Bawler, Shotcaller

Maligned though they may be, the Oscars remain the most recognized celebrity back-patting contest and the best way to playfully gamble until March goes mad. As is our annual tradition, I will lay before you my picks for who will win and, more importantly, who should win, even though my track record is less Carnac the Magnificent and more Miss Cleo.

Best Actress

Will win: Viola Davis (The...

entered on 02/17/12 at 10:01 PM | read more »



See Eye, Eh

Safe House

Director Daniel Espinosa’s Safe House is a shaky-camera action orgy that has as much use for its female characters as it does for a tripod. It’s the sort of generic, bro-tastic movie that Denzel Washington has been sleepwalking through since way before Liam Neeson weaseled in on that game. As much as it resembles those horrifyingly sexist Dr. Pepper 10 commercials with its “no ladies allowed”...

entered on 02/13/12 at 01:07 AM | read more »



In Short Order

2012 Oscar-Nominated Shorts

Animated and live-action short films typically get about as much attention as soft-spoken and fact-based political discourse, until it’s time to fill out an Oscar ballot. Lucky for us, Film Streams at the Ruth Sokolof Theater (filmstreams.org) is continuing their glorious annual tradition by screening the tiny nuggets of awesome that were nominated this year. The magnificent art house also...

entered on 02/04/12 at 10:27 PM | read more »



Snow Action Movie

The Grey

Like a giant, shovel-nosed Irish caterpillar, Liam Neeson has emerged from his late-career cocoon as a crowd-pleasing, ass-kicking action-movie butterfly. This explains why the marketing team behind Neeson’s latest flick lied to our faces when they promised generic thrills n’ chills in The Grey. Oh sure, it’s exciting and all, but look beyond the computer-generated wolves and you’ll find a...

entered on 01/28/12 at 11:14 PM | read more »



Mute and Cute

The Artist

It’s fair to say that writer/director Michel Hazanavicius’ latest film, The Artist, is predicated entirely on a single gimmick. Oh yes, its overall conceit is a ruse, a con, a flim-flam sleight-of-hand designed to distract from a gossamer plot and startlingly unoriginal characters. And it pretty much works.

Since it first hit the festival circuit, this black-and-white silent film has been...

entered on 01/21/12 at 11:16 PM | read more »



Contrabland

Contraband

by Matt Lockwood

Let's see a show of hands: Who loves Marky Mark and his funky bunch of acting skills? Is it just my hand raised? I can't see..the lights are awfully dim in here.

Well, even if I am the only one, I have no shame and raise my hand high. In submission to my disorder, this afternoon I wandered out to my local cinema to enjoy a matinee showing of Contraband. The movie picks up...

entered on 01/14/12 at 09:19 PM | read more »



Picking at a Mole

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

You can tell that Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, an adaptation of the classic John le Carré novel, is a more accurate depiction of British espionage than James Bond films because instead of rippling abs and shaken martinis, it’s potbellies and comb-overs.  Set in the Cold War, director Tomas Alfredson’s film suggests all that stood between England and the Russkie menace were men who looked like...

entered on 01/14/12 at 09:06 PM | read more »


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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


John Wick

You kill his dog, he kills a million people. You've been warned.

GRADE
B


Dear White People

The type of smart, ballsy satire that comes along all too rarely.

GRADE
A


Fury

War is hell, but this movie is just hella slow.

GRADE
C+


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