Latest Film Reviews
One frequent criticism of certain screenwriters is to point out that their characters all sound the same. To some, this phenomenon is a terrible sin; to others, it's simply a matter of style. Though...
Body of War (2008)
Filmmaker Ellen Spiro and legendary TV journalist Phil Donahue join forces for Body of War, a portrait of wounded veteran and antiwar activist Tomas Young. One thread of the narrative follows Young's...
Friday Night Lights—The Second Season (2007)
A blend of penetrating psychodrama and gripping incident seasoned with lighthearted humor.
Cheers—The Ninth Season (2008)
Time continues to be good to Cheers, the enduringly funny sitcom with a talent for psychological head games and nasty repartee. As dire as the character's frustrations could get, Cheers always mainta...
With an average age of 80, the Young@Heart chorus stays terrifically active. Under the direction of tenacious Bob Cilman, the two dozen singers tackle challenging songs that are mostly rock and punk....
88 Minutes (2008)
Another lamebrained variation on the noir standard D.O.A., 88 Minutes propels itself through a requisite excess of plot to keep viewers guessing from whence the stench of herring comes and, as they s...
The Visitor (2008)
Character actor Richard Jenkins finally steps to center stage in The Visitor, Tom McCarthy's follow-up to indie darling The Station Agent. While not lacking in comic observation, the new film has a t...
My Blueberry Nights (2008)
Master of moody romance Wong Kar-Wai--the auteur behind In the Mood for Love--stumbles a bit with his first English-language picture, My Blueberry Nights. The usual components remain: pop music, slo-...
The Forbidden Kingdom (2008)
The long-anticipated pairing of martial-arts stars Jackie Chan and Jet Li arrives under great scrutiny. On the one hand are the great expectations; on the other is healthy skepticism that Stuart Litt...
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
The Judd Apatow juggernaut rolls on with Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which Apatow produces for writer-star Jason Segel. Like his onetime Freaks and Geeks co-star Seth Rogen, Segel is an unlikely star...
Never Forever (2008)
Writer-director Gina Kim helms this corker about the delicacy of marital infertility and sympathetic infidelity. Vera Farmiga (The Departed) plays Sophie, a Caucasian housewife married into a Korean-...
With Leatherheads, director-producer-star George Clooney clearly has in mind a "Golden Age of Movies" pastiche like The Hudsucker Proxy, made by his Oscar-winning buddies the Coen Brothers. But lacki...
Irina Palm (2008)
For something completely different (though also written and directed by men), there's Irina Palm, which casts Marianne Faithfull as a self-described "frump" who dresses like a housecleaner but discov...
Three women don head scarves and sunglasses, get in a convertible, and go on a road trip past big rigs and picturesque canyons. It may sound like Thelma and Louise from someone who can't count, but i...
The Bette Davis Collection (2008)
Bette Davis was the grande dame Hollywood diva to end them all: physically striking, hugely talented, imperious, and mercurial.
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1989)
Like its hero, extraordinary in every way.
Snow Angels (2008)
David Gordon Green helms Snow Angels, an upscale indie starring Sam Rockwell as a fractured soul trying to piece his life back together. Rockwell hounds his wife (Kate Beckinsale), who has dumped but...
Shotgun Stories (2008)
Don't do a double take if Jeff Nichols' Shotgun Stories puts you in mind of David Gordon Green. Green is a producer on the project, and DP Adam Stone helped to shoot three of Green's films. Writer-di...
The Water Horse (a.k.a. The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep) (2007)
Pleasingly evokes the days when Roddy McDowall frolicked with Flicka and Lassie, [but] it must be said that a CGI pet is not quite so easy to love as a flesh-and-blood performer, animal or human.
The standard-issue "indie bromance" Backseat develops a nice rapport between its leads, but feels more like four strung-together episodes a 1990s sitcom than a compelling reason for a film. Writer Jo...
The Grand (2008)
An improvisational poker-championship comedy in the vein of Christopher Guest's Best in Show sounds like a better idea than it is, but screenwriter Zak Penn (the X-Men films) does solid work in his s...
Bab'Aziz: The Prince Who Contemplated His Soul (2008)
Looking for something completely different? Why not try Bab'Aziz: The Prince Who Contemplated His Soul, a lyrical set of interconnected, spiritual-minded fables? Filmed in Tunisia and Iran, the story...
In previews and TV ads, Touchstone Pictures proudly touts Hidalgo as "Based on a True Story," and sure enough, up comes the inscription "Based on the Life of Frank T. Hopkins" at the beginning of the...
John, Paul, Tom & Ringo: The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder (2008)
Avuncular in the manner of an eccentric uncle, Snyder was a comfortingly familiar and warm TV personality--modern but never post-modern.
The Family Stone (2005)
[A] pleasingly off-kilter domestic comedy.
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
A bona fide landmark in American film,
Bonnie and Clyde
stands the test of time the same way its protagonists did: by breaking all the rules.
I Am Legend (2007)
Downright hokey...a billboard for a Batman-Superman team-up movie...will elicit more gasps from the fanboys than anything else.
An enthralling bauble of many facets: part feminist thriller, part "howdunnit" mystery, and all good old-fashioned story.
The film teeters on the balance until arriving at its genuinely moving and depressingly honest final act.
Run Fatboy Run (2008)
This brand of unfailing comic timing and expressive physicality is rare, and it's why Pegg, in particular, is a star.
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007)
That the picture walks and sometimes crosses the line into the products it parodies is a measure of its zealous thoroughness and also its central pitfall.
Charlie Bartlett (2008)
Honors the neuroses of high school while also holding out the hope every teen needs...
Ripe for reappraisal...the storytelling integrity and thoughtful themes of a good novel.
Man From Plains (a.k.a. Jimmy Carter: Man From Plains) (2008)
While there's little doubt that
Man From Plains
amounts to hagiography on Demme's part, it's also surprisingly gripping viewing for over two hours.
The Hammer (2008)
Adam Carolla fans will feel they've died and gone to heaven...Unfortunately it all adds up to something more like a viral video than a full-fledged film.
10,000 BC (2008)
Our favorite Teutonic huckster presumes that prehistory means that anything narrative goes: hey, who can prove him wrong?
Under the Same Moon (La misma luna) (2008)
Tries so hard to put a human face on the immigration issue that it ends up feeling as genuine as a plastic Halloween mask.
Planet B-Boy (2008)
An independent generation's struggle to be understood by parents, the ravenous hunger to be affirmed as a champion, and the phenomenal creativity, skill, and athleticism of breaking.
Ne touchez pas la hache (a.k.a. The Duchess of Langeais) (2008)
Director Jacques Rivette, a contemporary of famous New Wave filmmakers Truffaut and Godard, turned 80 this month, and he celebrates with a new film in theaters. The Duchess of Langeais, adapted from...
The gay romantic drama Shelter is rather ordinary (if a gay romantic drama can be called ordinary in today's political climate), especially in its filmic technique. But quietly and cumulatively, it s...
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