Latest Film Reviews
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...
Battlestar Galactica—Season Three (2006)
now off the air,
can make a strong case for being the best show on TV.
For extreme skiers, life on the slopes isn't exactly "live fast, die young," but it's close. Mark Obenhaus' doc about the mortally risky sport of big-mountain skiing will hold most interest for those...
It's telling that Sleepwalking is distributed by Overture Films, "a Starz company," as one can see it speedily arriving at its afterlife on cable and home video. Despite its best of intentions, this...
Never Back Down (2008)
A sort of teenage
, complete with daddy issues,
Never Back Down
is a slight refinement of the sort of picture that was ascendant in the '80s...
Funny Games (2008)
In a way, Michael Haneke's Funny Games is the best-made bad movie you'll ever see, something equivalent to Stanley Kubrick directing Death Wish 6. With painstaking control, Haneke details a horrifyin...
Married Life (2008)
Writer-director Ira Sachs puts marriage under the ultimate strain in Married Life. Infidelity? That's nothing. Try a husband determined to kill his wife because it would be inhumane simply to dump he...
Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who (2008)
Adapting the slim and charmingly quaint stories of Dr. Seuss into feature-length films has always been a dicey proposition, which makes the success of Horton Hears a Who all the sweeter. This loving...
Gone Baby Gone (2007)
The structure and layered storytelling make
Gone Baby Gone
Crimson Tide (1995)
A big, bold Hollywood movie that won't be winning any awards for subtlety but can't be denied its popcorn appeal.
Bobby Deerfield (1977)
A resonant Pacino...though ultimately a misfire, suggests that there are worse things to call a movie than 'a curiosity.'
...And Justice for All (1979)
Pacino at the top of his game...[but] the film's lack of faith in its audience is glaringly apparent.
George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead (2008)
At 67, George A. Romero can still kick upstart film-school horror junkies to the curb with his restless intellect and artful vitality. It sounds like a joke, but it's a compliment: Romero comes up wi...
The Bank Job (2008)
Tunneling underground notwithstanding, a heist movie shouldn't feel this much like drudgery.
Girls Rock! (2008)
An inspiring rebel yell from four girls unwilling to recede into the background as passive sacrifices to the MTV culture.
My Kid Could Paint That (2007)
Abstract art has always had its skeptics, but the documentary My Kid Could Paint That gives new meaning to "artistic inquiry." Following a blithely instinctive painter under investigation by uncon...
In the Valley of Elah (2007)
In and of itself, the story offers rich dramatic material that Haggis exploits well, but the writer-director's unsubtle condescension to his audience represents small thinking.
Fälscher, Die (The Counterfeiters) (2008)
Markovics expertly projects every craven instinct and heartfelt yearning of the complex protagonist, making
an experience as satisfying emotionally as intellectually.
A sort of cinematic comfort food: it's the mac and cheese of the cineplex.
Penelope, a gender swap on the old Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, casts Christina Ricci as an innerly beautiful rich girl literally cursed with a pig snout. Marriage to "one of her own kind" can re...
The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)
The film gets a full 'This is a work of fiction' disclaimer, even noting that any resemblance to any person living or dead is unintentional. That tells you something about how much trust to put in these historical CliffsNotes.
Damages—The Complete First Season (2006)
Series creators Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler and Daniel Zelman put a premium on giving every episode at least one major plot twist...generally a satisfyingly suspenseful ride.
Justice League—The New Frontier (DTV) (2008)
The only real problem with the film is that it isn't long enough...wild story, complex and crammed plot, far-reaching cast of characters, terrific voice work, and sophisticated themes...
Be Kind Rewind (2008)
A kid's movie for adults, a charming notion for a time of postmodern ennui.
The Signal (2008)
The tripartite film The Signal borrows a conceit from J-horror—technology as a portal for evil—and puts it through the American indie horror wringer. The signal in question, sent by someo...
One of this year's five Oscar-nominated foreign films, the Israeli entry Beaufort essays the last days of the 12th Century Beaufort Castle, a mountain stronghold in Southern Lebanon. Once held by the...
Michael Clayton (2007)
A straight-ahead suspense melodrama, complete with villain and a climax with satisfyingly clean lines. But Gilroy constantly elevates the material with surprise gifts.
American Gangster (2007)
Inflated talk of
as a modern masterpiece--or even an Oscar-worthy picture--ignores the fact that there's not a single memorable setpiece in the film.
Goya's Ghosts (2007)
Director Milos Forman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) and screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière (The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie) join forces for Goya's Ghosts, a reckless historical-ficti...
Sie, jie (Lust, Caution) (2007)
Lee provides no such easy comfort, instead keeping audiences constantly off-kilter, purposefully frustrating them with character behavior that's just...wrong.
Eastern Promises (2007)
' unusually ambiguous character study makes for a different kind of crime drama, a striking if not entirely satisfying one.
Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project (TV) (2007)
The dichotomy of Rickles' customary matador-theme entrance and tongue-in-cheek but true theme song "I'm a Nice Guy" captures Rickles' secret of success: you gotta love him.
Paranoid Park (2008)
A study in isolation and, yes, paranoia...The mesmerizingly beautiful images--often in slo-mo--glide to evoke Alex's primary pursuit of skating.
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