Film Reviews
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.
KRISTIAN LIN
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.

Takedown

Foxcatcher grapples with American manhood and a true-life crime.
KRISTIAN LIN
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.
KRISTIAN LIN
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...


Black lives matter: David Oyelowo (back row, center) leads a nonviolent protest in Selma.

Infinite Hope

Selma: Let us turn our thoughts today to Martin Luther King.
KRISTIAN LIN
I always write with one eye on how history will judge the movies I’m writing about. From that standpoint, I have a sneaking suspicion that Selma will look a bit square and conventional in 20 years. Right now, though, coming a...



Joaquin Phoenix is flabbergasted by the complexity of his newest case in "Inherent Vice."

Pot P.I.

A marijuana haze enshrouds the conspiracy plot in Inherent Vice.
KRISTIAN LIN
Here’s a great matchup of movie director and book. Thomas Pynchon’s 2009 novel Inherent Vice features the reclusive postmodern giant at his wackiest and most engaging. It’s a terrific subject for Paul Thomas Anderson, the...


Chris Evans makes his way to the front of the train in Snowpiercer.

Top 10 Movies of 2014

The year’s best films are English-only, and they’re not the ones you might think.
KRISTIAN LIN
I didn’t put any foreign-language films in my list of the year’s best movies. How the hell did that happen? Did the entire non-Anglophone world just have an off year? Did I watch all the wrong foreign movies? Or is this jus...



James Franco and Randall Park in "The Interview."

Screw You, North Korea! I Saw The Interview.

Kristian Lin
When last we checked in with The Interview, Sony Pictures had pulled the film from theaters and been roundly criticized for it. Since then, though, the company reversed course and put the movie out in select theaters around the...


Anna Kendrick ponders what to do on the steps of the palace in Into the Woods.

Today Was a Fairytale

Into the Woods: There was a baker and his wife, and it was beautiful.
KRISTIAN LIN
Way back before Disney rejuvenated itself by making animated musicals based on fairy tales sprinkled with witty songs, adult concerns, and a wisecracking modern attitude, Stephen Sondheim beat the studio to that territory with ...



Christoph Waltz bullies Amy Adams into giving up credit for her paintings in Big Eyes.

My Wife Could Paint That

Big Eyes is a potent story of abusive marriage and not-so-high art.
KRISTIAN LIN
The way to understand Big Eyes is not as a movie about art nor as a Tim Burton film, though it’s both of those things. No, Big Eyes is best understood as a movie about domestic abuse, and as such it’s actually more powerful...


Quvenzhané Wallis plays with Sandy in the new Annie.

Hard Knocks

Annie: Instead of treated, we get tricked by this leaden musical.
KRISTIAN LIN
Going into the newest big-screen version of Annie, I actually had some hopes for its success. Yes, the Broadway show is a saccharine piece of work that scored a huge hit in 1977 largely because a depressed America wanted to be ...