Film Reviews
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...


Emjay Anthony and Jon Favreau look for customers for their new food truck in Chef.

Cuban Sandwich King

Jon Favreau serves up small plates of joy in his food comedy Chef.
KRISTIAN LIN
In his amiable food comedy Chef, writer-director Jon Favreau stars as Carl Casper, the head chef at a well-established upscale L.A. restaurant. As the movie opens, he’s preparing his staff to receive powerful food critic and ...



Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler enjoy a moment to themselves at a South African resort in Blended.

Blended and Extended

Adam Sandler’s latest comedy actually doesn’t suck.
KRISTIAN LIN
Something about Drew Barrymore seems to smooth out Adam Sandler’s abrasive edges and bring out his sweetness without making him cloying. After The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates, the two actors have teamed up once again, a...


Seen through a bus window, the renowned Japanese monster visits the Golden Gate Bridge in Godzilla.

My Beloved Monster

Godzilla rampages again in a flawed but terrifying remake.
KRISTIAN LIN
Let me calm things down a bit. The early reviews of Godzilla led me to expect something fantastic, and this movie isn’t that. It barely seems to have a script. Yet watching it, I felt something like the awe and horror that th...



Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Sarah Gadon are decked out in their 18th-century finery in Belle.

Belle of the Ball

If Jane Austen had written a black heroine, she’d look something like this.
KRISTIAN LIN
If you’re like many people, 12 Years a Slave was the first film you saw by a black British director. Maybe you wondered whether there were any more in the pipeline. Your answer comes in the form of Belle, a movie written and ...


Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne find their shrubbery carved into a rude shape by the frat next door in Neighbors.

The Boys Next Door

Is Neighbors the greatest frat comedy ever? Maybe.
KRISTIAN LIN
I come to sing the praises of Nicholas Stoller. The director of the uproariously funny Neighbors isn’t famous like the movie’s stars, and he doesn’t receive much credit on his own because he’s part of Judd Apatow’s st...



Dorothy and Toto eye the rainbow that will take them back in Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return.

New Friends of Dorothy

Don’t surrender your money to Legends of Oz.
KRISTIAN LIN
The first film version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz appeared all the way back in 1910. Ever since then, movies have been trying to revive or build on the fantasy world evoked in L. Frank Baum’s novels. The trouble is, this i...


Mother of mercy, is this the end of Gwen Stacy? Emma Stone hangs by a thread in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Turning Point

The Spider-Man sequel’s team is better suited for a romance.
KRISTIAN LIN
When I reviewed the reboot of Spider-Man two years ago, I said that while I couldn’t find anything terribly wrong with it, I couldn’t find anything great about it either. The good news is, I found much more to like in the s...