Movie Reviews

Average Allen: Only fleeting love in Woody's latest
Published on Jul 23rd, 2012
1 comments Woody Allen's new film To Rome With Love generates no particular excitement or surprise, but it provides the sort of pleasure he seems able to generate almost on demand. The New Yorker who claims to...
Nude dudes: An unflinching look into the male strip club
Published on Jul 11th, 2012
8 comments Whether you're a man or a woman, making money by allowing people to push cash inside your G-string is, I think we can agree, demeaning. It's probably worse for women because the big spenders with $2...
Super Remake: The Spider-Man story ages well
Published on Jul 4th, 2012
0 comments We live in an age of speed-up, which may explain why the Spider-Man franchise feels the need for a reboot only 10 years after its first picture, and five years after the most recent one. In its broad...
Age of innocence: Youth rises toward a closing curtain
Published on Jun 27th, 2012
3 comments Wes Anderson's mind must be an exciting place for a story idea to be born. It immediately becomes more than a series of events, and is transformed into a world with its own rules, in which everything...
Musicals Rock: Big names demonstrate perfect pitch
Published on Jun 20th, 2012
0 comments "Rock of Ages" is a rags-to-riches rock 'n' roll musical set mostly in a music club on Sunset Strip, and winning no prizes for originality. A lot of it is zesty entertainment, there are some...
Pondering the divine: Ridley Scott proves he is still evolving
Published on Jun 13th, 2012
0 comments Ridley Scott's Prometheus is a magnificent science fiction film, all the more intriguing because it raises questions about the origin of human life and doesn't have the answers. It's in the classic...
Fairest of all: Snow White succeeds in its beauty
Published on Jun 6th, 2012
0 comments Snow White and the Huntsman reinvents the legendary story in a film of astonishing beauty and imagination. It's the last thing you would expect from a picture with this title. It falters in its...
Black hole: Third installment sucks in audiences
Published on May 29th, 2012
2 comments MEN in Black III comes 15 years after the entertaining original and 10 years after the sequel laid an egg, and the surprise is it's better than the first one. Given the passage of time, the entire...
Sauntering Shadows: Burton offers beautiful identity crisis
Published on May 16th, 2012
2 comments TIM Burton's Dark Shadows is all dressed up with nowhere to go, an elegant production without a central drive. There are wonderful things in the film, but they aren't what's important. It's as if...
Marvelous mediocrity: Whedon meets expectations with more of the same
Published on May 9th, 2012
3 comments The Avengers Director: Joss Whedon Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson Playing: Seminole ~ PG-13 - 142 minutes One of the weapons Marvel used in its climb to comic...
Material macabre: Sensational acting drives Poe-laced melodrama
Published on May 1st, 2012
1 comments The Raven Director: James McTeigue Starring: John Cusack, Luke Evans Playing: Carmike ~ R - 111 minutes It is widely known that on Oct. 3, 1849, Edgar Allan Poe was found wandering the...
Touchingly naive: Superb cast wasted on tiresome formula
Published on Apr 25th, 2012
5 comments Think Like a Man Director: Tim Story Starring: Steve Harvey, Meagan Good, Kevin Hart, Taraji P. Henson, Gabrielle Union, Chris Brown Playing: Carmike PG-13 ~ 122 minutes Anyone who reads advice...
Empathetic realism: Belgian brothers avoid sentimentality
Published on Apr 18th, 2012
0 comments The Kid with a Bike Directors: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne Starring: Thomas Doret, Cecile de France, Jeremie Renier Playing: Vinegar Hill in French, with English subtitles ~ PG-13 - 87 minutes The...
American Reunion: Déjà vu all over again for Stifler etc.
Published on Apr 11th, 2012
1 comments American Reunion Directors: Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg Starring: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott, Jennifer Coolidge, Eugene Levy Playing: Carmike  ~ R - 113 min. Has...
No coincidence: In Jeff, Duplass brothers win at whimsy
Published on Apr 3rd, 2012
0 comments Jeff, Who Lives at Home Directors: Jay and Mark Duplass Starring: Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Susan Sarandon, Judy Greer Playing: Regal Downtown ~ R - 83 min. Jeff is 30, unmarried, unemployed, and...
Spoofing in Spanish: Ferrell puts twist on his usual cheek
Published on Mar 28th, 2012
0 comments Casa de mi Padre Director: Matt Piedmont Starring: Will Ferrell, Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna – Coming Soon – ~ R - 84 min. Casa de mi Padre is a cheeky comedy by Will...
Parable for all: Hunger Games skirts true moral commentary
Published on Mar 22nd, 2012
8 comments   The Hunger Games Director: Gary RossStarring: Stanley Tucci and Jennifer LawrencePlaying: Seminole~PG-13  - 142 min. Like many science fiction stories, The Hunger Games portrays 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...
Forgotten love is rekindled in 'The Vow'
Published on Mar 7th, 2012
0 comments The Vow is a well-behaved, tenderhearted love story about impossibly nice people. It's not even about whether they'll get married. They've been happily married for four years. The problem is,...
Valiant effort: SEALs shine in 'Act of Valor'
Published on Feb 29th, 2012
1 comments Act of Valor Directors: Mike McCoy, Scott WaughStarring: Alex Veadov, Roselyn Sanchez, Nestor Serrano Playing: Carmike~ R - 111 min Act of Valor contains hard-hitting...
Hidden addiction: 'Shame' evokes painful emotions
Published on Feb 22nd, 2012
0 comments Shame Director: Steve McQueenStarring: Michael Fassbender, Carey MulliganPlaying: Downtown~NC-17 - 101 min  There is a close-up in Shame of Michael Fassbender's face showing...
No happiness: Close brings out Albert's sad little life
Published on Feb 15th, 2012
0 comments I know a novel that begins: "This is the saddest story I've ever heard." Now here is one of the saddest movies I have ever seen. It is sad because a woman has chosen to lead her life in a way that is...
Relentless: Winter terror comes with fangs
Published on Feb 8th, 2012
1 comments "The Grey" is an unrelenting demonstration that wolves have no opinion. When they attack, it's not personal. They've spent untold millennia learning how to survive, naked and without weapons, in...
'The Artist' surprises and delights without a word
Published on Feb 2nd, 2012
0 comments Is it possible to forget that "The Artist" is a silent film in black and white and simply focus on it as a movie? No? That's what people seem to zero in on. They cannot imagine themselves seeing such...
'Red Tails' soars with entertainment but lacks meaning
Published on Jan 26th, 2012
0 comments The Tuskegee Airmen were a group of African-American fighter pilots who were trained despite the racism entrenched in the U.S. armed services at the time, were deployed in action, and achieved fame...
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....
In 2011: The ten or eleven best films
Published on Dec 22nd, 2011
0 comments Making lists is not my favorite occupation. They inevitably inspire only reader complaints. Not once have I ever heard from a reader that my list was just fine and they liked it. Yet an annual Best...
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...