Construction’s Fun, Son

The Lego Movie

Writers/directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have stepped on the modern zeitgeist as forcefully as most of us have once stepped on the jagged foot-killers known as Lego blocks. The Lego Movie is kind of insane. Half the time, it operates on a critical meta-level—actually, sometimes it’s a meta-meta level—while lovingly embracing the spasticity of imaginative kids. The animation isn’t...

entered on 02/07/14 at 11:47 PM | read more »



Check Out These Tiny Packages!

2014 Oscar Shorts

Just as the short story trembles in the footprint of the novel, the short film plays David to feature-length film Goliaths. But with the help of shiny, naked bald men, these wee bits of cinematic splendor step from the shadows and sling their short shots. And in the 12 years I’ve had the pleasure of covering them, this year’s bunch is easily the best.

Live-Action Short Films

Aquel No Era Yo...

entered on 01/31/14 at 11:28 PM | read more »



Rome Alone

The Great Beauty

Honestly, at least half of the people who describe films as “Fellini-esque” have no idea what the hell they’re talking about. The term has become a pseudointellectual catch-all to describe flights of artistic fancy, when there is a very real and specific definition for that descriptor. As a point of reference, The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza) is so Fellini-esque, someone needs to pull on...

entered on 01/24/14 at 07:40 PM | read more »



Bland. James Bland.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

What the hell is a “shadow recruit?” Did they really just figure out the terrorist target via Instagram? Does Viktor Cherevin (Kenneth Branagh) win the award for “most stereotypical Russian villain in history” now that we know he has cirrhosis from drinking too much vodka? And seriously, what the hell is a shadow recruit?!

A good movie leaves you questioning previous notions. A series of...

entered on 01/18/14 at 01:13 AM | read more »



Love Hert-z

Her

The most laughable part of Her isn’t the complex, sophisticated romantic relationship between a man and his software operating system; it’s the high-waisted, Clint Eastwood-esque pants everybody wears. Forget flying cars; just promise us a future where we don’t have to unzip to scratch our bellybuttons.

To be fair, this silly fashion is a logical extension of the oversized, lensless glasses...

entered on 01/10/14 at 08:08 PM | read more »



Empty Account

Saving Mr. Banks

Director John Lee Hancock isn’t Joseph Goebbels or Leni Riefenstahl by any stretch, but Saving Mr. Banks is as close to corporate propaganda as can be legally released in theaters. A Walt Disney Studios movie about Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) making a Walt Disney Studios movie, the take home message is that a woman who doggedly protects a deeply personal work of art is a cranky bitch who should...

entered on 01/05/14 at 02:17 AM | read more »



2014: More Original Movies from Minority Directors!

Blame it on kismet, chance or “the rain,” but something funky worked in 2013’s favor. For no discernible reason, the year offered up wildly brilliant unexpected gems (Upstream Color, Spring Breakers) and triumphant blockbusters with brains (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Iron Man 3, Man of Steel). Looking forward, 2015 is jam packed with the single most anticipated docket of films ever...

entered on 01/03/14 at 08:21 PM | read more »


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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+


Dracula Untold

What if Dracula was a superhero?!

GRADE
C


Gone Girl

This thriller has many twists, the biggest of which is that it's kind of a satire.

GRADE
A


The Boxtrolls

A stop-motion romp with near-nekkid trolls and a cross-dressing villain.

GRADE
B-


The Skeleton Twins

A dramedy about suicide elevated by its stars.

GRADE
B


Frank

A band that has a lead singer with a fake head will win your heart.

GRADE
A-


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