Pinkie Gets Fingered

Brighton Rock

Although writer/director Rowan Joffe’s Brighton Rock, the second attempt at a big-screen adaptation of a 1938 Graham Greene novel, never introduces us to the parents of its sociopathic main character, it’s safe to assume they sucked at child rearing. Maybe genetics alone determined that their offspring would become a brain-bashing, knife-wielding savage, but naming him Pinkie Brown couldn’t...

entered on 10/03/11 at 03:41 AM | read more »



The Digital Diamond

Moneyball

“It's hard not to be romantic about baseball.” Or so drawls Billy Beane, the restless Oakland Athletics general manager depicted in “all caps” by Brad Pitt in Moneyball. It's a hard statement to deny, whether or not the phrase “America's pastime” even means anything in our always-connected, always-at-war modern age. That conflict—idyllic nostalgia versus cruel reality—is the secret core of this...

entered on 09/26/11 at 03:45 PM | read more »



The Bell of the Bawl

Bellflower

Bellflower wants badly to burn. It so yearns to catch fire that cinematographer Joel Hodge appears to have frequently smeared ash on the lens and scrambled the color palate, so that bright reds and oranges practically ignite the screen. Alas and alack, beyond a sizzlin’ visual look, Bellflower is less flame and more smoke … derivative, borderline misogynistic smoke. It feels dirty taking a...

entered on 09/24/11 at 12:23 AM | read more »


Purell Madness

Contagion

Not to advocate violence, but anybody who cannot control their coughing while publicly watching Contagion, a movie about super sniffles that nearly destroy humanity, is either too sick to be around others or desperate for negative attention — that is to say, they’re either sick or “sick.” You know who I’m talking about, people.

With that off my chest, director Steven Soderbergh (Oceans 11, 12...

entered on 09/12/11 at 07:08 PM | read more »


Muck of the Irish

The Guard

Writer/director John Michael McDonagh’s debut feature, The Guard, begins with a scene where a tired old Irish cop (Brendan Gleason) inspects the scene of a fatal car wreck, finds some LSD in one of the victim's pockets and pops it in his mouth before offering a cold, expletive-laden greeting to the day.

It's the sort of studied, exaggerated aggression that might have seemed anarchic and...

entered on 09/05/11 at 06:20 PM | read more »



French Fried Nerves

Point Blank

Sorry, Esperanto; À Bout Portant, which translates to the nearly Keanu-tastic Point Blank, is a reminder that action clichés are the true universal language. Writer/director Fred Cavayé puts a lightly French twist on such classics as “average guy at the wrong place and wrong time,” “pregnant wife held hostage,” “dirty cops are everywhere” and “only the hero’s bullets are accurate.” Aided by...

entered on 09/02/11 at 11:26 PM | read more »



Double Troubles

Another Earth

A slightly above-average human drama with a touch of “Twilight Zone” is a pretty fitting description for director Mike Cahill's new film, Another Earth. He, and co-writer and star Brit Marling, take a bit of science-fiction, use it as hard science-fact and put it alongside an intimate story about guilt, fate and second chances. It's an interesting approach that becomes frustratingly ambiguous...

entered on 08/29/11 at 04:02 PM | 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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