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Peking Soap Opera
Red Corner aspires to bravado, but can't avoid bombast
, October 30, 1997
Despite its muckraking pretensions, Red Corner is a rickety throwback to escapist adventures that featured beautiful foreign idealists spouting... More>>
Coded for Success
, October 30, 1997
In Andrew Niccol's Gattaca, the cleverest (if not quite the most convincing) science-fiction movie of the year, the near future is inhabited by... More>>
Too Much Magic
Fairytale is charming, inspiring -- and almost entirely fraudulent
, October 23, 1997
The true-life incident of the Cottingley fairies is so full of possibilities, so thought-provoking and hilarious at once, that it's amazing it's... More>>
Respectable Street
Washington Square is an astute piece of social observation
, October 23, 1997
Jennifer Jason Leigh follows up one of her smallest, and weakest, roles -- in A Thousand Acres -- with a far more challenging, and formidable,... More>>
Cliche-spotting
, October 23, 1997
Stylishness without substance can become wearying fast. Twenty minutes into A Life Less Ordinary, the new movie from the... More>>
Keeping Up With the Kennedys
So they care a lot about Camelot. So what?
, October 16, 1997
It's hard to fault The House of Yes, the wry toast of this year's Sundance Film Festival, for its limitations as a film. In fact, it's hardly a... More>>
Porn Yesterday
The hugely ambitious Boogie Nights revisits the sex-film world of the 1970s
, October 16, 1997
Writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights opens with a sinuous, breathlessly extended tracking shot that swoops us into a San Fernando... More>>
Start Making Sense
Has Wim Wenders lost his mind?
, October 16, 1997
I am sympathetic to the problems of following up a masterpiece like Wings of Desire.... The history of film is filled with mediocre films by... More>>
The Wild Side, Circa 1954
Going All the Way freshens an overworked decade
, October 09, 1997
The seventies were so awash in fifties nostalgia that it's surprising Dan Wakefield's 1970 bestseller Going All the Way is only now turning up in... More>>
Killer
The bracing Licensed to Kill reveals the minds of hate criminals
, October 09, 1997
Despite its title, Licensed to Kill isn't a thriller. Rather, it is a thriller, just not the sort one would expect. Arthur Dong's documentary --... More>>
Deeply Shallow
Seven Years in Tibet reduces spirituality to a fashion statement
, October 09, 1997
Seven Years in Tibet feels more like Seven Days in the Movie Theater. It refuses to come to life -- not even when Brad Pitt, hirsute as a yak,... More>>
Negative Seven
Kiss the Girls is so bad it's scary
, October 09, 1997
By its very definition, a thriller should, you know, thrill. It should not only scare its audience with a quick jolt, that sudden noise in the... More>>
Road to Nowhere
Kicked in the Head reveals the truth about nothing
, October 02, 1997
Kevin Corrigan doesn't act as much as he seems to stumble from scene to scene, like a guy who doesn't follow a script but rather his own internal... More>>
Moorstruck
, October 02, 1997
Janeane Garofalo plows right through her new film, The Matchmaker, with the same disgruntled sarcasm that typifies her testy,... More>>
Fastest Filmmaker in the Fatherland
, October 02, 1997
While in some ways as redolent of his era as disco and free sex, the work of German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder has lasted better; it... More>>
Pulp Without Politics
Can Oliver Stone leave his obsessions behind?
, October 02, 1997
Oliver Stone's low-budget, hopped-up film noir, U-Turn, is being billed as a change of pace for the Conspiracy Dude, but actually it looks quite... More>>
Vive le Vampire
Irma Vep is a French kiss with just enough bite
, September 25, 1997
Critics and audiences outside France have been going on for so long about the decline in French cinema that it's fun to see a French film, Irma... More>>
Police Brutality
The terrific L.A. Confidential captures our worst suspicions of how the world works
, September 25, 1997
The 1950s-era Los Angeles of L.A. Confidential is Noir Central. Its denizens are tattooed in shadow; the play of light and dark in the streets,... More>>
Closet Case
In & Out goes both ways -- funny and funnier
, September 25, 1997
Howard and Emily's marriage is the talk of Greenleaf, Indiana, a small town idyllic enough to repel Norman Rockwell. The town has waited three... More>>
New Studio, Same Old Stuff
DreamWorks's first film is a conventional tale of glam and guns
, September 25, 1997
The Peacemaker is the first feature from DreamWorks, the studio headed by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen. It stars George... More>>
Losing It
All work and no play make this a gloomy Game
, September 11, 1997
The Game is a puzzle picture, and beyond its premise, there isn't much you can divulge without giving the show away. I'm not one of those critics... More>>
Workers of the World, Untie!
, September 11, 1997
This has been a rough year at the movies for British working stiffs, but a great year for feel-good stories of their redemption. In the art... More>>
Reel to Real
Filmmaker and archivist Rick Prelinger protects America's forgotten "home movies"
, September 04, 1997
Somewhere in the meatpacking district in downtown Manhattan, behind a nondescript door in an unremarkable building, about 100,000 reels of film... More>>
Back to School
Once again, here's to you, Mrs. Robinson
, September 04, 1997
Over the last few months, 30 years after its mixture of cheekiness and sappiness created a nationwide box-office sensation, The Graduate has been... More>>
Excess Brattage
, August 28, 1997
Excess Baggage, Alicia Silverstone's first feature from her First Kiss Productions, turns out to be a rather shaggy and uninvolving jaunt. As... More>>
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