Film Reviews
Fifty Shades of Grey

Random Observations on Fifty Shades of Grey

Kristian Lin
So I finally saw Fifty Shades of Grey. It was less terrible than I feared, but still fell well short of being good. Let’s break this down: I’ve only read enough of the book to appreciate the awfulness of E.L. James’ writi...

Still Alice

Losing My Mind

Julianne Moore deserves an Oscar but not for Still Alice.
Kristian Lin
Julianne Moore looks like a mortal lock to pick up an Oscar next week for her performance in Still Alice, an honor that she should have won years ago. I yield to no one in my admiration for this actress, yet I find myself curio...

The Kingsman

My Deadly Valentine

A British spy thriller gets down with its bad self in Kingsman.
Kristian Lin
I see it now. There are two Matthew Vaughns. In one corner, we have Good Boy Matthew Vaughn, the British director who brought icy control and a flair for action to Layer Cake and X-Men: First Class. In the other, we have Bad Bo...


Beautiful Boy

One-third of the screen yields three times the emotion in the Quebecois drama Mommy.
Kristian Lin
I’d like to take a minute to introduce you to someone. Xavier Dolan started out as a child actor in his native Canada, and at 25 his career in front of the camera is still going. However, he has become known to the world as a...


Soak Up the Screen

SpongeBob SquarePants absorbs more laughs in his second movie.
Kristian Lin
I’ll admit this right now: I’ve never seen a single episode of SpongeBob SquarePants. I just never found the time, and my experience of seeing 2004’s The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie did not encourage me to try it. Now, 10...


Pain Cake

Jennifer Aniston does great work in a not-so-great drama.
You may have heard the whispers about a movie called Cake that stars Jennifer Aniston and played at the Toronto Film Festival. The lead actress scored a Golden Globe nomination and campaigned hard for an Oscar nod, and the movi...

A Most Violent Year.

Hard Winter

Oscar Isaac is Oscar-worthy in the crime thriller A Most Violent Year.
The discontent over this year’s Oscars has been all about the overwhelming whiteness of the nominees. Most of that discontent has coalesced around Selma, for excellent reason. Still, what about A Most Violent Year, which open...

Life in the Israeli army has Dana Ivgy considering suicide by staple gun in Zero Motivation.

Odds and Ends

Picking through leftover movies — some brilliant, some not — from 2014.
Just like last January, I find myself having watched a bunch of movies from the previous 12 months that I found intriguing but didn’t have a chance to write about in these pages. Since I didn’t get a chance to review any of...

Steve Carell holds forth on the importance of coaches as American leaders in Foxcatcher.


Foxcatcher grapples with American manhood and a true-life crime.
After billionaire wrestling benefactor John du Pont was arrested in 1989 for murdering coach and former Olympic gold medalist Dave Schultz, the police announced that du Pont would be given a mental evaluation. In his Tonight Sh...

Bradley Cooper takes aim in "American Sniper."

Firing Blind

The truth is kept offscreen in American Sniper.
It has become a depressingly familiar ritual during awards season: movies based on real-life events being picked apart by professional trolls and op-ed writers. With the prestige pictures comes the carping. The Imitation Game d...