEECH

DVD/HOME VIDEO: WAITING FOR SUPERMAN, WOMEN WITHOUT MEN, UNSTOPPABLE FOR COLORED GIRLS, YOU AGAIN, IT’S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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