'Elysium' Delivers Awesome Sci-Fi Spectacle Plus a Timely Political Message
Published 8/14/2013 at 10:14 a.m. 0 comments
Elysium is, at its core, a mind-expanding, sledgehammer-subtle meditation on the haves and have-nots, and makes no effort to conceal its cruel new world’s roots in the signature anxieties of the contemporary left.
Buddy Action-Comedy '2 Guns' Only Occasionally Hits Its Target
Published 8/7/2013 at 11:19 a.m. 0 comments
True to its title, 2 Guns has exactly as many things going for it: a pair of charismatic leads in Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. They’re fantastic together, and when the movie stays out of their way, it’s a lot ...
'The Wolverine' Puts Marvel’s Most Popular Mutant Back Into Sharp-Edged Action
Published 7/31/2013 at 10:26 a.m. 0 comments
Chalk it up as a pleasant surprise that James Mangold’s The Wolverine isn’t simply better than its predecessor; it’s my favorite comic-book movie of the year so far.
'The Way, Way Back' Borrows All the Wrong Things From Classic Summer Comedies
Published 7/24/2013 at 11:18 a.m. 0 comments
In writing The Way, Way Back, Faxon and Rash retained Caddyshack’s sophomoric humor, but they left out the thought-provoking material.
'Pacific Rim': A Rock 'Em-'Sock Em Robots Vs. Monsters Epic With a Heart
Published 7/17/2013 at 10:17 a.m. 0 comments
Yes, it’s a movie about giant robots punching, and getting punched by, giant monsters, and it embraces all the silliness promised by that setup. But it’s also a stunningly and meticulously rendered work of imagination.
A Golden Age of Digital Animation Slides Into Happy Mediocrity
Published 7/10/2013 at 10:00 a.m. 0 comments
It’s been almost 20 years since Pixar revolutionized and revitalized feature animation with Toy Story, unleashing disruptive change throughout the entertainment industry. So what’s the state of the art these days? Well, based on this summer’s slate of big-name sequels ...
Roland Emmerich Turns Political Crisis Into Dumb Summer Fun in 'White House Down'
Published 7/3/2013 at 9:39 a.m. 0 comments
It’s hard to tell what to make of this summer movie season’s most conspicuous trend, which assumes we so badly want to see the leader of the free world in mortal danger that we might pay twice to go see ...
Brad Pitt’s Blockbuster Zombie Flick 'World War Z' Plays It Too Safe
Published 6/26/2013 at 10:24 a.m. 0 comments
World War Z is an action movie that just happens to have walking corpses instead of terrorists or aliens.
'Before Midnight' Explores What Follows the Happily Ever After
Published 6/19/2013 at 11:52 a.m. 0 comments
In Before Midnight we learn that Jesse did miss that plane, opting for days (weeks?) of passionate sex with Celine before finally returning home to dissolve his marriage.
Does the Audience Really Get the Satirical Thriller 'The Purge'?
Published 6/12/2013 at 11:15 a.m. 0 comments
Sometimes the reaction to a movie is more interesting than the movie itself. Such is the case with The Purge, the futuristic home-invasion tale from writer/director James DeMonaco, which set a record last weekend when it grossed $36.4 million—a bigger ...
Magic Thriller 'Now You See Me': A Con Job, But a Fun One
Published 6/5/2013 at 10:56 a.m. 0 comments
Now You See Me is supposed to leave us thinking about the many parallels between movies and stage magic. We go into both with a willingness to be tricked—we know it’s all an illusion, but we’re partners in the artifice.
'Fast and Furious 6': The Best Bad Movie of the Summer
Published 5/29/2013 at 10:48 a.m. 0 comments
Having struck an uneasy truce with Dwayne Johnson’s caricatured super-spook at the end of Five, the F&F gang are back on alert when Johnson finds himself up against an international gang of auto-savvy thieves hell-bent on constructing some sort of ...
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 ...