Film Reviews
Film

I Need Quarters

Dallas’ Jeremy Snead documents the history of video games.
KRISTIAN LIN
“Four years ago, I took my nephews and nieces to Dave & Buster’s,” said Jeremy Snead. “They were playing all the latest shooter games, and I saw this sad, neglected Donkey Kong machine over in the corner. I started ...


Cameron Diaz tries to fulfill Jason Segal’s roller-skating fantasy in Sex Tape.

Amateur Night

A married couple’s Sex Tape gets out, and hijinks (fortunately) ensue.
KRISTIAN LIN
I’m a bit puzzled by the title of Sex Tape. Does anybody still use videotape to film their sexual encounters? The sex farce by that title never really engages that question, but it does engage our sense of humor, which turns ...



Jason Clarke (foreground) tries to make peace with our new primate overlords in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

Cowboys & Simians

The latest Planet of the Apes movie is a Western in a monkey suit.
KRISTIAN LIN
Don’t get me wrong. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is an incredibly skilled piece of work. The latest installment in the series just underwhelmed me. Maybe that’s because the tone of the reviews suggested it was the summer...


Chris Evans and Ko Ah-sung ponder how to get to the front of the train in Snowpiercer.

Frozen Glory

Snowpiercer: an ice-cold science-fiction masterpiece.
KRISTIAN LIN
When Snowpiercer first hit American theaters two weeks ago, the critical consensus instantly jelled: “This is the year’s greatest science-fiction movie, and all of you who bought tickets to the Transformers sequel are idiot...



Olivia Wilde finds a lot of white roses in her hotel room in Third Person.

Stories He Tells

Our film critic detests Third Person and himself for watching it.
KRISTIAN LIN
Eight minutes. That’s how long it took. I suspected going into Third Person that I was going to hate it, so I decided to check my watch to see how long it took before I could feel the bile seeping in. It happened during a sce...


Backed by session musicians and neighborhood kids, Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo prepare to record outdoors in Begin Again.

I Feel the Music in You

Keira Knightley sings her heartache out in Begin Again.
KRISTIAN LIN
Back in 2007, Irish TV writer John Carney made his first film, a slender little romance called Once that was mostly intended to showcase his musician friends Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová and their songs. He figured the mo...



Melissa McCarthy and Susan Sarandon play a very reckless car game in Tammy.

What Makes Tammy Run?

Thoughts on Melissa McCarthy’s ongoing place in Hollywood.
KRISTIAN LIN
I’m starting to worry about Melissa McCarthy. Her uproarious performance in Bridesmaids won her an Oscar nomination and vaulted her onto the A-list, but the characters she plays now are all more or less like the one she playe...


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...