The Manchurian Candidate

Rated NR

This is an example of a remake doing a classic proud. Jonathan Demme directs and Denzel Washington stars in this horror show about American greed, politics and mind control. Ben Marco (Washington, in a role once played by Frank Sinatra) is having bad dreams about his Gulf War platoon. Raymond Shaw (Liev Schreiber), a fellow soldier and ominous presence in those dreams, is positioning himself to be the next vice president of the United States. Convinced his dreams are somehow linked to actual occurrences, Marco sets out on a crazed investigation to discover what’s going on inside his head, and the truth is not comforting. Meryl Streep, in the role made famous by Angela Lansbury, makes for one of cinema history’s all-time bad mothers. Schreiber is eerie as Shaw, and he’ll make you think twice the next time you see a politician flash a big smile. Washington continues to amaze, his presence and work helping to make this remake something very worthwhile. Some might call this a political thriller, but I see it as an effective, all-out horror movie.

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