Latest Theatrical Reviews
Ne touchez pas la hache (a.k.a. The Duchess of Langeais) (2008)
Director Jacques Rivette, a contemporary of famous New Wave filmmakers Truffaut and Godard, turned 80 this month, and he celebrates with a new film in theaters. The Duchess of Langeais, adapted from...
The gay romantic drama Shelter is rather ordinary (if a gay romantic drama can be called ordinary in today's political climate), especially in its filmic technique. But quietly and cumulatively, it s...
It's telling that Sleepwalking is distributed by Overture Films, "a Starz company," as one can see it speedily arriving at its afterlife on cable and home video. Despite its best of intentions, this...
Funny Games (2008)
In a way, Michael Haneke's Funny Games is the best-made bad movie you'll ever see, something equivalent to Stanley Kubrick directing Death Wish 6. With painstaking control, Haneke details a horrifyin...
Married Life (2008)
Writer-director Ira Sachs puts marriage under the ultimate strain in Married Life. Infidelity? That's nothing. Try a husband determined to kill his wife because it would be inhumane simply to dump he...
Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who (2008)
Adapting the slim and charmingly quaint stories of Dr. Seuss into feature-length films has always been a dicey proposition, which makes the success of Horton Hears a Who all the sweeter. This loving...
George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead (2008)
At 67, George A. Romero can still kick upstart film-school horror junkies to the curb with his restless intellect and artful vitality. It sounds like a joke, but it's a compliment: Romero comes up wi...
The Bank Job (2008)
Tunneling underground notwithstanding, a heist movie shouldn't feel this much like drudgery.
Girls Rock! (2008)
An inspiring rebel yell from four girls unwilling to recede into the background as passive sacrifices to the MTV culture.
Penelope, a gender swap on the old Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, casts Christina Ricci as an innerly beautiful rich girl literally cursed with a pig snout. Marriage to "one of her own kind" can re...
The Signal (2008)
The tripartite film The Signal borrows a conceit from J-horror—technology as a portal for evil—and puts it through the American indie horror wringer. The signal in question, sent by someo...
One of this year's five Oscar-nominated foreign films, the Israeli entry Beaufort essays the last days of the 12th Century Beaufort Castle, a mountain stronghold in Southern Lebanon. Once held by the...
Eastern Promises (2007)
' unusually ambiguous character study makes for a different kind of crime drama, a striking if not entirely satisfying one.
Paranoid Park (2008)
A study in isolation and, yes, paranoia...The mesmerizingly beautiful images--often in slo-mo--glide to evoke Alex's primary pursuit of skating.
Taxi to the Dark Side (2008)
The Abu Ghraib controversy sparked a national debate on torture that has yet to calm. Were the horrors of Abu Ghraib the work of "a few bad apples" or a systematic, tacitly authorized approach to war...
Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days & 30 Nights—Hollywood to the Heartland (2008)
Sometimes all we want from a movie is a good time out, and that's exactly what Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days & 30 Nights—Hollywood to the Heartland provides. The documentary...
In Bruges (2008)
Playwright Martin McDonagh, an expert of sweaty crime dramas, takes his show on the road in his feature debut, In Bruges. McDonagh (who won an Oscar for his short film "Six Shooter") writes and direc...
The Witnesses (2008)
From director André Téchiné (Wild Reeds) comes this insinuating drama about an emotionally complicated web of "open relationships." Novelist Sarah (Emmanuelle Béart of 8 W...
Over Her Dead Body (2008)
After these 97 minutes, resting in peace sounds pretty good.
Alice's House (2008)
This Brazilian drama from writer-director Chico Teixeira moves to its own rhythm. The story of a wife (Carla Riba's Alice) and husband, their three troubled sons, and the undervalued (grand)mother wh...
Sets the tone with an opening suite of scenes that put a kitty in danger.
The Great Debaters (2007)
Were the film not so insistent on conventional payoffs,
The Great Debaters
could have been much more satisfying. As it is, it's a pleasant holiday film with a positive message.
Charlie Wilson's War (2007)
A Bizarro-world Frank Capra picture...Though the story deserves more weight...still a pleasing, unusually smart, consistently witty mass entertainment.
Le Scaphandre et le papillon (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) (2007)
Qualifies as a masterpiece of sensual cinema and poetic subjectivity.
Away from Her (2007)
A profound and poignant requiem for our preferred human conditions.
Grace is Gone (2007)
What might have made a nice short film becomes an annoying feature in James C. Strouse's Grace is Gone. John Cusack plays a war widower too screwed up to break the news of his wife's death in Iraq to...
Starting Out in the Evening (2007)
Frank Langella stars as a New York City-based novelist in Andrew Wagner's film Starting Out in the Evening, based on a novel by Brian Morton. Langella plays Leonard Schiller, who finds himself warily...
Youth Without Youth (2007)
After a decade-long absence, Francis Ford Coppola returns to his roots with the indie Youth Without Youth. It's an ambitious adaptation of the novella by Mircea Eliade, full of magic realism and phil...
The Golden Compass (2007)
Posh fantasy...the film's dazzling imagery and serviceable story hustle along agreeably, if a bit dourly.
In the story's nooks and crannies are ideas to savor...the human-condition horrors of unpassable distances of space, time, and reconciliation.
Steal a Pencil for Me (2007)
"The course of true love never did run smooth," wrote the Bard, and truer words could not be spoken of Ina and Jack Polak, whose love survived the Holocaust. Michèle Ohayon tells their story i...
Alpha Dog (2007)
A well-researched model of the true-crime genre...[and] close cinematic relative of Larry Clark's
Moshe and co-screenwriter Guy Jacobson use their white protagonist not cynically to exploit white guilt, but to excavate it and examine its possibilities and failings with an anthropological eye.
The Jane Austen Book Club (2007)
Writer-director Robin Swicord's surprisingly effective adaptation of Karen Joy Fowler's chick-lit novel The Jane Austen Book Club proves to be a delightful romantic comedy that (gasp) even men can en...
Sydney White (2007)
The latest Amanda Bynes vehicle, Sydney White, gives "Snow White" a college try. I know what you're thinking: they still make Amanda Bynes vehicles? Abandon all hope, ye who enter the unhallowed hall...
Good Luck Chuck (2007)
Even the most abysmal romantic comedy will appeal to someone, and Good Luck Chuck is aimed squarely at those with a drunken-frat-boy mentality. Even they will be hard-pressed to score date-movie poin...
Amusing and heartfelt, Delirious comes from indie darling Tom DiCillo. Steve Buscemi gives a crackerjack leading performance as Les, a profane, selfish, hypocritical, star-struck, self-absorbed papar...
The Hunting Party (2007)
Based on an article in Esquire magazine, The Hunting Party tells the true-ish tall tale of a band of reporters on the trail of the most wanted war criminal in Bosnia. Richard Gere plays an incorrigib...
Mr. Woodcock (2007)
The lazy comedy Mr. Woodcock almost skates by on star power, but the notoriously troubled production shows the seams between credited director Craig Gillespie and the man who directed three weeks of...
In the Shadow of the Moon (2007)
For those who aren't already well-versed with the chapter in history, David Sington's documentary about the Apollo space program is an invaluable document; those who are will find this appendix&mdash...
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