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Film Reviews

Paul: Ancient Alien

Though filled with stereotypes and clichés, this road-trip buddy comedy still scores some laughs.
COLE WILLIAMS
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost go on a road trip with an alien: comedy gold, right? Well, close. Paul has a lot going for it, but it doesn’t quite reach the pinnacle of genre-comedy that the talent involved would lead you to expec...


Cedar Rapids: Oh Ooo Oh Iowa

It’s the greatest insurance convention comedy ever.
KRISTIAN LIN
The trailer for Cedar Rapids is edited to make it look like another version of The Hangover, which makes sense because Ed Helms stars in both movies and they’re both comedies about bacchanalian hijinks at a hotel. Tempting as...



Mars Needs Moms: Empty Wells

This animated sci-fi kids’ flick goes wrong in many ways.
KRISTIAN LIN
Last week, we had the incredible burst of experimentalism that was Rango, a defiantly old-school 2-D animated film that nevertheless ventured fearlessly into territory untapped by kids’ movies. This week, Mars Needs Moms, a 3...


Cowboys and Amphibians

Yee-haw! A strange animated Western leads this week’s films.
KRISTIAN LIN
This week’s films all trade in outright fantasy, but only one of them succeeds in turning the tropes of fable and science fiction into a bizarre and wondrous alternate reality.  



Oscar’s Hidden Gold

And the Oscar goes to … that guy. An analysis of the awards’ not-so-major categories.
KRISTIAN LIN
Welcome to my fourth annual look at the mid-major categories of the annual Academy Awards (to be televised Sunday) It’s my way of pointing out who did the best work last year in these aspects of filmmaking that immeasurably a...


Number Four: Three Stars

A rocky but promising start for the latest teen sci-fi saga.
KRISTIAN LIN
Hollywood now faces the same problem that faced the young-adult publishing industry a few years ago. With the Harry Potter and Twilight film series both near their ends, the race is on to land the next multi-part saga about tee...



Mighty Orphans Await Kickoff

Fort Worth native Russell Morton sees his grandfather’s story through the screenwriting process.
KRISTIAN LIN
“Everything about Hollywood has surprised me,” said Russell Morton, a third-generation Fort Worth native who recently moved back here from New York City. “I’m from the business world. I’m used to starched shirts and n...


The Eagle: British Invasion

Rosemary Sutcliff’s novel comes to surprising life.
KRISTIAN LIN
As it turns out, The Illusionist isn’t the only movie out this week that’s set in Scotland. If you go into this toga-and-sandals epic pumped for a fire-breathing piece of entertainment on the order of 300 or Gladiator, you...



The Illusionist: Scots Oui, Oui

A French animation genius returns to the screen at last.
KRISTIAN LIN
Seven years ago, Sylvain Chomet captured the world’s attention with his animated feature film debut The Triplets of Belleville. At the time, many critics including me saw the influence of Jacques Tati, the great mid-20th-cent...


Oh, What a Biutiful Mess

This drama among Barcelona’s dispossessed is one long slog.
KRISTIAN LIN
In December, the Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association named Biutiful the best foreign language film of 2010. Last week, the movie picked up Oscar nominations for Best Foreign Language Film and for Javier Bardem’s lead p...