Film Reviews
Gaby Hoffmann (standing) tries to cheer up a disconsolate Jenny Slate (in box) in Obvious Child.

What Not to Expect

Finding humor in a dicey topic, Obvious Child stakes out new territory.
KRISTIAN LIN
Maybe you’ve heard Obvious Child referred to as “the abortion comedy.” Its makers have — rightly — argued that their work is much more than that. Nevertheless, abortion is what distinguishes the film from everything e...


Courtesy wandathewonderful.com

Family History on Film

An SMU professor traces her grandmother’s eventful life in Wanda the Wonderful.
KRISTIAN LIN
At 51, Carolyn Macartney is no wide-eyed newcomer in the world of filmmaking. The Southern Methodist University film professor grew up around films (her mother not only shot but edited her home movies) and has been involved wit...



John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Vincent Piazza, and Michael Lomenda sing about a girl named Sherry in Jersey Boys.

Uncanny Valli

Oh, pretty baby, trust in me when I say: Jersey Boys rocks the theater.
KRISTIAN LIN
There are tons of reasons why the movie version of Jersey Boys shouldn’t work. Most of them have to do with director Clint Eastwood. Anyone who’s seen the Broadway musical about Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons knows th...


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Repo Man

This post-apocalyptic thriller from Down Under is violent, austere, and puzzling.
KRISTIAN LIN
David Michôd is clearly a talented filmmaker. I just wish I could figure out what he’s up to. The Australian writer-director made his debut in 2010 with his striking crime drama Animal Kingdom, which despite its limited rele...



Brenton Thwaites and Olivia Cooke are filmed from a trippy angle during The Signal.

Turn Signal

Casual pacing gets in the way of the action in this sci-fi thriller.
STEVE STEWARD
Have you seen Rubber? If you missed it, it’s about a mysteriously sentient tire that rolls around the desert murdering animals and people with its unfathomable, steel-belted radial tire mind. Lots of people hated it, and you ...


Hiccup meets the very large alpha dragon in How to Train Your Dragon 2.

Another Song of Ice and Fire

How to Train Your Dragon 2 is awesome and irritating all over again.
KRISTIAN LIN
I haven’t seen How to Train Your Dragon since I reviewed it four years ago, but I remember being impressed by the visuals and underwhelmed by the story. Those impressions were reinforced mightily by How to Train Your Dragon 2...



Emily Blunt trains for battle in Edge of Tomorrow.

Groundhog Death

Forewarned is forearmed in the time-bending sci-fi war film Edge of Tomorrow.
KRISTIAN LIN
We all know about “movie logic,” referring to the ways in which the reality inside movies differs from the way the real world works. Lately, though, it seems that video game logic has invaded the movies, with the likes of I...


Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche share a laugh in front of one of her paintings in Words and Pictures.

Unacceptable

The schoolteacher romance Words and Pictures fails the course.
KRISTIAN LIN
The biggest problem with Words and Pictures is that it’s really dumb. That can be an asset to some films, but for a romantic drama directed at grown-up, literate audiences, it tends to be a hindrance. This movie is produced b...



So, I’m gonna go bald? James McAvoy faces his older self in Patrick Stewart in X-Men: Days of Future Past.

A Better Tomorrow

A recharged director rejuvenates the X-Men series in Days of Future Past.
KRISTIAN LIN
Well, if you’re going to see only one comic-book superhero movie this summer, X-Men: Days of Future Past looks like your best bet. With a story inspired by an iconic 1981 comic book adventure of the mutated superhumans, the f...


Hiroyuki Sanada is confronted by Colin Firth about his war crimes in The Railway Man.

The Road to Recovery

World War II is a backdrop for psychological drama in The Railway Man.
EDWARD BROWN
British actors always seem a bit smug. Not sure why, but it’s probably because they are. Their pridefulness, however, melts away in The Railway Man, a drama set during and long after World War II and directed by Jonathan Tepl...