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Movie Night: Don Cheadle-A-Thon

Reign Over Me opens tomorrow starring one of my all-time favorite actors: Don Cheadle. In honor of his newest release, I'm making the theme of this week's Movie Night "movies I like that star Don Cheadle." This is not a comprehensive list of Cheadle accomplishments — please also see Boogie Nights and Traffic — just some of my personal favorites. So watch these movies and go see Reign Over Me this weekend. The Cheadle is worth it.


Hotel Rwanda
I had trouble motivating myself to watch this movie, just because I knew it was going to be so bleak, but I'm so glad I did. Nominated for 3 Academy Awards in 2004, Hotel Rwanda explores the Tutsi-Hutu conflict through the story of one man who decides to house hundreds of refugees in his hotel. Though physically Cheadle looks pretty much like he usually does, the actor nearly disappears into the role with earnestness and grace. Plus, like so many well-made historical dramas, the movie will make you feel smarter for having seen it.

For more great Cheadle cinema,

Ocean's Eleven
This remake of the 1960 film starring Frank Sinatra proves that not all remakes are terrible. In many ways, it's more thrilling to see a casino heist set in the present day when security measures are so much tighter. Slick ex-con Danny Ocean puts together a team of experts to help him swindle three top casinos out of $150 million. If successful, the participants will split the bounty. Cheadle is the saucy British munitions specialist played with such hard commitment you start to wonder if you're supposed to be laughing at him, which only makes it more hilarious.

Crash
There were some conflicting opinions about whether or not Crash should have won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2006, but I was one of the movie's supporters. Taking place in Los Angeles, the film follows several vastly different people, ultimately examining how connected we all are but how issues such as racism continue to drive us apart — particularly in a post-9/11 society. Don Cheadle plays police detective Graham, whose weariness will squeeze your heart until it pops.

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