Recently-viewed movies: Brave, Savages, and the Grand Exotic Marigold Hotel. We recommend the first and the last.
Very pretty, and funny, and overall nicely done. We thought it was worth seeing.
Longer: There's a lot to like, there's actual character growth in more than one character (the daughter main character and the mother), the witch is not actively evil but a neutral monkey's paw (and the main character is clearly free to walk away: she makes a poor choice with incomplete information and doesn't think through potential consequences, but she's not actively suckered by the witch - and the witch does provide an exit strategy for the dilemma the main character puts herself in). No one actively means ill to others.
Given this and the Hunger Games I'm looking for archery to make a comeback in young teens' sports, especially for women.
Starts slick and exploitative and ultraviolent, doesn't really change. Too many flash-through near-subliminal image overlays to remind you HEY THAT THING I SHOWED YOU TEN MINUTES AGO? IT'S ABOUT THIS CURRENT THING TOO. Clumsy and obvious. Want a good massive cast film about the Mexican drug trade? Watch Soderbergh's TRAFFIC again. You'll get Benecio Del Toro either way, something I consider a plus, but if you watch Traffic he'll have a better part and it'll be in a better movie.
Also, this: http://noelmaurer.typepad.com/aab/2012/07/oliver-stoned.html
(thanks to james_nicoll for the link, I hadn't seen it before he posted it)
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Cast of seriously good actors. maegwynn said afterward she wasn't really surprised by anything that happened, but this is a fairy tale kind of storytelling where that's not really the point and it's ok. Worth seeing for some of the best actors currently working, including the manager of the hotel and the former lead in Slumdog Millionaire Dev Patel, who's also currently working in HBO's The Newsroom series.