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 »



Modern Times

Playtime

Whenever I'm asked what my favorite film is, Jacques Tati's Playtime is the title I blurt out. And when all's said and done, that's for one simple reason: there's just no other movie experience like it.

Playtime is a lot of things. It's a virtually wordless movie that's inconceivable without its sounds. A razor-sharp reproach of reckless modernization, delivered almost invisibly, with a touch...

entered on 01/11/12 at 04:40 AM | read more »



Pedestrian Equestrian

War Horse

Steven Spielberg is an unrepentant schmaltz addict, and War Horse may represent his biggest binge to date. Crammed with comforting cliches and overstuffed with sentiment, this lifelessly dangling chunk of Oscar bait feels purely calculated to prey on the emotionally vulnerable. The rest of us calloused souls are forced to endure a pretty looking but ultimately shallow journey of a...

entered on 01/09/12 at 01:47 AM | read more »



High School Confidential

Young Adult

Even if you don't feel you really know the main character in Jason Reitman's Young Adult, you've probably seen her. Maybe at the grocery story, or in a gas station. She's obviously very pretty, even though she's disheveled, with baggy sweatpants on, and remnants of last night's makeup visible behind the grimace and the big sunglasses.

In this movie, Charlize Theron plays one such girl. And...

entered on 12/28/11 at 05:01 AM | read more »


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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The epic conclusion to the most epic of epics.

GRADE
A-


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


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