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The M Stands for Middling


Trial and Terror


Men Ruin Everything


Sorry, Malaysian Tourism Industry!


Birth of a Nuisance


Minor Bloom


Myopic Biopic


Cold War Sizzle


Flash Without Flair


Finite Jest


Par for the Corset

A quick preface before I eviscerate gifted director Joe Wright’s self-indulgent adaptation of genius playwright Tom Stoppard’s artifice-laden take on Leo Tolstoy’s classic Anna Karenina. I wrote a Master’s thesis on the influence 17th and 18th century female conduct books designed to codify feminine behavior had on the writing of Daniel Defoe’s satirical novel “Moll Flanders.” I don’t mention this just to make me...

Hawkes Virginity Hunt-ed

America’s Puritanical origins mean “sweetly sexual” may sound oxymoronic, but that phrase absolutely defines The Sessions, the softest and kindest movie to ever feature a star of “Mad About You” buck nekkid. Although nudity being “integral to the role” is a con that lecherous producers love to peddle to starlets drowning in Hollywood’s misogynistic subculture, this is a film legitimately predicated on preaching a...

Artificially Sweetened Pi

Forget Babe Ruth pointing a stick at bleachers; Life of Pi raises the stakes on “shot-calling” to unprecedented levels. Early on, it is explicitly stated that if the older version of Pi (Irrfan Khan) in the present day does not tell a story that convinces “The Writer” (Rafe Spall)—and by extension, the audience—in the existence of God, it’s a failure. No pressure or anything.

Considering that what follows is a...

A Man Did

A humble suggestion: Force the chittering, self-serving partisans in Washington who increasingly prefer filibusters over floor votes to watch Lincoln. Director Steven Spielberg’s latest provides a character sketch, not of its titular president, but of America’s political process. While hundreds of thousands of sons and fathers killed each other mere miles from where the House of Representatives screamed at one...

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The Martian

An ode to ingenuity and duct tape.


Pawn Sacrifice

A profile of a mentally ill genius chess player who briefly fought the Cold War alone.


Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

After a somewhat quiet first film, this second adaptation of the postapocalyptic young adult novels goes bonkers.


Reader Recommends

The Look of Silence

A companion piece to The Act of Killing, this makes a one-two punch as good as any documentary in history.


The Visit

A middling found footage horror-comedy that counts as a triumph for this director.


The Stanford Prison Experiment

A recreation of the actual experiment that chills but has little new to say.


Reader Recommends

On DVD: Mad Max: Fury Road

It's basically "Smash the Patriarchy: The Movie" with really awesome cars.


No Escape

Don't go to Malaysia. You'll probably die.


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