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Film Reviews

Thanks for Making Me The Fighter

David O. Russell thinks inside the boxing movie.
KRISTIAN LIN
If you go to The Fighter expecting a generic uplifting sports drama, you will get a very good one. If you go to it expecting a crazy stylistic exercise like David O. Russell’s other films, you’ll be disappointed. I must adm...


Black Swan: Danse Macabre

This ain’t The Nutcracker. Natalie Portman pirouettes into madness.
KRISTIAN LIN
Black Swan closely observes the world of high culture, and yet its thrills are distinctly, trashily lowbrow. That’s a difficult balancing act to pull off, but this movie does it with all kinds of skill and emerges as both one...



How Do You Know: Capital Losses

Charming actors can’t redeem this synthetic romance.
KRISTIAN LIN
I’ve never liked James L. Brooks’ films. From Terms of Endearment on, his glossy, unfunny romantic comedies have featured cozy platitudes and heartfelt, overwritten speeches dispensed by self-absorbed characters. For his la...


Garden of Eden: Bourne Identity

A lost Hemingway novel becomes a film that should have been lost.
KRISTIAN LIN
Here’s a movie with a tortured history. Garden of Eden was a manuscript that Ernest Hemingway worked on from 1946 until his 1961 death. The piece, based partly on his own experiences with women and partly on the tumultuous ma...



Dawn Treader: Narnia Watered Down

The chronicles go to sea, and a series is ready to go down with the ship.
KRISTIAN LIN
The least interesting big-budget movie franchise currently running, the Narnia series rolls out its latest installment this week with The Chronicles of Narnia: The Dawn Treader. The clumsiness of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wa...


127 Hours: Trapped in the Crevice

This survival tale will make you a serious Francophile.
KRISTIAN LIN
James Franco spent his early 20s taking lead or secondary lead roles in gritty urban thrillers like Deuces Wild, Sonny, and City by the Sea, not to mention the sympathetic villain in the Spider-Man films. With his smoldering go...



Rainbow Lounge Prompts a Documentary

A comedian by nature, Robert Camina gets serious for a moment.
KRISTIAN LIN
“People were incredibly traumatized,” said Dallas filmmaker Robert Camina. He’s talking about the Rainbow Lounge incident, which he almost was a part of. His friend Todd Camp had invited him to share some drinks with frie...


Love and Other Drugs: Jagged Little Pill

This romance is about commitment, not Viagra. That’s good.
KRISTIAN LIN
The promotional materials for Love and Other Drugs make it look like a cookie-cutter romantic comedy, but that’s wrong. The movie is actually a cookie-cutter Disease of the Week movie, albeit a much funnier version than you u...



Tangled: Split Ends

Separating the good hair from the bad in Disney’s animated Rapunzel story.
KRISTIAN LIN
Disney’s latest animated musical is a fractured take on the Rapunzel story. Presumably it’s called Tangled because there’s already a musical entitled Hair.


The Trouble With Harry

The seventh Potter film doesn’t hold up. Does that matter?
KRISTIAN LIN
I’m in a difficult position here. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is the seventh installment of an eight-part series. As such, it’s not necessarily meant to stand on its own. Instead, it’s a means to an end, ...