Film Reviews
Joaquin Phoenix is flabbergasted by the complexity of his newest case in "Inherent Vice."

Pot P.I.

A marijuana haze enshrouds the conspiracy plot in Inherent Vice.
KRISTIAN LIN
Here’s a great matchup of movie director and book. Thomas Pynchon’s 2009 novel Inherent Vice features the reclusive postmodern giant at his wackiest and most engaging. It’s a terrific subject for Paul Thomas Anderson, the...


Chris Evans makes his way to the front of the train in Snowpiercer.

Top 10 Movies of 2014

The year’s best films are English-only, and they’re not the ones you might think.
KRISTIAN LIN
I didn’t put any foreign-language films in my list of the year’s best movies. How the hell did that happen? Did the entire non-Anglophone world just have an off year? Did I watch all the wrong foreign movies? Or is this jus...



Anna Kendrick ponders what to do on the steps of the palace in Into the Woods.

Today Was a Fairytale

Into the Woods: There was a baker and his wife, and it was beautiful.
KRISTIAN LIN
Way back before Disney rejuvenated itself by making animated musicals based on fairy tales sprinkled with witty songs, adult concerns, and a wisecracking modern attitude, Stephen Sondheim beat the studio to that territory with ...


Christoph Waltz bullies Amy Adams into giving up credit for her paintings in Big Eyes.

My Wife Could Paint That

Big Eyes is a potent story of abusive marriage and not-so-high art.
KRISTIAN LIN
The way to understand Big Eyes is not as a movie about art nor as a Tim Burton film, though it’s both of those things. No, Big Eyes is best understood as a movie about domestic abuse, and as such it’s actually more powerful...



Quvenzhané Wallis plays with Sandy in the new Annie.

Hard Knocks

Annie: Instead of treated, we get tricked by this leaden musical.
KRISTIAN LIN
Going into the newest big-screen version of Annie, I actually had some hopes for its success. Yes, the Broadway show is a saccharine piece of work that scored a huge hit in 1977 largely because a depressed America wanted to be ...


The dwarves make a last stand at their fortress in "The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies."

Gold Mountain

Peter Jackson’s Hobbit saga finally winds to an exhausted end.
KRISTIAN LIN
In English soccer, when a high-priced newly signed player goes bust, opposing fans will sometimes taunt the player and his team by singing, “What a waste of money!” That’s the serenade that came to my mind when I was view...



Film 1

Roughing It

Reese Witherspoon goes Wild with this adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir.
KRISTIAN LIN
I remember the first time I saw Reese Witherspoon. It was in the 1996 satirical thriller Freeway, and she was playing a juvenile delinquent who runs away from home and is pursued by a murderous pedophile. There’s a courtroom ...


Joel Edgerton and his palace are pelted by hail in Exodus: Gods and Kings.

Go Down, Moses

Exodus: What’s a king to a god? What is Gods and Kings?
KRISTIAN LIN
Hollywood’s last big-budget adaptation of the book of Exodus, Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments, hit movie theaters a full 58 years ago. By contrast, it took Tinseltown only 10 years to do Spider-Man all over again. I...



Hilary Swank and Tommy Lee Jones plan a long trip over wild country in The Homesman.

Eastward Bound

Tommy Lee Jones gets lost on the high plains in The Homesman.
KRISTIAN LIN
It has been nine years since Tommy Lee Jones made his directing debut with The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. That acclaimed Western, which won multiple awards at the Cannes Film Festival, was occasionally confused but ha...


Yes, your movie is that terrible. Simon Pegg and Rosamund Pike in Hector and the Search for Happiness.

Stop Hectoring Me

A shrink’s Search for Happiness will make you sad indeed.
KRISTIAN LIN
And now, ladies and gentlemen, comes one of the year’s most insufferable movies, Hector and the Search for Happiness. Simon Pegg’s collaboration with Edgar Wright has resulted in some of the best comedies of the last 10 yea...