Film Reviews
Jake Gyllenhaal bears the scars of his latest fight in Southpaw.

Less Than Jake

Jake Gyllenhaal is fantastic in Southpaw, but this boxing drama isn’t.
Kristian Lin
The critical narrative has now hardened around Jake Gyllenhaal. It goes like this: After a misguided period when the actor tried to be an A-list leading man, the financial and critical flops of The Day After Tomorrow and Prince...


Cobie Smulders lets Gail Bean feel her pregnant stomach in Unexpected.

Baby Baby

An Unexpected arrival shows promise before withering away.
Kristian Lin
Four years ago, Joe and Kris Swanberg had a baby. In response, they did what Swanbergs do: They made films about it. Joe’s arrived last year. In Happy Christmas, he and his real-life infant son appeared onscreen together, tho...



Scott Lang vs. The World: Paul Rudd ponders the meaning of this suit in Ant-Man.

Mini Marvel

Ant-Man has some major bugs to work out.
Kristian Lin
Movie fanboys, including me, were disappointed when Edgar Wright, the British cult director of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End, left the big-screen Marvel Comics adaptation Ant-Man reportedly because of the d...


Evan Peters and Juno Temple have a fraught encounter at a nice home in Safelight.

Surely, Temple

Considering Safelight and the up-and-down career of its lead actress.
Kristian Lin
The career of Juno Temple continues to frustrate me. The tiny British actress, who turns 26 this week, is the daughter of the filmmaker Julien Temple, and she’s a fascinating screen presence because her demure china-doll feat...



Amy Winehouse in her troubled glory days in Amy.

The Jazz Singer

Amy Winehouse gets a respectful, revealing documentary.
Kristian Lin
I remember the first time I heard Amy Winehouse. I was at a listening booth in a Borders Books & Music — remember those? I’m fuzzy on what made me listen to this CD called Back to Black, but I do recall what impression ...


This thing stalks our heroes through the halls of their high school in "The Gallows."

Hang It

Found-footage horror is played out, but The Gallows still distinguishes itself.
Kristian Lin
Sixteen years later, we’re still living in the shadow of The Blair Witch Project. That found-footage horror film was revolutionary in its day, but somewhat inevitably, its techniques have reached into other genres and become ...



Channing Tatum (second from right) and company are abs-olutely fabulous in Magic Mike XXL.

Go Bigger

Less than its predecessor, Magic Mike XXL still points toward the future.
Kristian Lin
Well, you figured Magic Mike would get a sequel. You figured it would be on a larger scale. You just didn’t figure it would have a prayer of working without Matthew McConaughey. Well, Dallas is gone, and Magic Mike XXL is not...


Hang on, it's yet another Terminator come to snuff out John and Sarah Connor in Terminator Genisys.

Terminate This

Skynet has gained a tendency to talk too much in this soul-sapping sequel.
Kristian Lin
To: Hollywood studio chiefs CC: James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger Subject: the Terminator movies   Just stop, OK? It’s simply not working. Terminator Genisys is the fifth film in the series, not counting the short-liv...



Thomas Mann and Olivia Cooke prepare to face the cafeteria chaos in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.

Death by Movies

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl takes a humorous approach to teen tragedy.
Kristian Lin
With the release of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, it has become official: Teen weepers have become self-aware. Took them long enough, too. This movie and last summer’s The Fault in Our Stars are about teenagers dealing with...


Taylor Schilling sees her new friends up to some weird sexual practices in "The Overnight."

Four Play

The Overnight delivers a dose of uncomfortable sex humor.
Kristian Lin
I’ve seen a lot of comedies that take place during a suburban house party, but I’m pretty sure The Overnight is the first one that features its two male stars doing full-frontal nudity at once. This low-budget independent c...