Film Reviews
Zoey Deutch wields a silver stake in Vampire Academy.

Blood and Waters

Author Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy becomes a scattered, inept movie.
KRISTIAN LIN
Late in the supernatural teen comedy Vampire Academy, one of the gossip girls at St. Vladimir’s (Sami Gayle) tries to start a fight with our heroine Rose (Zoey Deutch) at a school dance. After trying to walk away, Rose finall...


Joel Kinnaman has mixed emotions on his homecoming to Abbie Cornish in RoboCop.

RoboCop Cleans Up

Though based on the original, this reboot shines on its own.
COLE WILLIAMS
Can a movie comment on its own remake? It almost feels that way, as if the original RoboCop, with its satire of ’80s excesses and corporate B.S., saw itself, sometime down the road, being re-appropriated, repackaged, and reso...



The fellowship of the brick: Wyldstyle, Emmet, and Vitruvius take a ride in the Batjet in The Lego Movie.

Hit the Bricks

When The Lego Movie builds up laughs, everything is awesome.
KRISTIAN LIN
You’re right to be suspicious of a movie based on a set of wildly popular children’s toys, and yet The Lego Movie is far more than a cynical extension of the Danish brand that conquered the world. It’s an early front-runn...


George Clooney shows a slide of the Ghent Altarpiece to the president in The Monuments Men.

The Art of War

The canvas is too big for George Clooney’s The Monuments Men.
KRISTIAN LIN
The true story of how a team of artists and art historians fought to keep the Nazis from looting or destroying priceless works of art in the closing days of World War II makes for a compelling yarn in Robert M. Edsel’s book T...



Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson share a couch and a love of beer in Drinking Buddies.

Odds and Ends

Here’s a romp through 2013’s weird, wacky, misconceived, overlooked films.
KRISTIAN LIN
I spend every December catching up with films that I didn’t see in the theater, and every year I find interesting ones that never played in Tarrant County, thus denying me a chance to write about them in these pages. However,...


Chris Pine and Keira Knightley prepare for a night on the town with the bad guys in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.

Ryan’s Hope

The Jack Ryan reboot Shadow Recruit goes better than the last one.
KRISTIAN LIN
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is the fifth big-screen adventure of the all-American superspy invented by Tom Clancy, the second one that imagines Jack as a young man, and the first whose story isn’t taken directly from one of Cla...



Vanessa Hudgens searches for a purpose in her life in Gimme Shelter.

Apple and Tree

Gimme Shelter: Vanessa Hudgens as a ghetto kid? It works as well as you’d expect.
KRISTIAN LIN
For the first two minutes of Gimme Shelter, I thought this modestly budgeted drama was on to something. Crazier, I thought its star, Vanessa Hudgens, was on to something. We see her determinedly hacking off her hair in some cra...


Oscar Isaac squires a housecat around Manhattan while looking for work in Inside Llewyn Davis.

All Folked Up

In the well-crafted but sour Inside Llewyn Davis, even the music is overrated.
KRISTIAN LIN
When I ran my list of 2013’s best movies a couple of weeks ago, I left off one film that was on many other people’s lists, Inside Llewyn Davis. I had  reservations about the Coen brothers’ latest film, but I also found s...



Julianne Nicholson, Meryl Streep, and Margo Martindale consult their family history in August: Osage County.

Letts Do It

An award-winning play becomes a nice actors’ vehicle in August: Osage County.
KRISTIAN LIN
I need to say this right off the bat: I haven’t seen Tracy Letts’ play August: Osage County on stage. I’ve heard that the play, which won every major prize available to it in 2007, boasts a level of story and character de...


Joaquin Phoenix and Samantha (in smartphone, left) enjoy lunch outdoors in Her.

Uh Huh Her

Samantha has achieved self-awareness in Spike Jonze’s treasure of a romance.
KRISTIAN LIN
Spike Jonze has always been brilliant, but lately he’s become something more. You can see it in the tenderness that pervades both his previous film Where the Wild Things Are and his current film Her, which wasn’t there in h...