Latest Film Reviews
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.
Bikur Ha-Tizmoret (The Band's Visit) (2007)
One of the film's prime strengths is its wordless willingness to let the principal characters express themselves through music and mime to overcome cultural barriers.
Taxi to the Dark Side (2008)
The Abu Ghraib controversy sparked a national debate on torture that has yet to calm. Were the horrors of Abu Ghraib the work of "a few bad apples" or a systematic, tacitly authorized approach to war...
Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days & 30 Nights—Hollywood to the Heartland (2008)
Sometimes all we want from a movie is a good time out, and that's exactly what Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days & 30 Nights—Hollywood to the Heartland provides. The documentary...
In Bruges (2008)
Playwright Martin McDonagh, an expert of sweaty crime dramas, takes his show on the road in his feature debut, In Bruges. McDonagh (who won an Oscar for his short film "Six Shooter") writes and direc...
Martian Child (2007)
Though it panders shamelessly, it's not entirely unwelcome in a time when the PG movie is an endangered species.
Across the Universe (2007)
It's a dicey proposition to reverse-engineer a story, and
Across the Universe
shows the strain...[nonetheless] a very impressive music-video anthology.
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007)
An historical story of consequence and consequences around an enduringly lively social argument.
The Witnesses (2008)
From director André Téchiné (Wild Reeds) comes this insinuating drama about an emotionally complicated web of "open relationships." Novelist Sarah (Emmanuelle Béart of 8 W...
Over Her Dead Body (2008)
After these 97 minutes, resting in peace sounds pretty good.
Alice's House (2008)
This Brazilian drama from writer-director Chico Teixeira moves to its own rhythm. The story of a wife (Carla Riba's Alice) and husband, their three troubled sons, and the undervalued (grand)mother wh...
Sets the tone with an opening suite of scenes that put a kitty in danger.
Kon marries visual dazzle to unblinking pop existentialism in ways that make viewers' heads hurt so good.
Deluxe tribute to the playwright gets by, surprisingly, as much by romantic poignancy as farce...it's hard to dislike a picture so
with its subject.
The Great Debaters (2007)
Were the film not so insistent on conventional payoffs,
The Great Debaters
could have been much more satisfying. As it is, it's a pleasant holiday film with a positive message.
Rush Hour 3 (2007)
Sends the endlessly bickering couple to Paris, where the great director Roman Polanski gives them a rectal exam. I wish I were kidding.
Zwartboek (Black Book) (2007)
Verhoeven doles out his customary boobs, bombs, and blood, but the tension between thrills and serious consequences splits
Charms in large part due to the performances of the two stars.
Charlie Wilson's War (2007)
A Bizarro-world Frank Capra picture...Though the story deserves more weight...still a pleasing, unusually smart, consistently witty mass entertainment.
P.S. I Love You (2007)
Butler, though puportedly attractive, gives a chipmunk-chipper performance that can only be described as supremely annoying.
National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)
The cinematic equivalent of the guy who runs up to a cop, grabs the cop's hat, throws it to the ground and takes a shit on it. One is left a bit speechless.
Le Scaphandre et le papillon (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) (2007)
Qualifies as a masterpiece of sensual cinema and poetic subjectivity.
Away from Her (2007)
A profound and poignant requiem for our preferred human conditions.
Grace is Gone (2007)
What might have made a nice short film becomes an annoying feature in James C. Strouse's Grace is Gone. John Cusack plays a war widower too screwed up to break the news of his wife's death in Iraq to...
Starting Out in the Evening (2007)
Frank Langella stars as a New York City-based novelist in Andrew Wagner's film Starting Out in the Evening, based on a novel by Brian Morton. Langella plays Leonard Schiller, who finds himself warily...
Youth Without Youth (2007)
After a decade-long absence, Francis Ford Coppola returns to his roots with the indie Youth Without Youth. It's an ambitious adaptation of the novella by Mircea Eliade, full of magic realism and phil...
The Golden Compass (2007)
Posh fantasy...the film's dazzling imagery and serviceable story hustle along agreeably, if a bit dourly.
In the story's nooks and crannies are ideas to savor...the human-condition horrors of unpassable distances of space, time, and reconciliation.
Steal a Pencil for Me (2007)
"The course of true love never did run smooth," wrote the Bard, and truer words could not be spoken of Ina and Jack Polak, whose love survived the Holocaust. Michèle Ohayon tells their story i...
Alpha Dog (2007)
A well-researched model of the true-crime genre...[and] close cinematic relative of Larry Clark's
Futurama: Bender's Big Score (2007)
"Science-fiction nerds will be in hog heaven with this feature-length indulgence of time travel, and the customary
gag humor rarely disappoints."
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