Film Reviews

The Expendables: One Country for Old Men

Stallone and his middle-aged crew blow stuff up.
All you need to know about The Expendables is that it delivers exactly what you would expect, no less and no more: terrible dialogue, macho posturing and male bonding, flying bullets and explosions, and enough testosterone flyi...

Middle Men: The Internet Is for Porn

This movie is for cheap moralism and bad history.
Middle Men’s version of history is a lie. According to this movie, it was the pornographers who invented online shopping before the major retailers or credit card companies cracked the problem. If that were true, it would mea...

Charlie St. Cloud: Sailing Takes Me Away

Zac Efron stumbles — and we learn — in this weeper.
Sometimes being a film critic means being a straight guy who spends hours pondering the meaning of Zac Efron. It’s not that bad, actually. Say what you want to about the High School Musical series, the actor who catapulted to...

The Kids Are All Right: Laser Has Two Mommies

A family of four (plus sperm donor) equals a great comedy.
When I heard that Annette Bening and Julianne Moore were playing a lesbian couple in a movie, I thought, “That sounds like it’ll work.” Then I saw the trailer for the movie and thought, “That looks like it’ll work.”...

Dinner for Schmucks: American Idiot

Steve Carell has some nice gags at this meal.
Maybe the best part of Dinner for Schmucks is the opening credit sequence. It shows the construction of an elaborate diorama, depicting a daytime scene in a park populated by stuffed mice that have been dressed in tiny costumes...

Los Angeles Thames

A TCU graduate works behind the camera and in front.
Even over the phone, Jay Thames is a massive presence. He has a sandblaster of a voice, and his words come tumbling out with the force of a river rapid as he relates colorful anecdotes — frequently in colorful language — ab...

I Can See Cleary Now: Ramona and Beezus

A brave pest finally gets her movie, and it does some good things.
The shadow of America’s recession hangs heavily over Ramona and Beezus. Wow, that’s a portentous opening sentence. It’s true, though — the very first film adaptation of Beverly Cleary’s beloved kids’ books shows the...

Inception Puts You in a Sleeper Hold

Christopher Nolan and his dream team melt your mind.
It’s often said that movies don’t obey the logic of the real world but the logic of dreams. Take Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight — the movie falls apart if you think of the Joker as operating by the same rules as al...

Your Mom Loves You Too Much, Cyrus

A boy’s best friend is his mother in this indie comedy.
If you’ve had your fill of comedies that feature men who are unable or unwilling to grow up, you should really check out Cyrus. This lo-fi comedy with big-name stars takes that notion to a logical extreme and does so in a dis...

Winter’s Bone: Welcome to the Dolly House

A frigid, flavorful Ozark thriller gives us the shivers.
Certain movies inspire my fellow film critics to throw the word “authentic” around. This is a wobbly concept to begin with when talking about works of fiction (and it’s even more loaded when talking about documentary film...