Latest Theatrical Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
Smart or...dumb? Yes, and...fun to hang around with for a couple of hours.
The Great Gatsby (2013)
Luhrmann approaches the story and directs his actors in ways that hold them at a distance from us: the overkill plays less as bold art and more as lack of trust in the source material.
In the House (2013)
Inviting photography and a relentless pace complement Claude's unfolding narrative, but the big thrills are in the deftly drawn characters...and the incisive satire...
At Any Price (2012)
Works best when it sticks close to Henry, whose broad grin fails to mask a growing desperation. Quaid not only makes a believably corn-fed patriarch, but he captures the mien of one who is slowly ceding his soul...
Perhaps it's damning
with faint praise to call it agreeable, but Gilles Bourdos' film...shows an admirable restraint, quiet simplicity, and lush pictorial beauty.
The Place Beyond the Pines (2013)
The most satisfying cinematic experience we've had at the multiplex thus far this year, and largely through its disinterest in playing along with movie trends.
Evil Dead (2013)
There are two types of people in the world. Those who should under no circumstances see the horror sequel/reboot
and those who just
The Host (2013)
Do not consume
before operating heavy machinery. Side effects may include spontaneous coma or fits of giggling.
The Croods (2013)
Appears to have been market-tested to within an inch of its life, so despite a theme of finding the capacity to evolve, the picture remains mired in the tar pit of formula.
On the Road (2012)
This pretty period-pictorial companion piece to the novel fatally misses out on the brain-firing raw buzz that Kerouac felt and passed on to his readers...
Park’s skills for surreal subjectivity and the mischievously weird certainly don’t hurt, but they can’t quite banish
’s narrative speed bumps and draughts of cold air...
Swims upstream against high-definition with a defiantly lo-fi approach that's also ingeniously evocative of the historical period.
Greedy Lying Bastards (2013)
The film isn't a worldbeater as either old-school journalism of rigorous reportage or dazzling showmanship...will be of most use as a time capsule of sorts...
The mealy half-truth director Peter Webber...and screenwriters Vera Blasi and David Klass settle for just winds up a waste of everyone's time.
A Place at the Table (2013)
Provides plenty of moving case studies...[but] it's most useful for its prismatic look at the problem of American hunger, examining the problem's recent history, its root causes...and its inextricability from other national crises...
In its modern way,
is almost Dickensian in its intent, missing no opportunity for melodramatic confrontation as it puts a (baby) face on a social ill.
Bless Me, Ultima (2013)
The material calls out for a more expressive cinematographic treatment. Had the film been less antiseptic and more bold in its visuals and the emotional depths of its performances, it could have been a classic; instead, it's a rather ordinary indie.
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