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June 2007

June Movies

Ocean’s Thirteen: US-rated PG-13; German release date, June 7.

The third time’s got the same charm that made Ocean’s Eleven and Ocean’s Twelve massive hits: Matt Damon, George Clooney, and Brad Pitt, to be specific. The most charismatic con men in film history are back to organize another heist, this time just for revenge. Danny Ocean and his crew are lured out of semi-retirement after casino owner Willy Banks (Al Pacino) double-crosses their friend and accomplice Reuben (Elliott Gould). Reuben had invested funds from Ocean’s last scheme in one of Banks’ hotels. Once the hotel becomes a hotspot for high rollers, Banks cuts Reuben out of the deal, and Ocean decides to bring him down. By now, director Steven Soderbergh could practically step back and let the seasoned cast go play. Spouting snappy dialogue and wandering casinos in sharp suits, the actors seem to be having a great time together in each scene. German audiences will have just as much fun watching—a full day before the film’s American premiere, at that.

The Namesake: US-rated PG-13; German release date, June 7.

From the seething streets of Calcutta, to a cold New York apartment, and the rarefied air of the Ivy League, this movie follows an Indian family finding its way and identity in the United States. Ashoke and Ashima immigrate to give their children more opportunities in life. For son Gogol (Khal Penn), however, growing up between cultures is challenging in ways his parents could never have foreseen. Reconciling his desire to fit in with his family’s emphasis on cultural tradition is a delicate back-and-forth, the balance of which changes drastically over the years. Mira Nair directs this take on the novel of the same name by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri. After the critically-panned Vanity Fair, Nair now returns to the emotional intensity and lush visuals that made Monsoon Wedding an international sensation. The apparent allegorical simplicity of the narrative diffracts into a vibrant spectrum of engaging subplots that make four decades fly by in just over two hours.

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