Latest Theatrical Reviews
The Great Beauty (La grande bellezza) (2013)
Plays at times like a more conventional, less daring version of 1972’s
...On its own merits, Sorrentino’s film ain’t half-bad, but it’s no Fellini picture.
Out of the Furnace (2013)
This material...isn't deceptively simple: it's just simple.
Though Coogan's the avowed funnyman, twinkly-eyed Dench makes beautiful comic music with him...and though Dame Judi's the classically trained tragedian, Coogan holds his own when matters get serious.
If you can grin and bear [certain] eye-rolling situations...there's found poetry in
's slow builds of respect and its deeply understated emotional climax: a father and son crossing past each other as they switch places.
Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor (2013)
A culminative reflection on the reboot's characterization of the Doctor, a respectful hat tip to the decades that preceded the show's return to the airwaves in 2005, and a jumping-off point for...the next fifty years of
The Book Thief (2013)
This craven refusal to risk offense demonstrates the length to which the film is willing to go for truth: not very far at all.
Delivery Man (2013)
Benefits from the estimable comic instincts of Vince Vaughn. It's just too bad that the movie around him is squishy.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
A competent sequel...
The Hunger Games
could be fairly accused of being what it satirizes, but it's not without a thought in its deadly little head.
Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013)
Tease[s] out the provocative and liberating properties of art. Add extraordinary, emotionally generous performances, and
Blue Is the Warmest Color
grasps enough moments of truth to justify its extensive reach.
The Armstrong Lie (2013)
Gibney frames his film as being somewhat catch as catch can, and it is...educates about the details of doping, the 'moral relativism' so pervasive in the age of juiced athletics, and the willful ignorance that attends it.
Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
Classic 'Oscar bait,' and falls into some of the common traps of exploiting a true story. But it's also lively, funny, and scary...
Kill Your Darlings (2013)
A lurid yet fascinating look into Allen Ginsberg's formative influences...fearlessly explores dark places and the compulsion to exorcise the shadows and remake the world through art.
12 Years a Slave (2013)
The film succeeds by simply, plainly placing audiences in the emotional crucible of pre-abolition America and firing their imaginations.
The Counselor (2013)
Life may be meaningless, but Cameron Diaz doing the (commando) splits on your windshield makes for a momentary distraction. I think we can all agree on that.
All is Lost (2013)
As a 'man vs. wild' adventure in the Jack London mode,
All is Lost
has plenty of fearsome moments, but the deeper fears are existential: man in mortal contention with an indifferent universe.
Muscle Shoals (2013)
The lightning rod figure here is Rick Hall, 'the founder of the music business in Muscle Shoals'...At 80, Hall remains sharply opinionated, and his extensive recollections give
The Fifth Estate (2013)
Cumberbatch gives a commanding performance, but corrective rewrites to the worrying early drafts of the script obviously were too little, too late to do justice to the nuanced complexities of [Assange] and his revolution.
Hums along nicely as it diagnoses what Dr. Judith calls 'the least-parented, least-nurtured generation—ever.' It's funny without being broad, thanks to a fine ensemble...
Captain Phillips (2013)
May be obvious and it may be clumsy, but it's also at least a little bit thoughtful, and there's never a dull moment.
Romeo and Juliet (2013)
Please steer away your loved ones from this tone-deaf travesty, this misbegotten farrago, this offensive, rank, charmless, near-lifeless, anti-romantic twaddle, a classic tale 'told by an idiot.' Want to know what I really think?
Moves us closer to an art-house/blockbuster hybrid paradigm that could be Hollywood’s salvation...a survivalist adventure that captures the primal terror of present death while exploring the will or won't to live.
Runner Runner (2013)
The odds of hitting a 'runner runner' flush (in Texas Hold 'Em) are 'roughly four percent.' Coincidentally, those are the same odds you'll be satisfied with your purchase of a ticket to
Typically slick, both overstated and undernourished when it comes to the drama. All the same,
makes for a pretty good fall night at the movies: fast and furious, but not too stupid.
Enough Said (2013)
A comedy of separation anxiety and conjoining anxiety...When Holofcener gets Dreyfus and Gandolfini alone,
is a beautiful thing.
Stand by Me (1986)
Exquisitely captures the vulnerability not only of youth, but of the male identity.
Short Term 12 (2013)
In a film full of humane performances, Larson stands out, personifying the necessary vulnerability and strength Cretton captures of the workplace.
Afternoon Delight (2013)
Feels rather 'been there, done that' for a movie that keeps (idly, as it turns out) threatening to turn transgressive. Still, by putting utility player Hahn front and center, Soloway earns instant good will.
As violent, macho fantasies go, this one is surprisingly engaging, a throwback to '80s sci-fi actioners like
in its striking visual approach...its juicy pulp dialogue...and its unabashed hard-'R' gusto.
The Grandmaster (2013)
More than anything, perhaps,
is a feminist tragedy that, at least in this cut, seems to lose interest in Ip Man and pass the torch to the considerably more fascinating Gong Er...
does inspire escapism, as its title implies, but not in the way the filmmakers had in mind: rather, you’ll be looking for the exits.
Closed Circuit (2013)
Despite breathless proclamations about 'the biggest, most high profile murder case in British history' and timely trappings of closely held government secrets threatening to come to light, it all turns out to be rather boilerplate.
The World's End (2013)
You can go home again. But it's going to involve a lot of drinking.
As a tart analogy for our escapism into literature and romantic comedies,
is, itself, enaging, if not particularly sharp.
The Spectacular Now (2013)
A mature film about immature people, tenderly performed by its young leads and skillfully adapted, by
(500) Days of Summer
screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, from Tim Tharp's YA novel.
Kick-Ass 2 (2013)
Give this to
: it's never boring...Even so,
has lost most of its transgressive charge along with its element of surprise and its heroes' disturbingly unwavering conviction.
Faced with almost three decades of complicated history,
does a fair job of telling the story of Apple and conveying something of what made its co-founder unique.
Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013)
Despite admirable work from Whitaker and Winfrey,
Lee Daniels' The Butler
is nearly crushed by its own symbolic weight and its contrivance of a central character arc from keeping one's head down to learning to stand up.
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.
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