Film Reviews
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...



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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...