Physics Schmysics

Mission impossible: Ghost Protocol

Action movies have long played fast and loose with the laws of physics, largely eschewing logic in favor of spectacle. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol doesn’t just play footsie with fantasy: it is a two-hour middle finger to Sir Isaac Newton, a love letter to physical deeds that can’t be done. And it is so much stinkin’ fun.

Unlike the previous entries in the franchise, which have either...

entered on 12/19/11 at 05:04 PM | read more »



Revenge of the Baby-sat

The Sitter

For a movie that judiciously “borrows” from a marginally beloved 1980s Elizabeth Shue movie, The Sitter somehow feels like a Vh1 countdown special on “overused comedy beats from the 2000s.” This is “kitchen sink” comedy at its most uninspired, as writers Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka empty out their reserve of go-to staples such as “white nerd impresses cool black folks,” “running from...

entered on 12/12/11 at 04:27 PM | read more »



Armageddon It?

Melancholia

Writer/director Lars von Trier hates earth and everyone on it. Don’t believe it? See Antichrist.

Maybe that’s why Melancholia, a film that eventually gets around to pondering the end of the world, feels a bit more like a fantasy than a nightmare. As one of his characters ponders the extinction of the planet, she sums it up in von Trier’s patented lyrical nihilistic minimalism, stating simply...

entered on 12/02/11 at 11:32 PM | read more »



Coma Cuckold

The Descendants

As far as settings go, Hawaii is about as far from the Omaha metro area as can be imagined. So in that sense, writer/director Alexander Payne has moved on. That said, his shuffle from America’s contiguous confines marks only a radical departure in terms of geography, as The Descendants is the exact type of muted semi-drama we’ve come to expect. Chock full of quirky quiet moments and populated...

entered on 11/28/11 at 06:13 PM | read more »



Hoover the Damned

J. Edgar

The holidays are here, which means Hollywood is busy unleashing their new batch of prestigious Oscar hopefuls. So it's not much of a surprise to find the great old guard, Clint Eastwood, already camped out at the theaters with J. Edgar, his latest in a stream of totally respectable, slightly distant and ultimately perplexing movies.

In it, Leonardo DiCaprio plays J. Edgar Hoover, the first...

entered on 11/19/11 at 04:34 AM | read more »



Shelter Skelter

Take Shelter

Writer/director Jeff Nichols’ Take Shelter is quiet…too quiet. It’s the kind of quiet that makes your collar shrink, the kind that makes you long for something, anything, even an apocalyptic event of global damnation to finally just happen. And believe it or not, that’s a compliment.

Take Shelter is part meditation on the mentally taxing responsibilities of a modern family man, complete with...

entered on 11/11/11 at 07:48 PM | read more »



Beat on the Bard

Anonymous

In what can only be explained as an embarrassing oversight, Anonymous was not released anonymously. This maniacally boring period drama was directed by none other than Roland Emmerich, helmer of Independence Day and 1998's Godzilla, and a member (alongside Michael Bay, Brett Ratner and others) of the "Fast Food Filmmakers Club."

This means that his movies are (usually) harmless fun, but not...

entered on 11/07/11 at 04:08 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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