All in the Family

As she herself puts it, Lynn Shelton has made three movies in a row featuring three characters in one location. This goes a long way in explaining not only her priorities as a filmmaker (the actor is king) but also what her movies feel like: focused and precise but still subject to eruptions.

2008's My Effortless Brilliance is a razor-sharp examination of two old friends, now grown apart with...

entered on 06/28/12 at 06:35 AM | read more »



Armageddon Lucky?

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

When we are stripped of our artifice and rendered bare souls no longer hidden behind societal constraints or cultural norms, only then are we our genuine self. For some folks, an hour without electricity or a rough day at the office is enough to unleash the truths that hide inside, which is apparently most often a desire to smash windows or go on a sexual rampage. But for most of us, it would...

entered on 06/25/12 at 02:12 AM | read more »



Whee! Lasses!

Brave

Ubiquitous, beloved and dangerous, animated fairy tales are more than just opportunities to sell toy tiaras to the tune of millions; they are typically the first encounters women have with the reinforcement of an oppressive patriarchal social structure, and their mothers are often the ones innocently opening the window to let in this boogeyman.

Consider the dynamic in nearly every classic...

entered on 06/22/12 at 07:19 PM | read more »



Glee-ve It Alone

Rock of Ages

Let’s not do this, okay? Let’s not use nostalgia to forgive the unspeakable things we did to fringe, denim and the musical scale in the 1980s. Other than the 1985 Chicago Bears and that time Michael Jackson’s hair caught on fire, there is nothing even worth remembering about that shameful decade, when men were Men at Work and women jazzercised.

Rock of Ages nearly realizes that those 10 years...

entered on 06/15/12 at 08:31 PM | read more »



Indecent Bro-posal

That's My Boy

That’s My Boy isn’t just so bad that you would rather play a fun game of “scratch my retina with chicken wire” for 90 minutes; it’s so bad that writer David Caspe and director Sean Anders should be legally prosecuted for crimes against humanity. If this is what we’re capable of as creatures living in a (relatively) free society who have evolved to the point where we are afforded the luxury of...

entered on 06/13/12 at 04:56 PM | read more »



Creation Miffed

Prometheus

Without warning, critics that were once songbirds chirping with anticipation about director Ridley Scott’s return to sci-fi with Prometheus have turned into a savage pack of eagles relentlessly devouring the film’s liver. Honestly, the titular metaphor is almost too perfect, as Scott’s return to the universe he helped create with Alien has been blasted for essentially “not knowing its place,”...

entered on 06/08/12 at 07:28 PM | read more »



A Paler Shade of White

Snow White and the Huntsman

A once-beautiful woman who has an uncomfortable relationship with her brother is disintegrating into a skeletal hag. But enough about Angelina Jolie. Snow White and the Huntsman features Charlize Theron rising above her Helen-of-Troy beauty to once more deliver a wicked performance that proves there’s more going on under her hood than atop her perfect chassis.

In this Grimm and gritty...

entered on 06/02/12 at 06:41 AM | read more »


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The Babadook

A terrifying tale of an ooky pop-up book and motherly love.

GRADE
A


The Tale of Princess Kaguya

A water-colored take on a Japanese folktale that is prettier than it is interesting.

GRADE
B-


The Theory of Everything

"Out of this world" performances buoy a sub-par script.

GRADE
B+


Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Half of what promises to be an epic conclusion to a fabulous series.

GRADE
B+


Birdman

A delirously fun satirical send up of artistic pretension. 

GRADE
B+


The Overnighters

"The Grapes of Wrath" in documentary form set in North Dakota.

GRADE
A-


Interstellar

If this was humanity's last hope, give up.

GRADE
D


Nightcrawler

A condemnation of crime pornography with a chilling central character.

GRADE
A


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