The best written movie I've seen since Side Effects is, somewhat to my surprise, Jack the Giant Slayer.
Interestingly, one of the writers on Jack is Christopher McQuarrie, who wrote (and directed) Jack Reacher which featured in this blog a few weeks back.
The other writers credited are Darren Lemke who worked on Shrek Forever After, Dan Studney and David Dobkin.
It's a splendid movie visually, with some great design reminiscent of Terry Gilliam.
The script is clever, witty, neatly structured and features some excellent characterisation.
Nice dialogue, too.
At one point during the terrifying climb up the beanstalk Jack (played by Nicholas Hoult) suffers a fall which knocks him out.
He groggily returns to consciousness, staring up at Ewan McGregor and Eddie Marsan.
"Am I dead?" says Jack.
"Not just yet," says Ewan dryly.
The action sequences are particularly well planned. Someone actually sat down and thought, "If I was a giant, how would I attack a (human sized) castle?"
Some strong performances, too, from a really high calibre cast... though I thought a couple of the accents were a bit silly.
I was startled to read a rather bitchy article about this picture saying that it's a box office 'flop'. Hard to credit, for such an excellent film.
The same article goes on to compare it to 'notorious cinematic bombs' Battleship and John Carter. (In fact, both these movies did well internationally, though they weren't successful in the USA.)
Well, I'd like to go on record as saying that, like Jack the Giant Slayer, these were both good films and notably well written, especially Battleship, which was a model of screenwriting -- and of making feeble subject matter work on the big screen.
Anyway, if Jack really is a 'flop' (it seems to be performing strongly as it enters its fourth week at my local cinema) I urge you to rush and see it on the big screen, while you can.
(Image credits: Ewan with his crossbow is from Fantasy Film Scoop. Nicholas Hoult climbing is from Never Ending Radical Dude. Eleanor Tomlinson looking fetching in her armour is from Imp Awards. And the stone faced drain is from The Coventry Telegraph. No, honestly.)