Film Shorts

OPENING: Bad Teacher (R) Cameron Diaz stars in this comedy as a hard-drinking, foul-mouthed junior high schoolteacher who’s forced to shape up to win the heart of an idealistic substitute teacher (Justin Timberlake). Also wit...

Adolescent Dramas

Two Olivers and one George come of age in these offbeat indie flicks.
There’s never a shortage of films about coming of age. Everyone comes of age, after all, and such films can often be done cheaply, like the three low-budget independent movies we’re reviewing this week. Two of them are wort...

Film Shorts

OPENING: Beautiful Boy (R) Maria Bello and Michael Sheen star in this drama as a married couple dealing with the fallout after their college-student son (Kyle Gallner) goes on a shooting rampage at school before taking his own ...

Super 8: Lights, Camera, Alien!

This monster movie shows J.J. Abrams’ remarkable talent – and a few flaws.
I hate to be the dissenting voice on a movie everybody else seems to love, especially when I don’t think the movie’s bad at all. Super 8 is the first film J.J. Abrams has directed that’s from an original story rather than...

Mr. Popper’s Penguins Flop

Could the arctic birds – and not Jim Carrey – explain this movie’s downfall?
Loosely based on Florence Atwater’s 1938 children’s book of the same name, Mr. Popper’s Penguins never completely gels. But that doesn’t stop Jim Carrey from using everything in his arsenal of comic physicality to keep ...

Film Shorts

OPENING: Beginners (R) This autobiographical drama by Mike Mills (Thumbsucker) stars Ewan McGregor as a man who’s shocked when his terminally ill, recently widowed father (Christopher Plummer) comes out of the closet. Also wi...

Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris

The iconic filmmaker’s latest is a valentine to the City of Light.
So I’ve now seen two Woody Allen movies, the first being 1973’s Sleeper. I saw that when I was in high school, when the film was already nearly two decades old. The second is his latest, Midnight in Paris, and I can tell I...

Potiche Power

Even the mighty Catherine Deneuve can’t charm her way out of this French farce.
Between them, Catherine Deneuve and Gérard Depardieu, the stars of Potiche, have a whopping four wins and 27 nominations for the César Awards, France’s version of the Oscars. In fact, Deneuve’s 11th nomination was for her...

Film Shorts

OPENING: The Tree of Life (PG-13) Terrence Malick’s drama is about a present-day man (Sean Penn) contemplating the loss of his innocence growing up in the 1950s. Also with Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, Hunter McCracken, Larami...

Superpowers Falter in the New X-Men

This reboot is just good enough in spots to disappoint you.
Well, crap. I had such high hopes for X-Men: First Class. The fifth entry in this loosely connected series features the return of Bryan Singer, the filmmaker behind the excellent first two X-Men movies, as a story writer and pr...