Latest Film Reviews
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
If it was a sign of the times for Indiana Jones to take on more of a comic-book aspect, the film's accomodation of darker themes and explicit imagery came as something of a shock to many.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
The postmodern heir to
North By Northwest...
like any deathless classic,
is a perfect marriage of star and material.
A Raisin in the Sun (2008)
A quintessentially American play, revisited...this one has towering performances from Rashad and McDonald.
El Orfanato (The Orphanage) (2007)
A series of serviceable creep-outs and jolts...the pretzel-shaped resolution feels like too little too late.
Dou fo sin (Flash Point) (2008)
Martial arts junkies won't want to miss Flash Point, a sequel to director Wilson Yip and star and action director Donnie Yen's S.P.L. (a.k.a. Sha Po Lang or, for us Americans, Kill Zone). With its em...
The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964)
Ask anyone who knows about The Fall of the Roman Empire, and their response is sure to include the word "sumptuous." From back in the day when epic meant upwards of 10,000 extras, gargantuan sets, an...
Mio fratello è figlio unico (My Brother Is an Only Child) (2008)
The Italian dramedy My Brother Is an Only Child traces a boy's journey from a crumbling family home to something like the opposite. Beginning in 1962 with an adolescent passage in the 400 Blows vein,...
First Knight (1995)
First Knight—a brave attempt at a fresh cinematic angle on Arthurian legend—has a few interesting ideas, but is ultimately brought down by a squishy script, a director (Jerry Zucker) lack...
A Passage to India (1984)
After a fourteen year absence from the silver screen, David Lean vigorously attacked the challenge of adapting E.M. Forster's novel A Passage to India. What would be Lean's final film has much to rec...
The Savages (2007)
Tamara Jenkins' dark comedy The Savages applies bracing wit to the problem of immature adults forced to grow up and take on roles of parental responsibility for rapidly infantilized parents. It's no...
The script includes a verbal motif that reminds us of what binds the film's four central talents together: 'I want to show you something.'
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007)
"The world is an evil place," or so says a compromised diamond dealer in the crime melodrama Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. "Some of us make money off of that, and others get destroyed." Dark bu...
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.
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