Film Reviews

Babies: I Was Born, But …

This oh-so-cute documentary throws out the baby with the bath.
I don’t have children. If I did, I’d probably see many movies differently. Take Babies, for instance. This documentary has drawn plenty of oohs and awws from festival audiences, publicity screenings, and the like. Since I...

City Island: An Actor Prevaricates

This little indie film should have confined its drama to the stage.
Writer-director Raymond De Felitta made an excellent movie in 2000 called Two Family House, a drama that drew heavily on his early life and his memories of his dad. Since then he’s made only three films, including this one an...

La Mission Is Missin’

A stalwart cast can’t redeem Peter Bratt’s maudlin San Francisco affair.
Watching La Mission is a real whiplash experience. Writer-director Peter Bratt’s second feature follows intense, emotionally resonant scenes with moments that are so ham-fisted and underdeveloped, you have to stifle a giggle....

The Losers Is a Lost Cause

Logic goes out the window in this crappy shoot-’em-up.
Based on an award-winning, Vertigo-published comic, The Losers is about a top-secret Special Forces unit’s quest for revenge on a shadowy figure named Max (Jason Patric), who ordered the commandos’ death following a mission...

The Joneses: Life Is a TV Commercial

This satire doesn’t keep up with its early promise.
You may have gotten your dose of movie satire last weekend at Kick-Ass. If that’s the case, I’m betting you had a better time than I did. I went to see The Joneses, which starts off quite well. That makes it all the more di...

Death at a Funeral: Back from the Grave

A British farce returns, African-Americanized and slightly better.
Marginally less annoying than the British movie that it’s based on, Death at a Funeral stars Chris Rock as a tax accountant/unpublished novelist named Aaron who’s dealing with a host of troublesome family issues after his f...

This Movie Is Kick-Ass

It’s also a psychotic, satirical ode to superheroes.
How do I describe the awesomeness of Kick-Ass? I could say this is the superhero flick that Watchmen desperately wanted to be, but that doesn’t quite cover it. I could call it a comic book fan’s dream come true, but then I...

It’s Not a Wonderful After.Life

Or even the best movie set at a funeral home this week.
Eleven years ago, a great Japanese film came out in American theaters under the title After Life, a joyful meditation that imagined all of us going to a Buddhist temple/studio after our deaths to have our favorite memories made...

Film Shorts

OPENING: After.Life (R) Christina Ricci stars in this supernatural thriller as a young woman who may or may not have died in a car accident and may or may not get buried alive by a sinister funeral director (Liam Neeson). Also ...

Ragged Date Night for Carell and Fey

The Fosters go bananas in this underwhelming comedy-thriller.
You’re probably going to see Date Night because of Steve Carell and Tina Fey. And why not? They seem like a terrific match because they’re so similar. They’re both intelligent, straightforward types whose comic stylings s...