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Film Reviews

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...


Rabbit Hole: Childless Parents

The drama is only above-average in this story of bereavement.
KRISTIAN LIN
Whither the prestige picture? I’m talking about straightforward, visually handsome, modestly budgeted films that feature a few high-powered actors tackling weighty issues, usually working from a script with a literary or thea...



The Rite Is Wrong

Anthony Hopkins’ hamming is the scariest thing in this exorcism flick.
KRISTIAN LIN
In the past I wondered whether they were running out of titles for movies that take place on submarines. Now I’m wondering whether they’re running out of titles for exorcism movies. This latest one is called The Rite, and i...


Phillip Morris: Liar Liar

Jim Carrey’s back on his game in this gay caper flick.
KRISTIAN LIN
One of 2010’s most charming movies is I Love You Phillip Morris, the demonic gay bastard child of The Informant! and Brokeback Mountain. This madcap caper film played at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews that, a...



Evangelion: Dark Angels

The second film in this anime series is strictly for hardcore fans.
KRISTIAN LIN
“By now, Seele must be aware of NERV’s ultimate goal.” “That won’t stop us from doing what we must do, even if it means opposing God’s Logos.” I heard that exchange early in the anime film Evangelion: 2.0 (cryptic...


Blue Valentine: Heartbreak Hotel

In love or at war, Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams are magnificent.
KRISTIAN LIN
Just as falling in love is a part of life, so too is breaking up. Yet most movies leave the subject of breakups in the background, if they address it at all. A breakup often happens to the heroine at the beginning of the movie,...



Country Strong: Let It Go

This music drama’s wasted potential is sad enough for a country song.
KRISTIAN LIN
The pre-World War II film director Howard Hawks once said that a good movie consisted of three good scenes and no bad ones. Country Strong has two very good scenes and a ton of bad ones. It is, on balance, a bad movie, but it...


The Best Performances of 2010

A tribute to the leading actors who dazzled us in this year’s movies.
KRISTIAN LIN
Sheesh, given how lukewarm audiences have been to the popcorn movies that Hollywood has been putting out lately, you’d think the studios would have rushed some Oscar-contending prestige pictures into the theaters this week to...



The Top 10 Movies of 2010

Inception headlines a dream year for films.
KRISTIAN LIN
In my list of top 10 movies last year, I took note of a resurgence in American films. That continued this year, and even the entries in my top 10 from Canada (No. 3) or Britain (No. 4) would have been impossible without America...


When You Find a Film With True Grit

The Coen brothers make an old Western new.
KRISTIAN LIN
The Coen brothers have become rather full of their own philosophy lately, using a series of otherwise widely divergent movies (No Country for Old Men, Burn After Reading, A Serious Man) to proclaim that we live in a cold, hosti...