Film Reviews
Nicholas Hoult scales unimagined heights in Jack the Giant Slayer.

Jacked Up

Bryan Singer comes back with this smarter-than-usual fairy tale movie.
KRISTIAN LIN
I went to Jack the Giant Slayer to find out what the hell happened to Bryan Singer. Ten years ago, he was one of Hollywood’s hottest directors, after breaking through with the ingenious The Usual Suspects (1995) and then scor...


Ed Harris and William Fichtner prepare to shove off in "Phantom."

Phantom: Cold Sub

This underwater thriller takes a different viewpoint and not much else.
KRISTIAN LIN
In the narrow field of movies set on Soviet submarines, Phantom comes a distant second to The Hunt for Red October and struggles to outpace K-19: The Widowmaker. This film is based on a real-life incident in 1968 that, as a tit...



The late Eiko Ishioka is nominated for an Oscar for Lily Collins’ outfits in Mirror Mirror.

Oscar’s Hidden Gold

And the Oscar goes to … that guy. An analysis of the awards’ not-so-major categories.
KRISTIAN LIN
It’s late February, which means that it’s time for my annual analysis of the Oscars’ mid-major categories. I like writing this piece, because it’s a way for me to recognize terrific work in aspects of film that I don’...


Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert cast a look at the road out of town in Beautiful Creatures.

Beautiful Creatures: Good Witch of the South

A popular teen novel becomes this uneven, funny movie.
KRISTIAN LIN
I wasn’t overly impressed when I read Beautiful Creatures, the popular young-adult novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. So I was delighted to find myself thoroughly enjoying the movie version, or at least the first half o...



Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel star in "Safe Haven".

Safe Haven: Harboring a Fugitive

More of the same from Nicholas Sparks, with a weak lead performance.
KRISTIAN LIN
We’ve established pretty well that I’m not a fan of Nicholas Sparks’ novels or the movies made from them. The latest such weeper, Safe Haven, did not change my mind, but it did give me a tiny crumb of insight as to why th...


Rooney Mara tries to keep it together at a ritzy party with Channing Tatum in Side Effects.

Side Effects: Magic Pill

Steven Soderbergh’s medical thriller defies your early diagnosis.
KRISTIAN LIN
Warning: This review gives away a major plot twist in the film. Do not read after the spoiler alert if you wish to be surprised.   An early front-runner for the best movie of 2013, Side Effects is a bit of a throwback. It ...



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Mark Hulme’s Way

A Fort Worth media mogul crashes Hollywood as a producer.
KRISTIAN LIN
A Fort Worth native now based in Dallas, Mark Hulme has spent much of his first 50 or so years building a publishing business. He’s a newcomer to movies, but his maiden effort as a producer has made a big splash: an Ashton Ku...


Nicholas Hoult ponders his place in Darwinian theory in Warm Bodies.

Warm Bodies: My Heart Skips a Beat

This zombie comedy has a lot of talent, but it’s the wrong kind.
KRISTIAN LIN
The field is unexpectedly crowded when it comes to zombie movies that are funny. If Jonathan Levine’s Warm Bodies falls short of the magnificent standard set by Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead and Ruben Fleischer’s Zombi...



Christopher Walken and Al Pacino re-enact old times in "Stand Up Guys."

Stand Up Guys: Last Valentine

Pacino and Walken form a disappointing partnership in this mob drama.
KRISTIAN LIN
To be clear, Stand Up Guys is not about comedians telling jokes in nightclubs. Instead, it’s a shaggy drama about two retired New Jersey mobsters facing their mortality. More to the point, it’s a vehicle for two brilliant l...


Emmanuelle Riva plays piano in her home before illness strikes in Amour.

Amour, Quartet: Old Wave

Two movies about seniors (and classical music) redress the balance.
KRISTIAN LIN
Movies tend to neglect seniors as subjects. This is neither a recent phenomenon, nor is it a Hollywood thing. Filmmakers and audiences everywhere have been entranced by the passions of youth or the assurance of vigorous middle ...