Latest Film Reviews
Justified: The Complete Second Season (2011)
remains one of the most satisfying hours on television, creating a illusion of the social margins of Southern life that's convincing enough that we want to believe in it.
The Guard (2011)
The film's self-conscious gestures in the direction of fish-out-of-water comedies, buddy-cop movies and Westerns don't amount to much in and of themselves, but they tie together as a functional clothesline for character comedy and left-field drama.
The Rocketeer (1991)
A charmer in its gee-whiz, irony-light resuscitation of the movie serials of the '30s.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
Whether coolly dispatching a fly or eating a Wimpy burger with knife and fork, Oldman carefully makes every gesture part of his quiet revelation of character.
Dolphin Tale (2011)
In the hands of actor-turned-director Charles Martin Smith, this kid-centric drama provides a welcome family option with positive values and a minimum of frantic, noisy CGI. It's a tale told on a human (and animal) scale.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
Fincher is perfectly suited to the material, with its voluminous clues to be organized and parsed, its emotional austerity, and its serial murder, rape, and sundry sick plot twists.
Young Adult (2011)
What ultimately makes
worth the trip is Theron’s uncompromising performance, which dares to make Mavis unlikeable and, in the process, earns our pity and, more disturbingly, our identification.
West Side Story (1961)
A landmark screen musical that left its own indelible stamp on popular culture.
New Year's Eve (2011)
I tell ya, I haven't heard this much talk about ball-dropping since the junior high locker room.
The Help (2011)
accepted more of Davis’ help, we might have a work of art on our hands instead of another condescending, half-baked history lesson.
The Artist (2011)
Though this pastiche has been crafted by film nerds and largely for them, Michel Hazanavicius' feature has an emotional generosity that speaks louder than words.
The Descendants (2011)
If you see
, see it for Clooney (and Woodley), but don’t believe the hype that it’s one for the ages.
The Muppets (2011)
Muppet News Flash! Your friends in felt are back on the big screen, ready and waiting to charm a new generation of…moppets.
Our Idiot Brother (2011)
Little Miss Sunshine
-y...a sunny sitcom of family dysfunction...
Sarah's Key (2011)
Strong work from Mayance and Thomas keeps
from rusting amid the sometime soddenness of the script.
Three Colors Trilogy (2012)
Unsparing character studies, using the specific to illuminate the universal.
Into the Abyss (2011)
The interviews that make up the balance of the film yield plenty of oddities of modern American life.
Blue Velvet (1986)
Works brilliantly as an allegory of American repression and willful illusion of order, Lumberton's forced-smile '50s sensibility unable to keep down the anarchic, raging id that is humanity's primal drive.
Winnie the Pooh (2011)
A back-to-basics charmer evoking the Pooh short films from the '60s and '70s.
When they're not risking their lives with exciting spy maneuvers, Blaster works out to Lady Gaga and Juarez updates her Facebook page. Okay, so maybe
is just a tad self-consciously 'hip.'
Are your kids ready for an existential movie? Turns out they are: Disney's CGI-animated action comedy
is, at its core, a story of one individual's discovery that his sense of reality...has been seriously skewed.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 (2011)
Thematically, like any good myth, the Harry Potter story comes full circle, with a heroic homecoming and the promise of more adventures, if only in our imaginations.
The director's emotional sadism and laughable bluntness in his symbolic approach leave us in the cold, to pick through the art-auction catalog of Manuel Alberto Claro's cinematography and contemplate Dunst's award-winning suffering.
Tower Heist (2011)
Has the perfect 'generic brand' title to match its Teflon blandness.
Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)
At least, though the insights here aren't as plentiful as Durkin seems to think, Olsen's fine work as the off-balance, paranoid anti-hero helps to create that illusion.
Cars 2 (2011)
Director John Lasseter pushes the credo 'Story is king,' but the sequel to the 2006 hit
unwittingly abdicates the throne.
Toy Story 3 (2010)
A story with timeless, universal themes: family, coming of age (and leaving behind childish things), and the inevitable time when, past our prime, we will all face potential social obsolence.
Toy Story 2 (1999)
'You can't rush art.' Pixar's bliss in art and play is part and parcel of both the creation and the meaning of
Toy Story 2
, a celebration of the pure joy of doing.
Toy Story (1995)
Introduced not one but two indelible characters to the pop culture pantheon: cowboy rag-doll Woody (Tom Hanks) and plastic space ranger Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen).
From the man who brought you
...a loud and ludicrous historical rewrite about the supposed hidden authorship of Shakespeare's plays.
The Lion King (2011)
It's not hard to understand why
The Lion King
's good-vs.-evil adventure and high-spirited comic passages haven't lost their appeal.
The Tree of Life (2011)
[Malick] wants to see so much: people and through people to their souls, the world and through the world to the ineffable, life and death and through them to their meaning. And...he wants to help us to see it all too.
Margin Call (2011)
Chandor’s social critique may or may not stand the test of time, but as all eyes turn to the 'Occupy' movement,
is entirely right for this moment.
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
As far as 'Classic Disney,'
Beauty and the Beast
pretty much has it all. Y'know, for kids (of all ages).
Jackie Brown (1997)
Succeeds as a witty Elmore Leonard crime story...but also as a surprisingly affecting mid-life romance.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
A balls-out postmodern comedy
. It's a Royale with Cheese.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
The problem with attempting to replicate the 'magic,' such as it was, of
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
is you get something very close to a replica, minus the novelty.
Green Lantern (2011)
On brightest screen, in threest-D,
It's the latest franchisee.
This superhero's super-slight;
Beware two hours...
Space Jam (1996)
If you weren't a kid when you first saw
, you're a lot less likely to find it palatable.
Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985)
A purely creative movie that one must admit has no equal in cinema history (for better or worse).
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