Movie Reviews

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Do Not Go Gentle
The Winter Guest deserves a warm reception
, January 22, 1998
It seems contradictory to describe a movie as both expansive in scope and personal. But The Winter Guest, the first offering from director Alan... More>>
Dripping with Irony
Hard Rain drowns the myth of small-town virtue
, January 22, 1998
After watching Hard Rain, all but the most intrepid humans and whatever ducks are in the audience will probably feel like changing into dry... More>>
Can't Get Up
If only Fallen were as tightly and shrewdly constructed as its ad
, January 15, 1998
After Santa's overstuffed sack of Oscar qualifiers is disgorged onto New York and Los Angeles screens in December, the studios have little left... More>>
Made in Houston
, January 15, 1998
Three years ago, the Museum of Fine Arts put together "First Look," a showcase of films made by Houstonians. Back by popular demand, the series... More>>
Hello, Dalai
In Kundun, Martin Scorsese meets Tibetan Buddhism
, January 15, 1998
Martin Scorsese's Kundun is a deeply ceremonial experience. It's like watching a serene pageant of colors, rituals, costumes. It's about the... More>>
Flameout
, January 15, 1998
It's always depressing when an action movie presents a plot idea that, though reminiscent of earlier ventures, at least comes off as a new spin... More>>
More Troubles
As The Boxer, Daniel Day-Lewis K.O.'s a weak script
, January 08, 1998
Where would Irish filmmakers these days be without The Troubles? In just the past couple of years we've seen The Crying Game, In the Name of the... More>>
Sins of the Father
In La Promesse, a teenager must face his dad's evil ways
, January 08, 1998
Too frequently, movies that confront pressing social issues turn into morality plays. The protagonists are nothing but victims of the Modern... More>>
The Albanian Candidate
Wag the Dog bares its teeth at the White House
, January 01, 1998
When was the last time the audience applauded a trailer and the movie lived up to it? Independence Day enticed millions with its preview shot of... More>>
1997, by the numbers: Our film critics' "ten best"lists
, January 01, 1998
Peter Rainer 1. Hamsun 2. L.A. Confidential 3. A Self Made Hero 4. La Promesse 5. Grosse Pointe Blank 6. Wag the Dog 7.... More>>
Cuddly or Crude?
As Good As It Gets aims for both. And misses.
, January 01, 1998
The ad line proclaims As Good As It Gets "a comedy from the heart that goes for the throat." Isn't this simply another way of saying, "You'll... More>>
Magic for Adults
The Iranian film Gabbeh weaves an old-fashioned tale
, January 01, 1998
There seems to be an unwritten rule in American cinema that adults don't go for original fairy tales. Fantasy, sci-fi, sure -- but it's a rare... More>>
Dinner and a Movie
, December 25, 1997
You knew it had to happen: When the Tinseltown and AMC 30 movie megaplexes sprang up complete with in-house coffee bars and pizza joints, it... More>>
Post-Pulp
Jackie Brown shows Tarantino looking for direction
, December 25, 1997
If Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown didn't arrive weighted with post-Pulp Fiction expectations, it might be easier to see it for what it is: an... More>>
The Devil and Woody Allen
, December 25, 1997
Woody Allen's Deconstructing Harry is a film made by a free man -- free, certainly, in a good way, and perhaps also in a not-so-good way.... More>>
Paying the Piper
Atom Egoyan asks who's to blame for a tragedy. But he offers no answers.
, December 25, 1997
With 1994's Exotica, Egyptian-born Atom Egoyan clinched his claim to being Canada's leading director. His new film, The Sweet Hereafter, should... More>>
Return to Sender
With The Postman, Kevin Costner fails to deliver
, December 25, 1997
It's been just two years since the Academy nominated the Italian film Il Postino (a.k.a. The Postman) for multiple Oscars, including Best... More>>
Meaning and the Movies
In a new book, film critic David Thomson shows himself at his best -- and worst
, December 18, 1997
It's an old joke, told by people who don't write criticism, that those who do are failed practitioners of the art they critique. With London-born... More>>
007 By the Numbers
Most of Tomorrow Never Dies lacks the wit and inventiveness of the best Bond
, December 18, 1997
Now that the Japanese Tora-san series -- with fiftysome entries in 30 years -- has presumably drawn to a close following the death of star... More>>
Schlock Poetry
Don't come looking for subtlety, but Titanic is a great big, romantic cornball success
, December 18, 1997
If one is in a Biblical frame of mind, the sinking of the White Star Line's R.M.S. Titanic about 400 miles off the southern coast of Newfoundland... More>>
Second Time as Farce
Scream 2 is as good a follow-up as one can imagine, given the difficulties of sequels
, December 11, 1997
Wes Craven's Scream, which opened almost exactly a year ago, was the surprise hit of an overcrowded Christmas season. In part, the success was a... More>>
Civics Lesson
Steven Spielberg's Amistad aims high, but oversimplifies
, December 11, 1997
Steven Spielberg's Amistad is being given the big picture treatment -- Schindler's List big, not Jurassic Park big. Last week's Newsweek featured... More>>
The Manic Professor
This antiquated vehicle becomes a showcase for digital effects
, December 04, 1997
First, The Heiress was unofficially remade as Washington Square, then Ace in the Hole as Mad City, and The Day of the Jackal as The Jackal. But... More>>
Send in the Clones
An artful director brings flair to the Alien franchise
, December 04, 1997
You can't exactly call Alien Resurrection a pleasurable experience, but, then again, you wouldn't say that about its predecessors either.... More>>
The Odyssey
Everything old is New Wave again in Godard's Contempt
, December 04, 1997
It's hard for anyone under, say, 35 to understand the impact that the so-called French New Wave directors in general -- and Jean-Luc Godard, in... More>>
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