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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



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 a take-home message...

Partly Sunny

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 often observed when...

No-Town Music

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 particularly...

Being Near Emma Watson

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 emerging womanhood of...

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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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