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Martin Starr Is Grand in American-Iraqi Rom-Com Amira & Sam. Amira & Sam
Implausible? Sure, but it'll leave you misty-eyed.
, January 29, 2015
Look, if it's going to have any chance of stirring in us that warm, giddy, life-saving thrill of love actually working out, a romantic comedy... More>>
Black or White Wants You to Root for a Young Black Man to Be a Stereotype Black or White
Kevin Costner's fine, but the script makes its black characters cartoons.
, January 29, 2015
There are few hard-and-fast rules in screenwriting, but here's one I think we can agree on: Something's gone wrong if your crowd-pleasing family... More>>
A Strong Star Can’t Keep Sub Flick Black Sea From Sinking Black Sea
A script that keeps its stars from coming up for air.
, January 29, 2015
Jude Law, once so shiny-penny-clean and pretty — and with the kind of chin dimple that might have inspired Audrey Hepburn to ask, as she... More>>
If You've Ever Loved a Terrible Person, Mr. Turner Is a Movie for You Mr. Turner
Timothy Spall unearths the man beneath Mr. Turner’s gruffness.
, January 29, 2015
If you've ever loved a terrible person, Mike Leigh's quietly sensational Mr. Turner — a biopic, of sorts, covering the last 25 years of the... More>>
Boy Meets Girl Meets Pistol in Overfamiliar Son of a Gun Son of a Gun
The film's trajectory is as predictable as a bullet's.
, January 22, 2015
It's been 50 years since Jean-Luc Godard said that all a film needs is a girl and a gun. Bet he wishes he could take that back. In the last... More>>
Jennifer Lopez's The Boy Next Door Is as Nuts as You Hope It Is The Boy Next Door
A movie built for dumb, sexed-up pleasure.
, January 22, 2015
The most pleasurably ludicrous highlight of The Boy Next Door comes half an hour in, before the sex and murders and... More>>
Jennifer Aniston Grieves, but Cake's Script Lets Her Down Cake
Aniston can act, but this script gives her nothing to do.
, January 22, 2015
Each year, screenwriters kill off enough offscreen children to fill a Chuck E. Cheese's. A dead son or daughter gives a movie the illusion of... More>>
If Mortdecai Had a Time Machine, It Could Be 1965's Top Comedy If Mortdecai Had a Time Machine, It Could Be 1965's Top Comedy
, January 22, 2015
Mortdecai is creeping into theaters with the flushed shame of a debutante who expects to be pelted with tomatoes. It's a pity. In 1965, Mortdecai... More>>
A Year to Forget A Year to Forget
A Most Violent Year never quite summons rough old New York.
, January 22, 2015
The world needs fewer tasteful movies about distasteful things. It definitely doesn't need J.C. Chandor's A Most Violent Year, in which Oscar... More>>
American Sniper Is a Rah Rah Rah War-on-Terror Fantasy American Sniper
Eastwood crosses his fingers and hopes the film says enough.
, January 15, 2015
In Clint Eastwood's American Sniper, Navy SEAL Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) — an astoundingly talented marksman credited with more than 160... More>>
Blackhat Is Another Exercise in Style but Not Much Else Blackhat
This elaborate, purposeful movie never quite connects.
, January 15, 2015
Anyone who loves Michael Mann movies, or even just the idea of Michael Mann movies, accepts that film style is a language and something more, a... More>>
Paddington Gives CGI Kid Movies a Good Name Paddington
Here's a kids' movie mostly stripped of manufactured, go-nowhere plot crises.
, January 15, 2015
Emerson argued that each flourish and tendril of a work of art has its exact corollary in the mind of the artist, that creative expression is... More>>
Time-Travel Puzzle Predestination Should Try Again From the Start Predestination
The Spierig Brothers have the frame of something wonderful, if only they had kept it simple.
, January 15, 2015
Without dropping spoilers right and left, how do I explain that I'm completely baffled by the Spierig Brothers' retro-futuristic thriller... More>>
Kevin Hart Proves He’s Hollywood’s Best Comedy Star in the Crass Wedding Ringer Kevin Hart Proves He’s Hollywood’s Best Comedy Star in the Crass Wedding Ringer
, January 15, 2015
Here's the pipsqueak who has hauled himself up into a sharp-dressed leading man. Here's the comic who's boundlessly inventive in his swearing but... More>>
Ava DuVernay’s Urgent Selma Speaks to the Now Selma
The right movie for the moment.
, January 08, 2015
Describing Ava DuVernay's quietly remarkable Selma to a friend, I caught myself referring to the Civil Rights Era as a historical event, a... More>>
Paul Thomas Anderson Reclaims His Loose, Wiggy Side in Inherent Vice Inherent Vice
Film is woolly-brained adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's West Coast detective novel.
, January 08, 2015
Paul Thomas Anderson was making serious movies long before he started making "serious" movies, ponderous works of certified art like There Will... More>>
Best Thing in Taken 3: The Way Liam Neeson Says 'Bagels' Best Thing in Taken 3: The Way Liam Neeson Says 'Bagels'
Third installment is dumb, head-smacking fun -- except during the fights
, January 08, 2015
All you need to know about Taken 3 is that Liam Neeson survives an explosive car crash — twice. Director Olivier Megaton even rewinds the... More>>
Angelina Jolie's Unbroken Is More About Punishment Than Heroism Unbroken
Jolie is fixated on gore rather than grace.
, January 01, 2015
There's something curiously airless about director Angelina Jolie's Unbroken, the story of real-life Olympian and WWII P.O.W. Louis Zamperini.... More>>
Tim Burton's Big Eyes Is About an Artist as Middlebrow as He Is Big Eyes
Film is not great, but good enough.
, January 01, 2015
The waifs Walter Keane made famous were known for their huge peepers. But look down at their mouths: Every one kept its lips pressed tight, as... More>>
Get Busy Buying Physical Copies of Movies This Season Get Busy Buying Physical Copies of Movies This Season
Don’t Watch That, Watch This: A Film-Lovers Gift Guide
, January 01, 2015
Call it Stone Age materialism, but I still think movies are worth owning in physical forms you can hold, shelve, and collect, and therefore worth... More>>
The Imitation Game: Cumberbatch’s Codebreaker Gets Lost in the Plot The Imitation Game
Alan Turing's life becomes a choppy biopic.
, December 25, 2014
'Politics really isn't my specialty," shrugs Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) to a naval commander (Charles Dance) in an early job interview... More>>
The Gambler Is a Dressed-up Genre Picture -- and a Good One The Gambler
Polished entertainment about a raggedy subject.
, December 25, 2014
In Rupert Wyatt's highball-cool reworking of Karel Reisz's 1974 The Gambler, Mark Wahlberg does not play a cop, does not shoot bad guys with a... More>>
Annie: Quvenzhané Wallis Might Make You Care About “Tomorrow” Today Annie
Annie goes 2014.
, December 18, 2014
The original Broadway Annie was a kiddie musical that wasn't for kids. It was a period piece about the Great Depression — both a hooray for... More>>
He Brought Down the Wrong Empire: Seth Rogen’s The Interview Won’t Show in Theaters The Interview
, December 18, 2014
Editor’s Note: Sony has officially canceled the theatrical release of The Interview following terrorist threats against theaters, and the... More>>
Into the Woods Sometimes Soars — But Also Dithers Into the Woods
The princess-party punch bowl has been forever spiked.
, December 18, 2014
Before worrying ourselves over its qualities as an adaptation or its findings as an experiment in just how much tumpety-tump parump-pa-bump the... More>>
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