Friday, December 19 2014
This film makes J.M.W. Turner's story fascinating, his personal failings and artistic innovations seemingly inevitable, throbbing, propulsive and painful.
If all you care about is action, of witnessing outstanding special F/X and genre fantasy fashioned by a true master of such material, then this will satisfy your needs to no end.
Thursday, December 18 2014
As Nicholas Vreeland's journey into Buddhist philosophy goes deeper, the tension between his photography and his role as a monk increases.
One day, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will land a role in a film that’s fitting of his charisma, physique, and on-screen likability, but Hercules is not that film.
Wednesday, December 17 2014
For his third film based on true material, Bennett Miller tells a tale of how when wealth and Olympian athleticism mix together, those living in those worlds become increasingly insulated.
Lord of Illusions is at its best when it balances noir mystery with supernatural elements without veering too far to one side or another.
Tuesday, December 16 2014
Within three minutes, the film connects stories across time as told by painters and observers and those who work in London's National Gallery.
After watching I Am Santa Claus, you'll never think of Santa the same way, whether you like it or not.
Monday, December 15 2014
Amanda Wilder's remarkable "free school" documentary shows all sorts of pleasures and tensions among the kids and adults as they figure out how to manage such an experiment.
Rudolf Maté's Union Station tells a noir story from a time when passenger rail travel was central to American life.
Friday, December 12 2014
While it shows Chris Rock is still a bit shaky when it comes to his cinematic skill set, Top Five is a triumph. It is easily his best movie, as well as one of the best comedies of 2014.
As in The Master, the ocean haunts the protagonist in this film adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s novel, but it’s a haunting of a different kind.
Just like Moses' task from God, the social and cultural context that surrounds Exodus: Gods and Kings shapes it in ways that these actors and filmmakers might not have wanted.
Tuesday, December 9 2014
Alejandro Amenábar’s suspense-drama Tesis is a fairly predictable, American-influenced thriller, but its stellar performances, particularly from Ana Torrent, are all aces.
Monday, December 8 2014
Lars Von Trier’s cinema, particularly in Breaking the Waves, is an acknowledgement of film as an offshoot of literature and the heritage of storytelling.
Friday, December 5 2014
The metaphor of Cheryl's (Reese Witherspoon) giant backpack works in multiple ways, from the personal ordeals she confronts to the social expectations she can't avoid.
The fundamentalist atheism and myopic intellectualism of Woody Allen's latest depiction of an older man/younger woman dynamic makes it a pale imitation of his best work.
Thursday, December 4 2014
Liv Ullmann's take on August Strindberg's classic drama emphasizes the class struggles of its characters, depicting the ways in which power systems drive individuals beyond reason.
Tuesday, December 2 2014
The Babadook reveals that grief is a lot like a monster: even if you think you've killed it, it's never quite as killed as you would hope.
Bernardo Bertolucci’s magnificent drama The Conformist bridges the supreme elegance of the jazz age with Euro mod-chic.