Quentin Tarantino Takes a Creative Leap With the Over-the-Top 'Django Unchained'
Published 12/24/2012 at 12:00 p.m. 1 comment
Django Unchained is undoubtedly indulgent, but man, is it ever fun.
Peter Jackson Delivers Too Much of a Good Thing in the First Movie of the 'Hobbit' Trilogy
Published 12/19/2012 at 9:56 a.m. 0 comments
The trilogy’s first installment, An Unexpected Journey, lives up to the visual splendor of the original Rings films, laced with rich humor and a sweetly innate innocence. But unlike those earlier epics, Journey also feels bloated and a tad strained—a ...
'Hitchcock' Uncovers the Story Behind 'Psycho'
Published 12/12/2012 at 10:00 a.m. 0 comments
On its surface, this is a film about a film, but the heart of the movie is the relationship between Hitchcock and Alma Reville (Helen Mirren), the filmmaker’s wife and creative collaborator. Though she spent most of her professional life ...
'Killing Them Softly': A Bleak Thriller for Bleak Times
Published 12/5/2012 at 10:11 a.m. 0 comments
There are no good guys in Killing Them Softly. There’s no honor among thieves, no code of ethics that keeps the film’s seedy underworld from caving in on itself. It’s a world where compassion means shooting someone in the head ...
David O. Russell Provides Both Romance and Comedy in Surprising RomCom 'Silver Linings Playbook'
Published 11/28/2012 at 11:11 a.m. 0 comments
Here’s a question to ponder: Why are most contemporary romantic comedies so godawful?
Political History: Daniel Day-Lewis Dominates Spielberg's Complex 'Lincoln'
Published 11/20/2012 at 12:45 p.m. 0 comments
If you’re the kind of person who actually has a favorite president, there’s a good chance it’s Abraham Lincoln. Few historical figures are as enigmatic as America’s 16th commander-in-chief, who led the nation through periods of both extreme crisis (the ...
Sam Mendes and Daniel Craig Reinvigorate the Aged Bond Franchise With 'Skyfall'
Published 11/14/2012 at 10:48 a.m. 0 comments
Less than a year ago, the Mission: Impossible franchise offered Ghost Protocol as a new standard in name-brand espionage adventure; next to Skyfall, it looks kind of like an old James Bond movie.
Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA Doesn’t Bring Much Ruckus With 'The Man With the Iron Fists'
Published 11/7/2012 at 1:02 p.m. 0 comments
The Man With the Iron Fists is a direct hit at a target audience, and damned if most of them won’t be on board from the moment bearded Chinese dudes start wailing on each other.
The Visually Stunning 'Cloud Atlas' Juggles Six Stories (Somewhat) Successfully
Published 10/31/2012 at 10:33 a.m. 0 comments
em>Cloud Atlas is a spectacle, that much is for sure.
Stephen Chbosky's Teen Drama 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' Uncovers Unexpected Depth
Published 10/24/2012 at 10:57 a.m. 0 comments
If you don’t go into The Perks of Being a Wallflower at least a bit skeptical, you’re probably delusional. After all, most film dramas aimed at a teenage audience are either embarrassingly precious or totally wrapped up in their own ...
Ben Affleck Continues His Winning Streak With Hostage Thriller 'Argo'
Published 10/17/2012 at 10:34 a.m. 0 comments
Ben Affleck's Gone Baby Gone and The Town were two of the best crime dramas to come out of America in the past decade—taut, claustrophobic tales of men and women straining at their leashes in the tiny, blue-collar neighborhoods that ...
'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.