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Picking on Critics and Critics’ Picks


Killing Expectations


Emotion Motion


The Core of Apple’s Man


Less Peak, More Valley


Lower-Case Spielberg


Say Her Name, Say Her Name


Juarez: What Is It Good For?




MacGyver in Space


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...

Falling Down 12 Steps

The ubiquitous hyperbolic after-school-special-type of dramatization of the perils of alcoholism has lost its teeth; it no longer delivers a social bite so much as it gets drool everywhere. Thus, in many ways, what Smashed wanted to do is something necessary, as we need a reboot of our cultural cautionary tale that ditches the wailing melodrama in favor of the muted reality of modern addiction.

Mary Elizabeth...

Am I Sick?

The moment when the seemingly-perpetually-creepily-coiffed Javier Bardem caresses Daniel Craig’s thigh parts and whispers whatever the supervillain equivalent of a sweet nothing is, using whatever non-geographically distinct accent he uses this time, is the precise moment Skyfall becomes the best Bond film in decades. Why? Because of Bond’s response.

Instead of recoiling, the supersexy superspy responds to a...

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

The final chapter in what has been anything but "young adult" content.



A woman and her child trapped alone in a room. That's the plot.



An intimate portrait of the fight for women's voting rights in early 1900s England.



Bond takes a step back, as this blend of cheese and grit does not work.


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The Assassin

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Inside Out

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Steve Jobs

A biography of the artist as a total dick.


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