Posts Tagged ‘reviews’

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...

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...

Black lives matter: David Oyelowo (back row, center) leads a nonviolent protest in Selma.

Infinite Hope

Selma: Let us turn our thoughts today to Martin Luther King.
I always write with one eye on how history will judge the movies I’m writing about. From that standpoint, I have a sneaking suspicion that Selma will look a bit square and conventional in 20 years. Right now, though, coming a...

Anna Kendrick ponders what to do on the steps of the palace in Into the Woods.

Today Was a Fairytale

Into the Woods: There was a baker and his wife, and it was beautiful.
Way back before Disney rejuvenated itself by making animated musicals based on fairy tales sprinkled with witty songs, adult concerns, and a wisecracking modern attitude, Stephen Sondheim beat the studio to that territory with ...

The dwarves make a last stand at their fortress in "The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies."

Gold Mountain

Peter Jackson’s Hobbit saga finally winds to an exhausted end.
In English soccer, when a high-priced newly signed player goes bust, opposing fans will sometimes taunt the player and his team by singing, “What a waste of money!” That’s the serenade that came to my mind when I was view...

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb opens Friday.

Film Shorts

OPENING: Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (PG) Ben Stiller returns for this third installment as a museum security guard who must travel the world to save the secret denizens of all the museums. Also with Owen Wilson, St...

Film 1

Roughing It

Reese Witherspoon goes Wild with this adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir.
I remember the first time I saw Reese Witherspoon. It was in the 1996 satirical thriller Freeway, and she was playing a juvenile delinquent who runs away from home and is pursued by a murderous pedophile. There’s a courtroom ...

Joel Edgerton and his palace are pelted by hail in Exodus: Gods and Kings.

Go Down, Moses

Exodus: What’s a king to a god? What is Gods and Kings?
Hollywood’s last big-budget adaptation of the book of Exodus, Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments, hit movie theaters a full 58 years ago. By contrast, it took Tinseltown only 10 years to do Spider-Man all over again. I...