Film Reviews
Emma Stone and her comic talent go largely to waste in Irrational Man.

Beyond Good and Evil

Woody Allen misuses Emma Stone again, this time in Irrational Man.
Kristian Lin
Ten years ago, Woody Allen bought himself a creative rejuvenation by finding a new leading lady in the fresh-faced, widely feted Scarlett Johansson. With Johansson in demand elsewhere, though, it’s no surprise that he has now...

Meryl Streep sings away her troubles in Ricki and the Flash.

Ricki Road

Meryl Streep rocks out in Ricki and the Flash.
Kristian Lin
A typical entry with an atypical provenance, Ricki and the Flash is an attempt by Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme and screenwriter Diablo Cody to make a comfy family comedy for the older crowd. It’s not the nicest fit f...

Ed Helms and Chris Hemsworth go overboard on the Western wear in Vacation.


Turn the car around and drive away from this Vacation.
Kristian Lin
Here’s the problem: Warner Bros. is now trying to make Judd Apatow comedies. That’s certainly not a bad idea, given how much money and good press those films have raked in for Universal Studios. The likes of Superbad, Bride...

Cara Delevingne and Nat Wolff share a meaningful moment in a big-box retail store in "Paper Towns."

O-Town Girl

She’s been livin’ in a white-bread world, until she leaves Paper Towns behind.
Kristian Lin
Cara Delevingne starts her acting career already famous. She had always wanted to act, but what was supposed to be a sidelight as a fashion model turned into a stellar career for the 22-year-old Englishwoman with the enviable e...

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 ...