Film Reviews

The Best Performances of 2010

A tribute to the leading actors who dazzled us in this year’s movies.
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.
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.
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...

The King’s Speech: Voice of the People

Colin Firth rules as a royal with a speaking problem.
The intelligent, foursquare British drama The King’s Speech is currently racking up all manner of awards and citations, and while it’s not one of the year’s best movies, its lead performance deserves all the praise it’s...

Thanks for Making Me The Fighter

David O. Russell thinks inside the boxing movie.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...