Film
Brendan Gleeson prepares to tend to his spiritual duties in Calvary.

Crosses to Bear

Funny about a grim subject, Calvary is the year’s best religious film.
Kristian Lin
Brendan Gleeson has acted in many Hollywood and British movies, but only the filmmakers in his native Ireland seem to have really figured out how to use this actor. His hulking frame, bulbous nose, and adenoidal bark of a voice...


Jeff Bridges shows Brenton Thwaites a way out of their dystopia in The Giver.

Conceal, Don’t Feel

After 20 years, The Giver finally hits the big screen. Eh.
Kristian Lin
Lois Lowry’s novel The Giver famously took 20 years to come to the big screen, and when I caught up to it a few months ago, I could see why there might be problems in adapting it to film. Today’s science-fiction young-adult...



Calvary opens Friday.

Film Shorts

Kristian Lin
OPENING: Calvary (R) John Michael McDonagh (The Guard) writes and directs this thriller about an Irish Catholic priest (Brendan Gleeson) who hears in confession that one of his parishioners plans revenge for his sexual abuse at...


Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan share an umbrella in What If.

Taken

What If is the year’s best Canadian romantic comedy.
Kristian Lin
The romantic comedy What If is adapted from T.J. Dawe and Michael Rinaldi’s play Toothpaste and Cigars. I’ve never seen the play, but somehow I get the feeling that I might have appreciated the film better if I’d seen the...



Astrid Berges-Frisbey and Michael Pitt regard a white peacock in I Origins.

More Than Meets the “I”

In his sophomore effort, filmmaker Mike Cahill tackles evolution versus creationism.
KENNETH KOST
In a fresh look at a tired argument, director Mike Cahill adds his flavor to the ongoing evolution-versus-creationism battle with I Origins, and after a few bites the dish actually tastes pretty good. On the surface it appears ...


Child of God opens Friday.

Film Shorts

Kristian Lin
OPENING: Child of God (R) James Franco directs, writes, and co-stars in this adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s novel about a man (Scott Haze) who tries to exist outside the social order. Also with Tim Blake Nelson, Jim Parrack,...



Patricia Arquette reads one of the Harry Potter books to Ellar Coltrane early in Boyhood.

12 Years a Child

Richard Linklater plays the long game in the remarkable Boyhood.
Kristian Lin
Bless him, Richard Linklater has never been afraid to experiment with the medium of cinema. The revolving protagonists of Slacker, the deliberate formlessness of Dazed and Confused, the episodic quasi-monologues of Waking Life,...


(Clockwise from top) Groot, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Rocket, and Chris Pratt are an unlikely bunch of Guardians of the Galaxy.

All You Need Is Quill

Guardians of the Galaxy is the funniest Marvel Comics movie yet.
KRISTIAN LIN
On the surface of a barren, hostile, alien planet, an Earthman named Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) boogies leisurely across the rocky terrain in his spacesuit, singing along to Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love.” When a small...



And So It Goes opens Friday.

Film Shorts

KRISTIAN LIN
OPENING: And So It Goes (PG-13) Michael Douglas stars in this comedy as a self-centered man who enlists the help of his neighbor (Diane Keaton) when his estranged granddaughter (Sterling Jerins) is left on his doorstep. Also wi...


Pierce Gagnon, Zach Braff, and Joey King emerge from a wig shop with their latest purchase in Wish I Was Here.

Tears in Tinseltown

Zach Braff is stuck in La-La Land in Wish I Was Here.
KRISTIAN LIN
I hated Garden State when it came out. I detested its cutesy preciousness, its 10-cent spiritual wisdom, its general air of being pleased with itself, its unearned oh-wow-the-world-is-so-beautiful mysticism. Despite all that, I...