News Article

Reel Lit

Should you head to the multiplex or just hit the books? We give our take on ''The Black Dahlia,'' ''All the King's Men,'' and ''The Last King of Scotland''

Should you head to the multiplex or just hit the books?

ALL THE KING'S MEN
Robert Penn Warren Auteur Steven Zaillian not only reduces the boyhood pals of narrator Jack Burden (Jude Law) to virtual cameos but skimps on the backstory of idealist-run-amok Willie Stark (Sean Penn).
Last Word
Warren's trenchant novel outclasses the uneven movie.

THE BLACK DAHLIA
James Ellroy Screenwriter Josh Friedman concocts his own ending for the noirist's inspired-by-real-life tale of two detectives (Aaron Eckhart, Josh Hartnett) investigating an aspiring actress' grisly death.
Last Word
Ellroy's gritty, hard-boiled book is truer — and more twisted.

THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND
Giles Foden James McAvoy's doctor is given a snittier, more complex personality — and the plot points of multiple characters — in this version of a novel about Ugandan dictator Idi Amin.
Last Word
Forest Whitaker's bravura performance better captures the mercurial leader.

Originally posted Sep 29, 2006 Published in issue #900 Oct 06, 2006 Order article reprints