Latest Film Reviews
In the Family (2011)
In the Family
is an 'issue movie'...But in practice, it's a made-to-scale love story and a thoughtful family drama. In other words, it's a true rarity of contemporary cinema.
There's a tough-mindedness there that's admirable, even if it's preaching to a mall-multiplex choir. But one wishes Blomkamp were less concerned with his
-style run-and-gunning and more interested in the subtler repercussions...
We're the Millers (2013)
Mean-spirited to squishy does not a convincing trajectory make...That wouldn't be so much of an issue if
We're the Millers
weren't such a dismally unfunny endurance test, but there you are.
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013)
Yes, Percy faces his Charybdis, but...
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
not surprisingly feels more dutiful than creatively energized.
Star Trek: The Next Generation—Season Four (1987)
Under the leadership of head writer Michael Piller...the series broke the mold with the outstanding character piece 'Family.' That episode title would also serve as a pithy summation of the fourth season's primary theme.
Star Trek: The Next Generation—Redemption (1991)
Perhaps the most commonly applied adjective when it comes to the Klingon homeworld episodes of
...is 'Shakespearean'...[given] a certain unity of voice, as well as compelling throne-room drama and civil-war intrigue.
Doctor Who: The Snowmen (2012)
In the show's grand tradition of family entertainment, with scary creatures, exciting chases, chaste romance (with a buxom companion), and more than a few choice laughs on the off chance anyone might start taking the show too seriously.
2 Guns (2013)
While we've seen plenty of R-rated action buddy comedies before, the stream of amusing banter here comes with plotting that has a few good tricks in reserve.
Blue Jasmine (2013)
Blanchett's edgy comic brio, in Jasmine's blithely imperious manner, magically complements her tragic mental fragility and self-defeating desperation.
The Wolverine (2013)
Handsome but flatfooted,
comes tantalizingly close to working, which makes it all the more disappointing that Mangold comes up short.
Fruitvale Station (2013)
Coogler isn't after much more than what naturally comes with his approach: a memorial in dramatic prose, an occasion for cathartic outrage and empathetic grief.
Still Mine (2013)
Handled with care and patience by McGowan, proves mightily compelling, and deftly sidesteps sentimentality and cliche.
Robot Chicken DC Comics Special (2012)
'Blackout comedy' for the Comic-Con set, the nerd's
...all in good fun.
Girl Most Likely (2013)
The kind of movie you root for to get its act together..Take the great Kristen Wiig out...and it would be unbearable.
Kids...will probably ho-hum their way through
happily enough and forget it moments later. But they deserve better, too, than this lackluster, generic kiddie flick.
Despicable Me 2 (2013)
Culminates in a double-music video finish designed to see audiences out in a pop-narcotic laughing-gas daze. As a tactic, it’s a poor substitute for a satisfying story.
I'm So Excited (2013)
A perverted comedy of manners, with the characters spilling drinks, secrets, and sperm...but coming more from a place of 'I'm going to make my dolls kiss. Won't that be naughty?' than one of productive social satire.
The Heat (2013)
The meeting of McCarthy's stinging zingers and Bullock's practiced exasperation almost justifies
, but it's more of a lob than a fastball.
Unfinished Song (2013)
If you're an inveterate softie looking to hydrate your eyes, yes...can't bear the thought of missing good work by Redgrave and Stamp, maybe...low tolerance for having your intelligence insulted (or dreadful renditions of "Love Shack"), it's a definite no.
The Bling Ring (2013)
True crime with a dash of social satire...Coppola remains mesmerizingly stylish, but...
The Bling Ring
winds up being skin deep: superficial characters portrayed superficially in a shallow-pool reflection of shallowness.
Fill the Void (2013)
The film is undeniably a celebration of community, but on Shira, one gets the disturbing whiff of Stockholm Syndrome.
Man of Steel (2013)
On balance, this new cinematic take on a 75-year-old icon constitutes a worthy Superman movie and a modest improvement for a franchise that had creatively stalled.
Breaking Bad: The Fifth Season (2012)
The show continues to grow in dimension and in scope, a reality that's also meaningful within its fictional universe.
Safety Last! (1923)
is a certified treat, but in packed movie houses, with audiences invariably gasping and giggling on every cue, it's a near-religious experience.
This Is the End (2013)
This type of thing has already been diluted by...Funny or Die...The main difference...is that
This is The End
is profane in the extreme, an R-rated stoner comedy gleefully grafted onto a 'splatstick' horror picture...
In Old Arizona (1929)
The first major Western in sound...One can occasionally feel the filmmakers showing off the technology, with close-ups of a crying baby or sizzling ham and eggs.
Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)
Oz the Great and Powerful
gets saved from the junk heap by Franco and especially by director Sam Raimi, who happily treats the enterprise as a sandbox.
The Newsroom: The Complete First Season (2012)
By setting the show in the recent past, Sorkin can productively remind or inform a broad audience of the pith of important news we've lived through...a subplot about [NSA] wiretapping...[even] gets ahead of the curve...
A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)
Once blithely acceptable as American id, McClane's become the archetypal American idiot.
Falling Skies: The Complete Second Season (2011)
Cannily plays in equal measure to the sci-fi TV crowd and families, to red states and blue states, and it's a formula—refined in Season Two—that seems to be working.
The Internship (2013)
Although Vaughn's riffing skills remain in fine form, as do Wilson's, the story makes every obvious and conventional choice.
Now You See Me (2013)
So preposterous in its particulars, so ludicrous in its lowdown, that you're liable to kick yourself silly for having bothered to play along.
What remains most striking about
may be the...conspicuous emphasis on intense close-ups. They force an inescapable emotional intimacy in relation to issues the mainstream, at least at the time, would rather have looked away from.
3:10 to Yuma (1957)
Distinguished by its thoughtfulness regarding the nature of Western heroism, as defined not only by dead-eye gunplay, but by family, community, and moral rectitude.
Nothing new, but given its solidly built kids' adventure, I'm not going to, y'know, look down on it.
The Hangover Part III (2013)
Less like a movie and more like a contractual obligation.
Stand Up Guys (2012)
The awfulness of the narrative is plain to see, and yet...no one can say
Stand Up Guys
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
Smart or...dumb? Yes, and...fun to hang around with for a couple of hours.
Shanghai Noon (2000)
Though the film nakedly seeks a wide audience through conventional plotting and characterization—and despite being (like most action movies) guy-centric—
provides good, clean 'family' fun.
Shanghai Knights (2003)
This innocent, sixties-style, big-budget comedy-romance-action-adventure romp is solid family entertainment that would make any self-respecting kid's jaw drop for a good two hours.
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