‘The Aviator’: Howard Hughes

Premise: Martin Scorsese’s look at legendary flyboy Howard Hughes in his early years, when he dominated Hollywood, ruled the skies and wasn’t afraid to touch a doorknob with his bare hand.

Strength: Scope and nostalgia. The film spans two decades and pays homage to Hollywood’s heyday and stars. The movie also has picked up late momentum by grabbing a raft of awards and nominations, including Golden Globe wins for Leonardo DiCaprio and for best drama.

Weakness: Lacks full picture. Even Scorsese concedes that it is an incomplete look at the controversial maverick, who was tied to Watergate and numerous financial scandals, a drug-addled recluse, in 1976. “I initially wasn’t going to do the film because his life is so big,” Scorsese says. The movie also fudges facts and embellishes Hughes’ relationships, particularly with Katharine Hepburn (Cate Blanchett).