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A Deep Cut
Thornton's haunting, droll Sling Blade draws rich blood
, February 20, 1997
Billy Bob Thornton's richly observed Sling Blade opens with a prologue that can only be described as its own small film, a laconically eerie... More>>
Life and Darth
, February 20, 1997
Irvin Kershner's The Empire Strikes Back, the continuation of George Lucas's Star Wars, is a classic in its own right, one I vastly prefer to the... More>>
Where Angels Fear to Tread
Matthew Perry goes from a small-screen friend to a big-screen fool
, February 13, 1997
You'd think that after more than a decade in this business, I'd have learned one simple, sanity-preserving rule: January and February are good... More>>
Brothers in Chains
The Russian Prisoner has an air of bittersweet timelessness
, February 13, 1997
Although Russian director Sergei Bodrov has made half a dozen features and won a fistful of awards since the mid-'80s, he is virtually unknown in... More>>
Power Outage
Eastwood crawls over the hill and into the sunset
, February 13, 1997
In Absolute Power, Clint Eastwood plays Luther Whitney, a master thief who burgles on little cat feet. He's as stealthy as the Pink Panther... More>>
The Man Behind Andy
, February 06, 1997
Dallas filmmaker Spencer Williams was revered as an idol and a groundbreaker by the black community that flocked to his movies, and rightly so.... More>>
Little Orphan Commie
Kolya is sweet, charming -- and shameless
, February 06, 1997
Kolya is being talked up as the odds-on favorite to cop this year's Oscar for best foreign-language film. It just might win. It's cuddly and... More>>
Dead Man Acting
Hollywood never realized that Tupac Shakur was always better than his movies
, February 06, 1997
While Tupac Shakur lay bleeding to death inside Suge Knight's car last fall after an attack on the Las Vegas strip -- all his crack bodyguards... More>>
Days in the Park
, January 30, 1997
Playwright Herb Gardner managed to immortalize retirement-age concerns on the American stage with his 1986 Tony Award-winning I'm Not Rappaport,... More>>
Time and Crime
In Les Voleurs, neither is simple
, January 30, 1997
The narrative of Andre Techine's Les Voleurs (Thieves) opens shortly after the story's climax. A gangster's corpse is brought to his isolated... More>>
Mothers Against Deliberate Dying
Some Mother's Son shows an uprising's confusion
, January 30, 1997
Terry George, the director and co-writer (with Jim Sheridan) of Some Mother's Son, has more complicated feelings about Northern Ireland than he... More>>
Animal Crackers
, January 23, 1997
You can bet that at one point or another, some executive wanted the title to this long-awaited nonsequel to A Fish Called Wanda to be A Lemur... More>>
As He Likes It
Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet may be complete, but something's still a little rotten
, January 23, 1997
Hamlet (Kenneth Branagh) is Prince of Denmark. After his father (Richard Briers) dies, his uncle Claudius (Derek Jacobi) takes the throne and... More>>
Oedipus Wrecks
Albert Brooks keeps asking, "Mother, may I?" The answer's a resounding... maybe.
, January 23, 1997
In Mother, Albert Brooks plays John Henderson, a science-fiction novelist recently divorced from his second wife who decides he can't risk... More>>
Cold-Blooded Sacrifice
, January 16, 1997
Okay, metaphor buffs: An Albino Alligator, we're informed in the movie of that name, is what the other alligators in a group send out as a... More>>
Manhattan Melodies
In Woody's world, everyone erupts into show tunes
, January 16, 1997
World governments may topple, stock markets may soar and crash, deadly viruses may mantle the globe, but one constant remains: Woody Allen still... More>>
Porn Again
Larry Flynt the movie does something Larry Flynt the man wouldn't: It fails to go all the way
, January 09, 1997
Milos Forman's The People vs. Larry Flynt is a rags-to-riches success story with a twist: The recipient of the American Dream is a pornographer... More>>
Death Becomes Her
, January 09, 1997
Marvin's Room, starring Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep as sisters who reunite uneasily for the first time in 20 years, is one of those movies... More>>
Jackie Can
First Strike packs a stronger punch than most recent Chan films
, January 09, 1997
New Line's release of Jackie Chan's First Strike is salvo number three in Chan's invasion of America. (Salvo number four, Miramax's version of... More>>
Peron to Excess
, January 02, 1997
A famous movie composer once told me a joke: Two songwriters are sitting around, and one of them says to the other, "I just saw the most amazing... More>>
Lost Keys
Shine strikes a few false notes in its delicate tale of salvation
, January 02, 1997
When we first see middle-aged Australian David Helfgott (Geoffrey Rush) in Shine, he's standing in the driving rain and tapping at the window of... More>>
Black & White, By the Numbers
, January 02, 1997
Lots of hearts are in the right place in Rob Reiner's Ghosts of Mississippi, but none are beating. Scripted by Lewis Colick and based on the true... More>>
Star Turn
Shirley MacLaine shines -- but she's the only bright spot in Terms of Endearment's sequel
, December 26, 1996
Hollywood routinely creates movies whose sole reason for existence is to provide a beloved celebrity a scenery-chewing star turn; occasionally,... More>>
The Lady Vanishes
Jane Campion's adaptation of Henry James gets everything wrong
, December 26, 1996
When an incredulous Jane Campion fan asked what I hated about her version of Henry James's The Portrait of a Lady, I immediately responded,... More>>
Doesn't Suck
Beavis and Butt-head get off the couch and onto the big screen
, December 19, 1996
For years, smarm mongers have urged us to get in touch with our inner child, a delightful little creature who would greatly improve our outlook... More>>
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