Film
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...


Devil's Due opens Friday.

Film Shorts

KRISTIAN LIN
OPENING: Devil’s Due (R) Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett co-direct this found-footage horror movie about a young couple (Zach Gilford and Allison Miller) who are documenting her pregnancy when things start to go wrong...



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...



August: Osage County opens Friday.

Film Shorts

KRISTIAN LIN
OPENING: August: Osage County (R) Meryl Streep stars in this adaptation of Tracy Letts’ acclaimed play as a dying Oklahoma matriarch who gathers her family together after the suicide of her husband (Sam Shepard). Also with Ju...


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...



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...


"Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones" opens Friday.

Film Shorts

KRISTIAN LIN
OPENING: Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (R) Andrew Jacobs stars in the fifth installment of the found-footage horror series. Also with Molly Ephraim, Richard Cabral, Chloe Csengery, Jessica Tyler Brown, Jorge Diaz, Micah ...



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...


Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom opens Friday in Dallas.

Film Shorts

KRISTIAN LIN
OPENING: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (PG-13) Idris Elba stars in this biopic of the late South African leader. Also with Naomie Harris, Tony Kgoroge, Riaad Moosa, Zolani Mkiva, Simo Mogwaza, Fana Mokoena, and Terry Pheto. (Op...