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Film Reviews

A Solitary Man Goes Back to School

Michael Douglas tries to hold back the years in this mild comedy.
KRISTIAN LIN
Since the turn of the new century, Michael Douglas has gradually been phasing himself out of the stardom that he enjoyed in the late ’80s and early ’90s, when he often played angry white men under siege. These days, he’s ...


Knight and Day: Up in the Air

Cruise and Diaz star in this action-comedy. What’s it about, again?
KRISTIAN LIN
I’m not in the habit of using the word “piffle.” Yet that sprang to mind as I was watching Knight and Day, and the more I thought about it, the more appropriate the outdated word seemed. This plush escapist thriller/roman...



Dragon Tattoo: I Love Playing with Fire

Revenge is Swede in this film version of the hot detective novel.
KRISTIAN LIN
It’s not every week that a Swedish novelist who’s been dead for six years makes the cover of Entertainment Weekly. Such is the engrossing power of Stieg Larsson’s posthumously published Millennium trilogy of Swedish-langu...


Pixar Re-Opens Its Toy Chest

Toy Story 3 can’t match the first two, but it’s fun.
KRISTIAN LIN
The following statement is true –– and also pretty much meaningless: Toy Story 3 is the weakest Pixar movie in the last 10 years. It’s true, because the movie never achieves the emotional weight of so many of its fellow P...



Please Give Weaves a Guilt-Edged Story

Charity begins at home in this richly observed comedy.
KRISTIAN LIN
If there’s any doubt that Nicole Holofcener should have filmed the Sex and the City movie, her latest comedy Please Give should remove it. The independent filmmaker directed episodes of the TV show in the 1990s, presumably to...


The Karate Kid: Kung Fu Shuffle

Rest easy, Daniel-san. This remake is a worthy successor.
KRISTIAN LIN
All right, this is bugging me: Why is this movie entitled The Karate Kid? I understand why the filmmakers would want to keep the title of the 1984 movie that they were remaking, but this new version is set in China and revolves...



David Lowery Creates a Mood

A local filmmaker goes a different, quieter route.
KRISTIAN LIN
Since so many locally produced films are cheap horror flicks, it’s refreshing to see something like David Patrick Lowery’s St. Nick, a drama about two runaway children that aims for gentle lyricism and achieves visual beaut...


A Rock Star’s Greek Orgy

The laughs are as thick as Snow in this raucous rock comedy.
KRISTIAN LIN
About two-thirds of the way through Get Him to the Greek, it all clicked for me. In the middle of a scene at a Las Vegas strip club that involves gunplay, martial arts, a large dildo, a raging fire, and a guy being shot up with...



Mother and Child: Missing Girls

Oh, mama! This fragmented adoption drama is reheated stuff.
KRISTIAN LIN
Rodrigo García makes his living as a director of episodes of TV shows such as In Treatment and Six Feet Under. However, the son of the famed Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez spends his spare time making quiet, low-k...


MacGruber: The ’80s Live! (Sort Of)

A SNL action hero bumbles onto the big screen.
KRISTIAN LIN
What a strange trip it’s been for MacGruber. At first, a movie made from the recurring series of Saturday Night Live sketches seemed like an astoundingly bad idea. On the small screen, the two-dollar set and the repetitive na...