Film Reviews

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less annoying than the British movie that it’s based on, Death at a Funeral stars Chris Rock as a tax accountant/unpublished novelist named Aaron who’s dealing with a host of troublesome family issues after his f...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

A Faulkner Story

A local doctor turns writer and star of a low-budget film.
This is the sort of thing that happens to first-time filmmakers working on a shoestring budget: While shooting his drama Between Heaven and Hell, lead actor/screenwriter Marvin Faulkner was playing a scene in which his characte...

Three Films and Change: Mother, Chloe, The Last Song

A roundup of movies already playing, plus a new entry.
Fittingly, the main character of the volatile, uproarious, and deeply disturbing Mother has no proper name, so she’s pretty much defined by her role as a mother.

Greenberg: Roger That

Ben Stiller is a bastard in this excellent drama about a failure.
Two things you should know off the bat about Greenberg. First, it’s a deeply unlikable movie. Second, I liked it. You see, most movies have main characters who are nice people, because moviegoers tend to prefer the company of...

Crouching Vikings, Hidden Dragon

A kids’ book series becomes … an Iraq war allegory?
The new animated movie How to Train Your Dragon takes its title and the names of its characters from a successful series of novels by Cressida Cowell, but otherwise you’d have a hard time recognizing the books as the source o...

The Runaways: Jett Trail

The queens of noise make rock history. Kristen Stewart rocks out.
She can’t get away with it forever, but for now, Kristen Stewart can play the living crap out of these awkward, unpolished adolescent girls who don’t yet know what to do with themselves. That’s what I thought while watchi...