Baz Luhrmann’s 'Great Gatsby': All Spectacle, No Heart
Published 5/15/2013 at 10:48 a.m. 0 comments
Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby has quite a bit going for it: an epic soundtrack; eye-popping art direction; a titanic-sized (or Titanic-sized) budget, courtesy of co-producer Jay-Z; a number of radiant performances; and source material from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Great ...
Studio Ghibli’s Torch Is Not Quite Passed Yet With 'From Up on Poppy Hill'
Published 5/8/2013 at 10:35 a.m. 0 comments
From Up on Poppy Hill is a fine film. But it’s not a great one.
Michael Bay Reveals Unexpected Self-Referential Wit in Action Satire 'Pain & Gain'
Published 5/1/2013 at 10:34 a.m. 0 comments
Some people have never been particularly friendly to the Transformers director; according to Rotten Tomatoes, his 1996 prison-break adventure The Rock is the only Bay film to inspire so much as toleration from critics, while serious film fans deride his ...
'Oblivion' Reminds Us What Makes Sci-Fi Great
Published 4/24/2013 at 9:50 a.m. 0 comments
Oblivion is just as interesting for what it might mean for sci-fi fans as for what it actually is. It gives us everything we’d expect from a movie that comes with a reported $100 million price tag, but it’s also ...
Repeat Offender Rob Zombie Manages to Attain Stylishness with 'The Lords of Salem'
Published 4/17/2013 at 10:09 a.m. 0 comments
Shock-rocker Rob Zombie’s fifth feature, The Lords of Salem, is his most accomplished movie so far, and has something none of his previous films could claim: a sense of fun.
Fede Alvarez’s Update of 'The Evil Dead' Lacks the Original’s Lively Humor
Published 4/3/2013 at 9:28 a.m. 0 comments
The Evil Dead cries out for revisiting—on the surface, anyway. Originally shot for less than $100,000 at a cabin just outside of Morristown, Sam Raimi’s debut is a textbook on (mostly) transcended limitations.
Harmony Korine’s College Bacchanalia 'Spring Breakers' Turns Into a Disturbing Fever Dream
Published 3/27/2013 at 11:30 a.m. 0 comments
Spring Breakers is still a nihilistic (though frequently hilarious) film about young people who suffer from a dangerous disconnect between their actions and the consequences they might have, but this is an altogether more accomplished and more accessible work than ...
'The ABCs of Death' Surveys Contemporary Horror With Mixed Results
Published 3/20/2013 at 10:44 a.m. 0 comments
The ABCs of Death, which the Knoxville Horror Film Festival is screening this weekend, collects 26 short films—one for each letter of the alphabet—by 26 acclaimed directors from around the world, most of them under 40.
Sam Raimi's 'Oz the Great and Powerful' Pays Off in Unexpected Ways
Published 3/13/2013 at 10:53 a.m. 0 comments
Raimi’s prequel is a fun (if overinflated) movie that works beautifully as a guided tour through a vividly rendered Oz, and you couldn’t ask for a better—or more demented—tour guide.
The Long-Delayed 'Jack the Giant Slayer' Is a Giant Disappointment
Published 3/6/2013 at 10:29 a.m. 0 comments
It didn’t seem too much to ask that Bryan Singer’s long- and little-awaited Jack the Giant Slayer be a wall-to-wall disaster, the sort of bomb that brings this regrettable recent string of fairy-tale reboots to an end.
Recession Horror Hits a New Low With 'Dark Skies'
Published 2/27/2013 at 10:00 a.m. 0 comments
The fact that the boogeymen in Dark Skies are aliens and not ghosts or the demons who lurk about in both of the aforementioned films is irrelevant; Dark Skies is perhaps the most explicit (and explicitly derivative) mile marker of ...
Star-Studded Mob Comedy 'Stand Up Guys' Loses Its Footing
Published 2/20/2013 at 9:57 a.m. 0 comments
Rarely have the talents of Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Alan Arkin been as crassly misused as they are in Stand Up Guys.
Michael Haneke’s Harrowing 'Amour' Traces the End of a Storybook Romance
Published 2/13/2013 at 10:24 a.m. 0 comments
Beaming brides and welling grooms say them thousands of times every day, and mean them, but they are heavy words indeed: “Till death do us part.”
Zombie Rom-Com 'Warm Bodies' Has No Pulse
Published 2/6/2013 at 1:49 p.m. 0 comments
It took me an embarrassingly long time to key into the fact that Warm Bodies is essentially just an inevitable variation on the post-Twilight girl-loves-monster formula.
Jacques Audiard’s 'Rust and Bone' Doesn’t Reveal Much About Its Characters
Published 1/30/2013 at 11:23 a.m. 0 comments
Really, Jacques Adiard’s emotionally devastating Rust and Bone is two films in one. At its core, it’s an unlikely love story between two flawed, broken, battered people, pulled together by the same animalistic instincts that eventually tear them apart. Then ...
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