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Reviews > Film

Saturday, November 22 2014

‘Foxcatcher’ Is Another Tale of Men Being Men

None of the men in this telling of John du Pont's murder of Dave Schultz are able to say what's going wrong -- they might not even know themselves.


Friday, November 21 2014

In ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1’, Propaganda Wins

This penultimate installment of The Hunger Games film saga is all about perception, the film frequently has you watch someone watching someone while being watched by someone.


In ‘Extraterrestrial’, Cliché Counts as Comedy

Extraterrestrial's "formula-as-purpose" style doesn't make it the "meta" movie it wants to be; instead, it's just grating and mired in cliché.


‘To the Ends of the Earth’ Is a Metaphor for Benedict Cumberbatch’s Career

The timeless adventure of Edmund Talbot, who undertakes a journey from England to Australia to find a new life is also part of the career adventure of the Benedict Cumberbatch.


Thursday, November 20 2014

DOC NYC 2014: ‘The Great Invisible’ + ‘Tales of the Grim Sleeper’

These two excellent documentaries examine failed state systems: an unresponsive police department and a negligent oil safety regime.


TCM Classic Film Festival 2014

Unlike Sundance Channel or IFC, Turner Classic Movies' original manifesto remains as solid as Gibraltar.


‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition’ Is a Movie Outstripped by Its Extras

The extended edition of Desolation of Smaug turns the film into a flabby affair, but the ten-plus hours of bonus features could still make this purchase worthwhile for Tolkien fans.


Wednesday, November 19 2014

DOC NYC 2014: ‘Citizenfour’

Citizenfour is exquisitely filmed and carefully reported, but its greatest effects have to do with what you don't see, such as the plans and ambitions that underlie surveillance.


‘Walesa: Man of Hope’ Is a Beacon of Hope for Future Conflicts

Wałęsa: Man of Hope is a reminder that out of the Soviet shadow emerged a heroic and powerful story of the individual capable of being a force of change to reshape the future.


Tuesday, November 18 2014

DOC NYC 2014: ‘The Hand That Feeds’ + ‘Little White Lie’

Workers at a Manhattan deli fight for their most basic rights, and a woman who believed herself to be Jewish discovers a shocking truth about her paternity.


Although Almost 100 Years Old, ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’ Is Surprisingly Modern

Deliberate artificiality and horror based in human psychology make this horror classic, first released in 1920, feel remarkably fresh today.


Monday, November 17 2014

DOC NYC 2014: ‘Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere’ + ‘A Murder in the Park’

A lyrically surreal investigation into the mysterious disappearance of a professor in Nebraska and an exposé on the case an innocent man that might have been a huge mistake.


All of the Citizens of ‘Nuclear Nation’ Are Forced to Be Expats

Like spent fuel rods, refugees of the Fukushima nuclear disaster are handled delicately, considered toxic, and unwelcome anywhere they go.


‘Uranium Drive-In’ Reveals How Fake Facts Shape Reality

Suzan Beraza's documentary captures the contours and stubborn endurance of myths about uranium mining, as well as the evidence of their tenuous connection to reality.


Friday, November 14 2014

‘Rosewater’ Is Jon Stewart’s Ode to Hope

For all its desperation, Rosewater is also suffused with hope and even joy, a reminder that journalist Maziar Bahari is not forgotten.


‘Beyond the Lights’ Delivers What You Most Expect Out of a Melodrama

The conventions in Gina Prince-Bythewood's film are fully functioning, not so much challenged as fine-tuned, placing it safely in the camp of melodrama.


DOC NYC 2014: ‘Salad Days’ + ‘Happy Valley’

Both Salad Days and Happy Valley conclude leaving as many questions as they ask during their runtimes.


Melissa McCarthy Leads an All-Star Cast to Its Doom in ‘Tammy’

Don't be fooled by the pretty faces: Tammy is as bad as they come, a major flop that fails to show Melissa McCarthy and her cast's true talents.


Thursday, November 13 2014

DOC NYC 2014: ‘The Seven Five’ + ‘The Life and Mind of Mark DeFriest’

One of New York’s most crooked cops tells his story in an electric film, and a tragicomic story looks at the troubled life of Florida’s most dedicated prison escape artist.


DOC NYC 2014: ‘9-Man’

This documentary poses hard questions about how teams, communities, and identities are developed, and how assumptions shape expectations.


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