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 »



Bangers and Mash-Ups

Attack the Block

A sliver of the population, those weened on quirky, genre-bending flicks from the 80s and 90s, has been in withdrawal for decades. Stale remakes and overt nostalgia-grabs be damned! When will we again see horror, sci-fi, comedy and rebellious youth scrambled together in non-sanitized and exuberant fashion? Where is this generation’s Gremlins? Who is this decade’s John Carpenter? The answers are...

entered on 08/27/11 at 07:26 AM | read more »



Death, Interrupted

The Interrupters

We’re no Windy City, but Omaha has endured the cold gusts of murder enough to feel sick, enough for The Interrupters to resonate and resonate hard. Director Steve James, whose Hoop Dreams still ranks among the most poignant of recorded nonfiction, has again found a way to seamlessly weave narrative and message, to simultaneously break hearts and raise spirits. Working with best-selling author...

entered on 08/20/11 at 10:09 PM | read more »



Nebraskan lives his cinema dream

A small town Nebraska son who cut his teeth on the movies is living his cinema dream producing an independent feature starring Oscar-winner Ernest Borgnine in the title role of The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vicente Fernandez.

The film, which wrapped up its L.A. shoot at the end of July, is produced by Madison, Neb. native Darren Brandl, 26. Elia Petridis is the writer-director. Although it's...

entered on 08/15/11 at 06:28 AM | read more »



Animal Planet

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Bringing an iconic film back to life is no easy feat, let alone an iconic film series. Because no one seemed to be happy with Tim Burton's attempt to remake Planet of the Apes in 2001, director Rupert Wyatt's origin story, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, probably always had the odds in its favor. Thankfully, it didn’t need them. Despite its flaws, which are the usual heavy-handed trappings of...

entered on 08/08/11 at 03:50 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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