Film

Charlie St. Cloud: Sailing Takes Me Away

Zac Efron stumbles — and we learn — in this weeper.
KRISTIAN LIN
Sometimes being a film critic means being a straight guy who spends hours pondering the meaning of Zac Efron. It’s not that bad, actually. Say what you want to about the High School Musical series, the actor who catapulted to...


Film Shorts

KRISTIAN LIN
OPENING: Charlie St. Cloud (PG-13) Zac Efron stars in this drama as a young man who’s paralyzed by grief after his younger brother (Charlie Tahan) dies beside him in a car accident. Also with Amanda Crew, Augustus Prew, Donal...



The Kids Are All Right: Laser Has Two Mommies

A family of four (plus sperm donor) equals a great comedy.
KRISTIAN LIN
When I heard that Annette Bening and Julianne Moore were playing a lesbian couple in a movie, I thought, “That sounds like it’ll work.” Then I saw the trailer for the movie and thought, “That looks like it’ll work.”...


Dinner for Schmucks: American Idiot

Steve Carell has some nice gags at this meal.
KRISTIAN LIN
Maybe the best part of Dinner for Schmucks is the opening credit sequence. It shows the construction of an elaborate diorama, depicting a daytime scene in a park populated by stuffed mice that have been dressed in tiny costumes...



Film Shorts

KRISTIAN LIN
OPENING: South of the Border (NR) Oliver Stone’s documentary portrait of seven Latin American leaders, including Raúl Castro, Hugo Chávez, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Evo Morales, and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. (Opens...


Los Angeles Thames

A TCU graduate works behind the camera and in front.
KRISTIAN LIN
Even over the phone, Jay Thames is a massive presence. He has a sandblaster of a voice, and his words come tumbling out with the force of a river rapid as he relates colorful anecdotes — frequently in colorful language — ab...



I Can See Cleary Now: Ramona and Beezus

A brave pest finally gets her movie, and it does some good things.
KRISTIAN LIN
The shadow of America’s recession hangs heavily over Ramona and Beezus. Wow, that’s a portentous opening sentence. It’s true, though — the very first film adaptation of Beverly Cleary’s beloved kids’ books shows the...


Film Shorts

KRISTIAN LIN
OPENING: The Killer Inside Me (R) Michael Winterbottom’s adaptation of Jim Thompson’s novel stars Casey Affleck as a sheriff’s deputy who is revealed to be behind a string of psychopathic murders in West Texas in the 1950...



Inception Puts You in a Sleeper Hold

Christopher Nolan and his dream team melt your mind.
KRISTIAN LIN
It’s often said that movies don’t obey the logic of the real world but the logic of dreams. Take Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight — the movie falls apart if you think of the Joker as operating by the same rules as al...


Your Mom Loves You Too Much, Cyrus

A boy’s best friend is his mother in this indie comedy.
KRISTIAN LIN
If you’ve had your fill of comedies that feature men who are unable or unwilling to grow up, you should really check out Cyrus. This lo-fi comedy with big-name stars takes that notion to a logical extreme and does so in a dis...