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...

Duke of Burgundy

Film Shorts

Kristian Lin
OPENING The Duke of Burgundy (NR) Like Fifty Shades of Grey, but a lot more lesbic. This drama by Peter Strickland (Berberian Sound Studio) stars Sidse Babett Knudsen as a lepidopterist who engages in an S&M sexual relation...


Film Shorts

Kristian Lin
OPENING Amira & Sam (NR) Martin Starr stars in this comedy as a U.S. Army veteran who falls in love with an Iraqi woman (Dina Shababi). Also with Paul Wesley, Laith Nakli, Ross Marquand, Taylor Wilcox, and David Rasche. (Op...


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...

Cake opens Friday.

Film Shorts

OPENING: Cake (R) Jennifer Aniston stars in this drama as a disfigured woman who becomes obsessed with the suicide of one of the other patients in her chronic-pain support group. Also with Sam Worthington, Adriana Barraza, Mami...

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...


Film Shorts

OPENING: Blackhat (R) Chris Hemsworth stars in Michael Mann’s thriller as a convicted hacker who’s released from prison to help catch a cyber-terrorist. Also with Viola Davis, Tang Wei, William Mapother, John Ortiz, Wang Le...

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...