'Seven Psychopaths' Serves Up a Postmodern Buffet of Action Clichés
Published 10/10/2012 at 11:20 a.m. 0 comments
Irish playwright Martin McDonagh has gone Hollywood with Seven Psychopaths, an ultra-violent (and ultra-funny) deconstruction of the fast-talking, self-knowing crime capers that came into fashion with Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs.
'Looper'’s Emotional Complexity Outweighs Its Brain-Bending Time-Travel Set-Up
Published 10/3/2012 at 10:28 a.m. 0 comments
Most glossy sci-fi films would pull back before entering the heady, sometimes shockingly dark, and supremely rewarding territory where Looper makes its home. Rather than getting himself caught up in the Catch-22 logistics that bog down so many time-travel stories, ...
Paul Thomas Anderson’s 'The Master' Confounds Expectations
Published 9/26/2012 at 11:10 a.m. 0 comments
The Master isn’t really a story, about Scientology or anything else, as much as a dual character study featuring two exceptional actors playing out two crucial archetypes.
'Dredd': Familiar But Brutally Awesome Adaptation of the British Comics Crime-Fighter
Published 9/19/2012 at 10:23 a.m. 0 comments
Dredd is a gorgeous, grimy, and relentlessly gory spectacle that gets most of the important things right. It has two modes: bombastic, expertly staged action scenes, and closing credits.
David Cronenberg Follows Don DeLillo’s Literary Limo, Without a Destination
Published 9/12/2012 at 12:58 p.m. 0 comments
David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis is a movie of ideas, or at least one idea.
Down and Dirty: Director Revels in the Violent Excess of 'Killer Joe'
Published 9/5/2012 at 9:48 a.m. 0 comments
If you’re waiting for a glimmer of redemption or even a fleeting moment of grace, you’ll still be waiting when the credits roll—Killer Joe is not that kind of movie.
Dead Alive: 'ParaNorman'’s Stop-Motion Charm Wins Over Even the Most Zombie-Weary
Published 8/22/2012 at 10:45 a.m. 1 comment
Like the rare couples-therapy weekend that doesn’t end in visions of bloody murder-suicide, ParaNorman has rekindled a love affair that had long since lurched its way into indifference.
Jeremy Renner and Tony Gilroy Inject New Blood Into the 'Bourne' Franchise
Published 8/15/2012 at 11:10 a.m. 0 comments
The first thing you need to know about The Bourne Legacy is this: It is not, in any meaningful sort of way, a Bourne movie. Jason Bourne’s shadow certainly looms large, but the elusive supersoldier himself never makes an appearance ...
'Farewell, My Queen': Visually Sumptuous But Dramatically Flat
Published 8/8/2012 at 10:50 a.m. 0 comments
Foppish finery. Palace intrigue. Creamy, swelling bosoms. Yep, it’s another film about life and love among the decadent elite in 18th-century France. Those elements may make you think of sensual costume dramas like 'Dangerous Liaisons'; they make me think of ...
Benh Zeitlin Builds a Fully Formed Fantasy World With 'Beasts of the Southern Wild'
Published 8/1/2012 at 11:04 a.m. 0 comments
The world has ended a lot lately. We’ve seen doomsday scenarios brought on by vampires, viruses, aliens, comets, climate change, war, and any other calamity you can think of. Regardless of the method of our destruction, the outcome is usually ...
'The Dark Knight Rises": Thrilling, But Not as Smart as Its Predecessors
Published 7/25/2012 at 11:01 a.m. 0 comments
In many regards, it’s an immense success, most strikingly in the degree to which it closes the series out by embracing what’s come before. In franchise-minded Hollywood, it’s unusual to see properties like this given leeway to tell a big ...
'Ice Age: Continental Drift': Strictly for Kids
Published 7/18/2012 at 11:47 a.m. 0 comments
It’s all very fast and very loud, but it’s never particularly engaging. Kids will love it and that is of course what matters the most—give the filmmakers credit for understanding their target audience—but is there any reason animated movies shouldn’t ...
Marc Webb’s Reboot of the Spider-Man Movie Franchise Survives Comparison to Sam Raimi’s Earlier Incarnation
Published 7/11/2012 at 11:29 a.m. 0 comments
Besides his serendipitous name, there wasn’t much about director Marc Webb that suggested he was the right choice to helm The Amazing Spider-Man.
Steven Soderbergh and Channing Tatum Strip Away the Cliches About Male Exotic Dancing in Magic Mike
Published 7/3/2012 at 5:00 p.m. 0 comments
at this point there’s no telling which Soderbergh would show up for Magic Mike, but the potential seemed there for something genuinely subversive.
Wes Anderson Blurs the Line Between Personal Vision and Stylistic Rehash in 'Moonrise Kingdom'
Published 6/27/2012 at 10:59 a.m. 1 comment
At times, Moonrise Kingdom plays out like Wes Anderson for Dummies, skimming the surface of this singular auteur’s cinematic finesse, rehashing ideas and themes he’s worked out with more clarity and substance in the past.