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Movie Review: Babel

Alternate Title: "What We've Got Here is Failure to Communicate"

Story: The team genius of director Alexander Inarritu and writer Guillermo Arriaga is on your big screen once again. Go see this film to enrich your mind while opening your heart.

Like their previous films, Amorres Perros and 21 Grams, we are introduced to multiple storylines but this time on a global scale. We travel to Morocco, Japan, the US and Mexico. These seemingly disparate locales and characters are cleverly woven together with depth, warmth and tragedy.

One story involves two Moroccan children who accidentally shoot an American tourist. The tourists' children are being cared for by their lifelong Mexican housekeeper/nanny back in California. A deaf-mute Japanese teenager, who is isolated by her failure to communicate, is also a link to this global tale.

Each story is emotional and when it is cut off to move to another story I wanted to cry 'no' but was immediately involved in the next story as well. That is really good movie making. It is also beautifully edited and visually exciting.

This should be on you must-see list this year.

Acting: The entire ensemble cast is terrific. Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett are the American couple in Morocco. Gael Garcia Bernal and Adrianna Barraza are the Mexican actors. Special kudos to young Rinko Chieko as the deaf-mute girl.

Predilection: I like this director and writer team.

Critters: Lots of goats, chickens and a beautiful white cat.

Food: Each locale is represented by its food from couscous to Bento Boxes.

Blatant Product Placement: Coke

Soundtrack: A wonderful track by Gustavo Santaolalla

Opening Titles: I can't remember - but I think all of the titles were at the end.

Theater Audience: Very crowded for a mid-day showing on a Thursday

Weather: The weather was nice all around the world.

Sappy Factor: 0

Squirm Scale: There is an expectation of tragedy throughout the film and that leads to some squirmy scenes.

Drift Factor: I did not drift for a second. The first time I looked at my watch was at the two hour mark.

Tissue Usage: Some might cry. I welled up a few times.

Oscar Worthy: Yes

Nit Picking: It could have been edited to two hours but it was so good I did not care about the overtime.

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen for sure.

Length: Two hours and twenty minutes.