Curiously vacant characters and curiously pulse-less whimsy...lumbers, middlebrow and tiresome, when it should be daytripping the light fantastic...
Zvyagintsev literally and allegorically depicts modern Russia's runaway corruption but also captures universal fears about the shaky ground on which we construct our lives.
Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)
Though the thrill of invention is gone, there's enough comic fertility and accumulated goodwill to sustain
Pitch Perfect 2
through to its splashy and socially optimistic finale...
Masters of Sex: Season Two (2013)
Showrunner Michelle Ashford has played slow and loose with the facts, but in ways that achieve thematic resonance in a speculative, provocative dialogue with history.
Clouds of Sils Maria (2015)
Assayas implies that what transpires between the characters of
Clouds of Sils Maria
, between artists and art, and between art and audiences contains its own beautiful mystery that's nourishing, maddening, and essential.
Mr. Turner (2014)
Revives an era in astonishing, delicate detail, then moves through the space with a documentarian's eye. Leigh takes Turner out of art history and puts him back in the world.
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Pure, uncut comic-book fantasy...Whedon tames the beast into something spectacularly epic, if a bit exhausting: bursting with destructive mayhem but grounded by interesting character beats, rife with dark implications but seasoned with good humor.
The Grief of Others (2015)
While the subject matter...amounts to standard fare, audiences can all the more appreciate the thoughtful rigor applied by a team of artists working from page to screen.
The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death (2015)
Has a smattering of effective moments and a creepy cinematographic look to it, but the sequel's redundancy to its predecessor and pulseless feints at tapping into human emotion leech the suspense out of the picture.
True Story (2015)
Does a lot of its work with its tongue-in-cheek title, a meta commentary on the not-so-broad spectrum of liar, actor, fiction writer, filmmaker and journalist.
Monkey Kingdom (2015)
Assess to what extent we're witnessing man-ufactured monkey life...[or] just pay no attention to the men and women behind the curtain and simply enjoy the underwater photography of monkeys swimming.
Big Eyes (2014)
Burton pokes fun at Keane's art, but he kids because he loves, and
productively asks the question of whether the paintings are art or kitsch (probable answer: both).
While We're Young (2015)
The obvious shots at hipster scenes...eventually sour into a complex critique of modern ambition in a changing cultural landscape.
The Longest Ride (2015)
A Nicholas Sparks movie is like cinematic Jello. It sells well, the number one ingredient is sugar, and there's always room for it.
Woman in Gold (2015)
Corny, commercial, predictably platitudinous, and tear-jerkingly weepy...also an inevitably thought-provoking dramatization of facing the "ghosts" of the past on an individual level and a national one.
A satisfying excursion, a secular but spiritual journey of self-discovery.
Winds up sawing logs...instead of locating hard truths of the human condition,
lumbers through the motions.
Another conspicuously packaged product seemingly designed to wear down an audience more than entertain it. While wee ones won't notice, they probably won't remember
by the time the car ride gets them back to the real thing.
Wild Tales (2015)
Like Tarantino's films, Wild Tales will rub some the wrong way by taking glee in the violence that comes from our worst selves, but the catharses have a positive social function...there's no doubt Szifron intends cautionary
Lean, mean...Director Yann Demange and screenwriter Gregory Burke (the prominent Scottish playwright of
) twist the knife by serving Gary with constant reminders of boyish innocence corrupted...
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It's a prison movie when you think about it....you know, his being watched, infantilized. And yeah we're talking about this specific period of his life and his career where it's a dialectic between work and life, and enjoyment and freedom...
Jason Schwartzman & Bob Byington—
7 Chinese Brothers
[Schwartman:] This kind of guy is in a fog type of alcoholism...you can have a period in your life...where you look back and you go 'Gosh. I was in a stasis then. I didn't do anything.' There's no movement. And I think Larry's in that zone.
The Age of Adaline
Game of Thrones
There's parts of me that can be very confident...I guess in real life I don't really dare to do that, yeah, because I don't think it's smart to do, and I'm not confident enough. But to do it in a role, it's fantastic.
Queen and Country
Hope and Glory
From its very origins, particularly when it was black-and-white filmed, film was so closely connected to dreaming. And it's probably why people connected to it so readily...
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Along comes the maid at the end, in the sleepwalking scene. And to my amazement, she’s wearing Arthur Dent’s dressing gown. Not any more, I hasten to say, because it was too big for her.
Raphael Bob-Waksberg & Lisa Hanawalt—
Staying with some friends in this big house in the Hollywood hills...I just remember looking out over the deck of this house and seeing the city below and feeling like 'Oh, I’m on top of the world. And I’ve never been more lonely or isolated.'
Love Is Strange
It’s a pretty classic kind of set-up for the love story genre because it’s two people who are in love who have to face an obstacle together. And what we reveal in the story is the depth of their love, through how they do that.
Malcolm is a totally different kind of role than I've ever played. He's a listener. And that's a really powerful thing to be able to do...Hank Jennings was a duplicitous guy...
At the end of the shoot, I would talk to the actors, like 'Okay, next year, here's what's coming.' And then I had the year to think about it, and so did they.
And So It Goes
The Case Against 8
—6/19 & 6/20/2014
I enjoy the creative process. I love the writing part of it, the editing—one of my favorites. But I also like the production process. It’s just fun to do. That’s what I’ve discovered, you know, as I’ve gotten older.
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