Latest Theatrical Reviews
Girl Most Likely (2013)
The kind of movie you root for to get its act together..Take the great Kristen Wiig out...and it would be unbearable.
Kids...will probably ho-hum their way through
happily enough and forget it moments later. But they deserve better, too, than this lackluster, generic kiddie flick.
Despicable Me 2 (2013)
Culminates in a double-music video finish designed to see audiences out in a pop-narcotic laughing-gas daze. As a tactic, it’s a poor substitute for a satisfying story.
I'm So Excited (2013)
A perverted comedy of manners, with the characters spilling drinks, secrets, and sperm...but coming more from a place of 'I'm going to make my dolls kiss. Won't that be naughty?' than one of productive social satire.
The Heat (2013)
The meeting of McCarthy's stinging zingers and Bullock's practiced exasperation almost justifies
, but it's more of a lob than a fastball.
Unfinished Song (2013)
If you're an inveterate softie looking to hydrate your eyes, yes...can't bear the thought of missing good work by Redgrave and Stamp, maybe...low tolerance for having your intelligence insulted (or dreadful renditions of "Love Shack"), it's a definite no.
The Bling Ring (2013)
True crime with a dash of social satire...Coppola remains mesmerizingly stylish, but...
The Bling Ring
winds up being skin deep: superficial characters portrayed superficially in a shallow-pool reflection of shallowness.
Fill the Void (2013)
The film is undeniably a celebration of community, but on Shira, one gets the disturbing whiff of Stockholm Syndrome.
Man of Steel (2013)
On balance, this new cinematic take on a 75-year-old icon constitutes a worthy Superman movie and a modest improvement for a franchise that had creatively stalled.
This Is the End (2013)
This type of thing has already been diluted by...Funny or Die...The main difference...is that
This is The End
is profane in the extreme, an R-rated stoner comedy gleefully grafted onto a 'splatstick' horror picture...
The Internship (2013)
Although Vaughn's riffing skills remain in fine form, as do Wilson's, the story makes every obvious and conventional choice.
Now You See Me (2013)
So preposterous in its particulars, so ludicrous in its lowdown, that you're liable to kick yourself silly for having bothered to play along.
Nothing new, but given its solidly built kids' adventure, I'm not going to, y'know, look down on it.
The Hangover Part III (2013)
Less like a movie and more like a contractual obligation.
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
Smart or...dumb? Yes, and...fun to hang around with for a couple of hours.
The Great Gatsby (2013)
Luhrmann approaches the story and directs his actors in ways that hold them at a distance from us: the overkill plays less as bold art and more as lack of trust in the source material.
In the House (2013)
Inviting photography and a relentless pace complement Claude's unfolding narrative, but the big thrills are in the deftly drawn characters...and the incisive satire...
At Any Price (2012)
Works best when it sticks close to Henry, whose broad grin fails to mask a growing desperation. Quaid not only makes a believably corn-fed patriarch, but he captures the mien of one who is slowly ceding his soul...
Perhaps it's damning
with faint praise to call it agreeable, but Gilles Bourdos' film...shows an admirable restraint, quiet simplicity, and lush pictorial beauty.
The Place Beyond the Pines (2013)
The most satisfying cinematic experience we've had at the multiplex thus far this year, and largely through its disinterest in playing along with movie trends.
Evil Dead (2013)
There are two types of people in the world. Those who should under no circumstances see the horror sequel/reboot
and those who just
The Host (2013)
Do not consume
before operating heavy machinery. Side effects may include spontaneous coma or fits of giggling.
The Croods (2013)
Appears to have been market-tested to within an inch of its life, so despite a theme of finding the capacity to evolve, the picture remains mired in the tar pit of formula.
On the Road (2012)
This pretty period-pictorial companion piece to the novel fatally misses out on the brain-firing raw buzz that Kerouac felt and passed on to his readers...
Park’s skills for surreal subjectivity and the mischievously weird certainly don’t hurt, but they can’t quite banish
’s narrative speed bumps and draughts of cold air...
Swims upstream against high-definition with a defiantly lo-fi approach that's also ingeniously evocative of the historical period.
Greedy Lying Bastards (2013)
The film isn't a worldbeater as either old-school journalism of rigorous reportage or dazzling showmanship...will be of most use as a time capsule of sorts...
The mealy half-truth director Peter Webber...and screenwriters Vera Blasi and David Klass settle for just winds up a waste of everyone's time.
A Place at the Table (2013)
Provides plenty of moving case studies...[but] it's most useful for its prismatic look at the problem of American hunger, examining the problem's recent history, its root causes...and its inextricability from other national crises...
In its modern way,
is almost Dickensian in its intent, missing no opportunity for melodramatic confrontation as it puts a (baby) face on a social ill.
Bless Me, Ultima (2013)
The material calls out for a more expressive cinematographic treatment. Had the film been less antiseptic and more bold in its visuals and the emotional depths of its performances, it could have been a classic; instead, it's a rather ordinary indie.
The Gatekeepers (2013)
The 'other' Oscar-nominated feature about a war on terror, Dror Moreh’s documentary
proves more intellectually engaging than Hollywood’s
Zero Dark Thirty
, and at least as unsettling.
Safe Haven (2013)
Does Sparks have to treat people like total idiots...?...[A] soulless-cash-grab.
Identity Thief (2013)
McCarthy is a worthy successor to John Candy, who also had a gift for warming up caricatures with loveable humanity.
Doesn't avoid all of the traps of the genre, but Hoffman does show good taste, particularly in casting.
Rust and Bone (2012)
Has significant blemishes that don't quite come out in the wash...but the picture persists on the strength of its committed performances.
Gangster Squad (2013)
The sheer bulk of talent involved (top-tier technicians and designers included) turns out to be a case of water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink.
The Impossible (2012)
Takes dicey material—the story of one privileged family's suffering during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami—and transcends its political incorrectness by focusing on the human condition.
Parental Guidance (2012)
The Baby Boomer teaming no one was asking for—Billy Crystal and Bette Midler—melded to that most moribund of genres, rugrats 'comedy'...
Les Misérables (2012)
A mixed bag of suitable and not-so-suitable choices. On balance, though, it's about as compelling a screen version of
as we have any right to expect...Pop a dramamine and you'll be fine.
All site content © 2000-2016 Peter Canavese.
Page generated at 06/25/2016 07:04:43AM.