Falling Down 12 Steps

Smashed

The ubiquitous hyperbolic after-school-special-type of dramatization of the perils of alcoholism has lost its teeth; it no longer delivers a social bite so much as it gets drool everywhere. Thus, in many ways, what Smashed wanted to do is something necessary, as we need a reboot of our cultural cautionary tale that ditches the wailing melodrama in favor of the muted reality of modern addiction....

entered on 11/16/12 at 05:07 PM | read more »



Am I Sick?

Skyfall

The moment when the seemingly-perpetually-creepily-coiffed Javier Bardem caresses Daniel Craig’s thigh parts and whispers whatever the supervillain equivalent of a sweet nothing is, using whatever non-geographically distinct accent he uses this time, is the precise moment Skyfall becomes the best Bond film in decades. Why? Because of Bond’s response.

Instead of recoiling, the supersexy...

entered on 11/09/12 at 04:06 PM | read more »



Metal Lurching

The Man with the Iron Fists

To walk in to The Man with the Iron Fists by choice is to give up your right to bitch about story and character. This is a movie written and directed by The RZA, a member of the powerhouse rap group The Wu-Tang Clan; produced by Eli Roth, the guy who made Hostel, and overseen by Quentin Tarantino, whose grindhouse kung fu depravity knows no bounds. To claim you expected good acting and a...

entered on 11/03/12 at 07:28 AM | read more »



8-Bit-O-Honey

Wreck-It Ralph

For a generation weaned on more Mario than Mother Goose, Wreck-It Ralph has been a long time coming. An 8-bit fairy tale with a burly bruiser in the role of the misunderstood princess, it skews a tad more prepubescent than Pixar but shares similar DNA. Writers Jennifer Lee and Phil Johnston won’t be unlocking any bonus levels for originality, with a conceit that feels poached from Toy Story and...

entered on 11/03/12 at 07:25 AM | read more »



Partly Sunny

Cloud Atlas

To steal from Mother Goose (don’t worry, she’s dead): When Cloud Atlas is good, it’s very, very good; and when it’s bad, Hugo Weaving is doing a drag impression of Nurse Ratched. The ambition of writers/directors Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Twyker, working from David Mitchell’s novel, is flabbergastingly impressive. Fueled by more humility than hubris, beautiful endeavors like this one are...

entered on 10/28/12 at 02:57 PM | read more »



No-Town Music

Detropia

At its worst, cinema verite is aimless pretense masquerading as artistic intent. At its best, it is Detropia, a documentary that adds soul to statistics, going inside the implosion of a once proud city using a sprawling, haunting approach. That isn’t to say that directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady don’t infuse the proper factual context for their mournful postmortem. Neither transcendent nor...

entered on 10/27/12 at 05:36 PM | read more »



Being Near Emma Watson

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Reconciling the public’s fascination with Emma Watson’s blossoming sexuality with realizing the first time she was on-screen she was 11 years old is really difficult. Doing so in a movie where her character’s sexuality is fundamentally warped because of an experience at 11 years old feels like a pretty clear indictment of said fascination. So if we could take a second from obsessing over the...

entered on 10/20/12 at 06:10 AM | read more »


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The Trip to Italy

Another affable outing with two British comedians.

GRADE
B+


Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Still a fun place to visit, provided you're not a woman.

GRADE
C


The Giver

This adaptation of Lois Lowry's beloved award-winning classic will be none of those things.

GRADE
D


Boyhood

The only coming-of-age story anyone ever needs to make. 

GRADE
A+


Guardians of the Galaxy

A gleeful space opera that is as visually stunning as it is hilarious.

GRADE
A


Lucy

A girl ingests a drug that makes her God. For real.

GRADE
C+


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Those damned apes are back and anything but dirty.

GRADE
B+


We Are the Best

Set in Stockholm in 1982, this is punk rock female adolescence at its finest.

GRADE
A


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