Film Reviews
Mark Wahlberg tries to make it out of Afghanistan in Lone Survivor.

SEALs on the Ground

Lone Survivor shows Peter Berg in need of a new act.
KRISTIAN LIN
I’m trying to figure out whether Peter Berg is a formerly promising filmmaker who has turned into a hack, or if that early promise was all in my head. I dismissed his critical and commercial flop from last year, Battleship, a...


Chiwetel Ejiofor stars in the best film of 2013, 12 Years a Slave.

Top 10 Movies of ’13

America comes back in a major way in this year’s list.
KRISTIAN LIN
Here’s how strong 2013’s movies were: Nebraska, Enough Said, The East, and The Wolf of Wall Street aren’t even cracking my honorable mention list, and they’re really good films. By the same token, the fact that Before M...



Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill try to keep it together after consuming lots of drugs in The Wolf of Wall Street.

Jordan Rules

Leonardo DiCaprio is really funny (wait … what?) in The Wolf of Wall Street.
KRISTIAN LIN
This I know about The Wolf of Wall Street: It’s not Martin Scorsese’s best movie, but it’s certainly his funniest. It really is a shame that this movie comes out one week after American Hustle, another period film about c...


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Daydream Believer

Ben Stiller searches for the essence of Life in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
KRISTIAN LIN
A highly likable movie that comes up short of its aims, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty bears little resemblance to the James Thurber short story that it’s based on and even less to the 1947 musical film starring Danny Kaye. ...



Tom Hanks stars as Walt Disney in "Saving Mr. Banks".

Making Mary

Saving Mr. Banks does a Mickey Mouse job with Disney’s history.
KRISTIAN LIN
Saving Mr. Banks is a lie. I don’t mean in the film-school sense that all movies (even documentaries) are fictions constructed by an author. No, this bland period drama is an aggressive attempt by the Disney Corporation to wh...


Christian Bale, Amy Adams, and Bradley Cooper are dressed for a con game in American Hustle.

Hustle and Russell

Just try to keep the lies straight in the wild caper flick American Hustle.
KRISTIAN LIN
Some caper films are sleek humming machines, but American Hustle is by David O. Russell, which means that it lurches and veers and speeds recklessly through hairpin turns. He used to go years between projects, but the resurgent...



Cate Blanchett relaxes in the Hamptons with Alec Baldwin during happier times in Blue Jasmine.

Carte Blanchett

The lead actress eats up everything else in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine.
KRISTIAN LIN
Cate Blanchett is generally regarded as one of the great actresses of our time, and yet her actual track record is curiously spotty. She earned her stardom with a world-beating performance in 1998’s Elizabeth, gleefully threw...


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Let’s Stryng Along

Two North Texas filmmakers show their short film at Cannes.
KRISTIAN LIN
They make an interesting study in contrasts, the short-haired, clean shaven, jocular Geoff McGee and the long-haired, bearded, studious Derek Presley. Still, these Dallas natives share an easy friendship full of jokes, shared r...



Frozen

Ice Castle

Sisters do it for themselves in Disney’s dazzling Frozen.
KRISTIAN LIN
Last August we had The Snow Queen, a Russian film based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fable. Frozen is based on the same story, but it’s both the best animated movie of the year and the best musical. The heroine is Anna (voi...


Choi Seung-hyun awaits word on his next assignment as a North Korean spy in Commitment.

Red Dead Redemption

Commitment: Is this Korean movie the year’s best spy thriller?
KRISTIAN LIN
AMC Grapevine Mills has been running Korean films on a semi-regular basis for a while now, but Commitment, which starts there on Friday, is the first one that I’ve been able to review ahead of its opening. Though the Korean f...