<p>Liam Neeson’s character solves a mid-life crisis and possibly his wife’s abduction in ‘Unknown’ </p>
German Engineering

Unknown

Forget Harley-Davidsons and 20-something girlfriends — the newest trend for male leads having their second mid-life crisis is action films. Two years ago, 50-something Liam Neeson starred in the surprisingly OK Taken, a high-body-count revenge flick that had him practicing his “combat roll and reload” sequences. His latest foray is Unknown, a good-enough-for-February film that doesn’t...

entered on 02/22/11 at 11:47 PM | read more »


<p>Javier Bardem walks the streets of a dismal-looking Barcelona in ‘Biutiful’ </p>
Death and Debt

Biutiful

Set in a dismal-looking Barcelona and following a character with amazingly bad luck, Biutiful slathers on the misery like few other movies do. But misery is nothing new for its director, Alejandro González Iñárritu, the man behind several other bleak pictures, including Amores Perros and 21 Grams. Biutiful is a big movie that's slightly overloaded with ideas and impressions but held together...

entered on 02/22/11 at 11:32 PM | read more »


Monsters Vs. Illegal Aliens

DVD Discovery: Monsters

Don’t let the generic title of Monsters fool you — it’s really a pretty unique film. With an estimated budget of $800,000, which is the latte and donuts budget for most Hollywood movies, Monsters offers some surprisingly big-time special effects. But the real story behind the film’s creation is its super-cheap on-location guerilla shooting style, in which the film’s crew (one...

entered on 02/18/11 at 09:42 PM | read more »



Just Get it Over With

Just Go With It

Just Go With It is the latest Dennis Dugan–directed Adam Sandler vehicle. Standing at the ticket counter, the title reads more like a desperate plea for audience members. That probably isn't the case, since it was basically designed to make lots of money. But it’s such a benign and unnecessary movie that it's nice to imagine.

It takes a while to get to the meat of things, but the idea is...

entered on 02/16/11 at 09:49 PM | read more »



Less Than Some

Somewhere

Devoid of music or dialogue, the opening frames of Somewhere capture a sports car driving repeatedly in a circle for, like, a really long time before the car stops and an obvious douchebag exits the vehicle and stands there … for, like, a really long time. Had writer/director Sofia Coppola rolled credits immediately thereafter, the experience of Somewhere wouldn’t have changed an iota. The...

entered on 02/16/11 at 09:46 PM | read more »



Don’t Laugh at Tiny Projections

Oscar pleasure is usually reserved for grouches or award show addicts. As both, one of my favorite weekends has finally arrived: Film Streams at the Ruth Sokolof Theater (FilmStreams.org) presents its annual screening of the year’s Oscar-nominated short films. These proud members of the itty-bitty cine committee are pint-sized powerhouses proudly packaged together for ease-of-viewing on the big...

entered on 02/08/11 at 11:08 PM | read more »



Heartbreak Motel

Blue Valentine

Last year’s indie relationship flicks mostly kept the mood light. Both Jack Goes Boating and Cyrus tempered their weighty moments with socially awkward central characters who were good for a tension-breaking chuckle. Viewers loved these characters at arm’s length, not because they weren’t real or wonderfully crafted, but because we like to think of ourselves as too sophisticated to make the...

entered on 02/01/11 at 11:10 PM | read more »


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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The epic conclusion to the most epic of epics.

GRADE
A-


The Babadook

A terrifying tale of an ooky pop-up book and motherly love.

GRADE
A


The Tale of Princess Kaguya

A water-colored take on a Japanese folktale that is prettier than it is interesting.

GRADE
B-


The Theory of Everything

"Out of this world" performances buoy a sub-par script.

GRADE
B+


Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Half of what promises to be an epic conclusion to a fabulous series.

GRADE
B+


Birdman

A delirously fun satirical send up of artistic pretension. 

GRADE
B+


The Overnighters

"The Grapes of Wrath" in documentary form set in North Dakota.

GRADE
A-


Interstellar

If this was humanity's last hope, give up.

GRADE
D


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