Heartbreak Motel

Blue Valentine

Last year’s indie relationship flicks mostly kept the mood light. Both Jack Goes Boating and Cyrus tempered their weighty moments with socially awkward central characters who were good for a tension-breaking chuckle. Viewers loved these characters at arm’s length, not because they weren’t real or wonderfully crafted, but because we like to think of ourselves as too sophisticated to make the...

entered on 02/01/11 at 11:10 PM | read more »



The Murderer’s Apprentice

The Mechanic

Things you’ll never hear: “I want to see that new Victorian-era romance starring Oscar-winner Jason Statham.” J-Stat is so synonymous with cinematic violence, someone should update the Wikipedia entry for “action movie” so it’s just a picture of his grimacing, bald cabeza covered in blood. In an ever-changing world, the only constant is Jason Statham’s movie murder spree.

The...

entered on 02/01/11 at 11:06 PM | read more »



Tchai-Kafka-sky’s Swan Lake

Black Swan

Director Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan is just your run-of-the-mill “girl haunted by doppelgangers while turning into a human/swan hybrid” ballet movie with elements of bisexual experimentation. In other words, writers Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz and John McLaughlin are a collective Dr. Frankenstein, standing over a creation that is part horror, part pure beauty. Firmly entrenched in...

entered on 01/29/11 at 04:32 AM | read more »



Fact and Diction

The King's Speech

Remarkably unremarkable and tonally mundane, director Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech was seemingly genetically engineered by a mad scientist named Juan Tan-Oscar. Quasi-historical and wholly predictable, the film would have been dismissible as icky chum for suit-wearing Academy sharks were it not for Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth. Their tête á têtes are more frosty diction than Frost/Nixon...

entered on 01/26/11 at 06:12 PM | read more »



Falling in Lust

No Strings Attached

Director Ivan Reitman is best known for ridiculous, male-dominated comedies like Ghostbusters and Stripes, but his latest, No Strings Attached, is like a romantic-comedy masterclass. Not that it’s a masterpiece of the genre, but it so expertly strikes all the right nerves that it’s still a little irresistible.

One drunken night and one impulsive morning are all it takes to bring former...

entered on 01/26/11 at 03:42 PM | read more »



DVD Discovery: Mama’s Family

DVD Discovery: Animal Kingdom

Let’s give it up for the ladies. Once the purview of mustachioed men with Italian last names, the “cops and crooks” movie genre has flung open the doors to the clubhouse. Last year gave us several films in the genre with strong female leads instead of damsel-in-distress love interests. Playing an Aussie-accented version of The Godmother in the under-appreciated Animal Kingdom, Jacki Weaver...

entered on 01/26/11 at 03:31 PM | read more »



Flaming Pants, Burning Loins

I Love You Philip Morris

Jim Carrey has no damn luck.

I Love You Philip Morris is a darkly comic, gay Catch Me If You Can, the central role in which requires rapid fluctuation from slapstick pratfalls to wrestling with AIDS. It’s exactly the type of part that scores formerly big-time actors their marquee award nomination. If the film weren’t tonally disjointed, had more genuine romance and didn’t use a...

entered on 01/19/11 at 04:49 PM | read more »


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The Giver

This adaptation of Lois Lowry's beloved award-winning classic will be none of those things.

GRADE
D


Boyhood

The only coming-of-age story anyone ever needs to make. 

GRADE
A+


Guardians of the Galaxy

A gleeful space opera that is as visually stunning as it is hilarious.

GRADE
A


Lucy

A girl ingests a drug that makes her God. For real.

GRADE
C+


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Those damned apes are back and anything but dirty.

GRADE
B+


We Are the Best

Set in Stockholm in 1982, this is punk rock female adolescence at its finest.

GRADE
A


Snowpiercer

Awesome, literal class warfare on a train that holds the only humans that survived the new ice age.

GRADE
A-


Obvious Child

Billed as a comedy, this is actually a sophisticated, empathetic look at a crucial issue.

GRADE
B+


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