Latest Theatrical Reviews
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...
The Family Stone (2005)
[A] pleasingly off-kilter domestic comedy.
An enthralling bauble of many facets: part feminist thriller, part "howdunnit" mystery, and all good old-fashioned story.
Charlie Bartlett (2008)
Honors the neuroses of high school while also holding out the hope every teen needs...
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...
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...
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...
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.
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 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...
Eastern Promises (2007)
' unusually ambiguous character study makes for a different kind of crime drama, a striking if not entirely satisfying one.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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