starring Jim Carrey, Martin Landau, Laurie Holden, Allen Garfield
screenplay by Michael Sloane
directed by Frank Darabont
by Walter Chaw The Majestic begins promisingly enough; I wondered for a while if it was riffing on the short story "Mars is Heaven" (from Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles), wherein Martians recreate a bucolic midsummer's evening in Springfield for visiting astronauts, only to murder the terrestrial interlopers in their blissful sleep. I actually held out hope that the Rockwellian Lawson, CA of The Majestic was going to be like that for amnesiac screenwriter Peter Appleton (Jim Carrey), who washes ashore there after a whimsical bridge accident. If only The Majestic were some kind of Truman Show/"Twilight Zone" construct along these lines, but no such luck: Frank Darabont's latest film, a creepily painstaking reproduction of Frank Capra's Americana and Capra's wide-eyed vision of American justice, betrays not a hint of invention. The Majestic is a manipulation so fearful of controversy that it inadvertently forgives both the film industry it apparently mocks and the witch hunters it seeks to excoriate.