Film Reviews
Billy Bob Thornton and Kevin Bacon hang out on the porch in Jayne Mansfield’s Car.

A Death in the Family

Billy Bob Thornton makes a shaky return to directing with Jayne Mansfield’s Car.
KRISTIAN LIN
Back in 1996, when Sling Blade came out, not only had no one heard of Billy Bob Thornton, the whole concept of regional cinema hadn’t been developed yet. Independent filmmaking was still centered largely in New York, which me...


Keri Russell and JJ Feild dance a minuet in a drawing room that's not in 19th-century England in "Austenland."

Jane Addiction

Another clumsy comedy comes up short of a Jane Austen experience in Austenland.
KRISTIAN LIN
The devotion of Jane Austen’s fanbase can be measured in how many movies have been inspired by her work. I don’t mean just straightforward adaptations of her novels but also fractured takes on those novels (Clueless), fanci...



Jennifer Hudson rallies supporters against apartheid South Africa in Winnie Mandela.

Amandla!

A living subject gives the biopic Winnie Mandela its biggest problems.
KRISTIAN LIN
The biography Winnie Mandela was made back in 2010, but it’s probably coming to local theaters now because Nelson Mandela is approaching the end of his life. (The great leader is getting his own biographical film later this y...


Eric Bana arranges a clandestine rendezvous at a crowded Wembley Stadium in Closed Circuit.

I’ll Be Watching You

A terrorist’s lawyers can’t escape the British government’s eyes in Closed Circuit.
KRISTIAN LIN
Paranoid political thrillers crested in the 1970s, but I’m looking forward to a new wave of them inspired by the revelations by Edward Snowden and others about the extent to which our digital trails are being snooped on. Perh...



A somewhat sober Miles Teller assists on Shailene Woodley’s paper route in The Spectacular Now.

Teenage Drink

Great actors generate buzz in The Spectacular Now.
KRISTIAN LIN
As alcoholism dramas go, last week’s offering, The World’s End, is a hard act to follow. If The Spectacular Now isn’t as powerful or as funny, this brilliantly acted film is still the best teen flick I’ve seen all year,...


Tony Leung demonstrates his martial arts style for a crowd of future disciples in The Grandmaster.

Grandmaster Flash

Beauty and romance distinguish this deluxe kung fu movie.
KRISTIAN LIN
Wong Kar-Wai’s films generally don’t play in American multiplexes, but that’s exactly where his latest movie, The Grandmaster, lands this weekend. That’s because it’s a martial-arts film, a genre that crosses language...



Nick Frost, Simon Pegg, and Paddy Considine look the worse for wear during their pub crawl in The World’s End.

King of Beers

The high-proof World’s End has midlife crises and killer robots on tap.
KRISTIAN LIN
We’re not too late to declare the comedy of the summer, are we? Good, because The World’s End is not only the season’s funniest movie but also its best action thriller, its best addiction drama, and its best movie about t...


Someone with a mask means Barbara Crampton no good in You're Next.

Family Dies

You’re Next has lots more laughs than your average slasher movie.
KRISTIAN LIN
If you’ve seen the trailer and the posters for You’re Next, you may think that this is just another crappy late-summer slasher flick. Actually, it’s not. It’s a dysfunctional family comedy that’s wrapped inside a slas...



Forest Whitaker tidies up Robin Williams’ desk in the Oval Office in Lee Daniels’ The Butler.

A Place Beside the Table

Lee Daniels serves up a necessary take on history in The Butler.
KRISTIAN LIN
The issue comes up again and again, and for good reason. Recent movies like The Help, Lincoln, Django Unchained, and 42 vary widely in quality, tone, and subject matter, but they have two things in common: They all address chap...


film1

All About Steve

Jobs wants to be the next Social Network, but it’s a bad apple.
KRISTIAN LIN
I’ve come to appreciate the beauty, power, and accessibility of Apple products, so I’m primed for a movie detailing the creative and technical vision of Steve Jobs, the man behind those infinitely useful devices. Unfortunat...