Slumdog Millionaire: 9 out of 10.
Because my team won the company softball tournament last summer, I won two free passes to a movie at any Empire Theatre location. The thing is, there really is no Empire Theatre near my home, but when I saw Slumdog Millionaire was playing at the Square One location, I knew a little trip west was in order.
This film received some wicked free marketing back in September when it debuted at our film festival. As I wrote back then, Roger Ebert, who can't speak after battling thyroid and salivary gland cancer, tapped New York Post film critic Lou Lumenick on the shoulder asking him to move over so he could see the screen. Without knowing it was Ebert doing the tapping, Lumenick turned around and whacked Ebert on the head with a big festival binder.
Ebert and I agree that Jamal Malik's story of suspense is full of energy, a compelling story and a great soundtrack. The scenes of "the real India" are eye opening and difficult to watch, but it all adds to Jamal's personal triumph. I loved Slumdog Millionaire.