movie review

Understated Ultima: Iconic book gets worthy film treatment
Published on Feb 28th, 2013
0 comments Although it was published only in 1972, Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me, Ultima has achieved the iconic stature as such novels as The Grapes of Wrath and To Kill a Mockingbird. Now comes a...
Kidding around: Wiig and Rudolph miss the mark
Published on Mar 15th, 2012
0 comments Friends with Kids Director: Jennifer WestfeldtStarring: Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph Playing: Downtown~R - 100 min There must be a better reason to have a baby than to provide a plot...
Not so 'Joyful': Parton, Latifah miss the note
Published on Jan 19th, 2012
0 comments Joyful Noise is an ungainly assembly of parts that don't fit, and the strange thing is that it makes no particular effort to please its target audience, which would seem to be lovers of gospel choirs...
Who's the mole? 'Tinker Tailor' complex, atmospheric
Published on Jan 12th, 2012
0 comments Yes, we imagine, international espionage is probably pretty much like this. No thrilling car chases and no big action sections, but rather a series of weary men, smoking and drinking tea or whisky,...
Award whinnying? War Horse shows Spielberg talent
Published on Jan 5th, 2012
1 comments The closing shots of Steven Spielberg's War Horse will stir emotions in every serious movie lover. The sky is painted with a deeply red-orange sunset. A lone rider is seen far away on the horizon....
Mission accomplished: Fourth film 'cruising' for success
Published on Dec 22nd, 2011
0 comments Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is a terrific thriller with action sequences that function as a kind of action poetry. The best one has Tom Cruise hanging more than 100 stories up on the glass...
Reitman's return: 'Young Adult' showcases talent
Published on Dec 14th, 2011
0 comments They must have closed their eyes and crossed their fingers while they were making this film. It breaks with form, doesn't follow our expectations, and is about a heroine we like less at the end than...
Muppet madness: Henson's handiwork back with panache
Published on Dec 8th, 2011
0 comments The popularity of the Muppets is given new life in The Muppets, a funny, wickedly self-aware musical that opens by acknowledging they've outlived their shelf life. There's some truth in that; this is...
Clooney's best: 'Descendants' a four-star hit
Published on Dec 1st, 2011
0 comments The Descendants has a happy ending. Therefore technically it's a comedy. It takes place in the paradise of Hawaii. It stars George Clooney. That may lead you to expect a pleasant good time, but this...
Modern apocalypse: Von Trier's 'Melancholia' stares death down
Published on Nov 24th, 2011
0 comments Lars von Trier's "Melancholia" opens with music from Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde," mourning and apocalyptic, and disturbing images of a world not right. A woman dressed as a bride runs through a...
Gorgeous drivel: 'Immortals' delivers beauty, not story
Published on Nov 17th, 2011
0 comments Immortals is without doubt the best-looking awful movie you will ever see. Eiko Ishioka's costume designs alone deserve an Oscar nomination. "They weren't at all historically accurate," grumbled a...
Gere'd up: 'The Double' could use twice the plot
Published on Nov 8th, 2011
0 comments It takes The Double less than half an hour to reveal who the double is. That's if you're lucky enough to avoid the movie's trailer, which just comes right out and tells you. At that point, Peggy Lee...
High stakes: 'In Time' an intriguing premise
Published on Nov 3rd, 2011
0 comments We are all of us engaged in the trade of buying and selling time. When we stop smoking, we hope we are buying years. When we drink and drive, we are willing to sell a few years. But those are gambles...
Retread: 'Footloose' remake out of step
Published on Oct 19th, 2011
2 comments There's one thing to be said for a remake of a 1984 movie that uses the original screenplay. This 2011 version is so similar – sometimes song for song and line for line – that I was...
Cruel odds: 50/50 finds humor in cancer
Published on Oct 5th, 2011
0 comments Young people should not get sick and die. Most of us do eventually, but how sad it is to learn in your 20s that you have a dangerous cancer and your chances of survival are 50/50. How crueler still...
Gripping: 'Moneyball' not just for sports fans
Published on Sep 28th, 2011
0 comments In the 2002 season, the nation's lowest-paid Major League Baseball team put together a 20-game winning streak, setting a new American League record. The team began that same season with 11 losses in...
Visceral, disturbing: 'Straw Dogs' remake better than the first
Published on Sep 21st, 2011
1 comments This new version of Straw Dogs is a reasonably close adaptation of the 1971 film by Sam Peckinpah. Change the location from England to Mississippi, change a mathematician into a screenwriter, keep...
Gone viral: 'Contagion' a horrifying possibility
Published on Sep 14th, 2011
0 comments A black screen. The sound of a harsh cough. We are already alert when, soon after, we see a bartender pick up a customer's coin and then punch numbers into a cash register. Germs, we're thinking....
Lies and deceit: Mirren shines in 'The Debt'
Published on Sep 6th, 2011
0 comments The Debt weaves a tangled web of lies and deceptions around a seemingly heroic raid in 1965 carried out by three agents of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency known for more ability than it...
Fear inspiring: 'Don't be Afraid' a horror classic
Published on Aug 31st, 2011
0 comments Haunted house movies awaken within us the 5-year-old afraid to go down the stairs with the basement lights off. Sure, there's a light switch down at the bottom, but you never know. Don't Be Afraid of...
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