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Monday, February 9 2015

‘Nightcrawler’ Reminds Us That Capitalism and the Media Have Gotten Worse

As Nightcrawler compellingly depicts, every member of society is one rent payment away from tapping into their dark side.


Friday, February 6 2015

‘Seventh Son’ Asks How Evil You Must Be to Fight Evil

Jeff Bridges, being very Dude-like, summarizes the motto of Seventh Son: "When you deal with dark, dark gets in you."


‘The SpongeBob Movie’ Works for the Five Year Old and the 55 Year Old

There's little subtext in this tale of the pineapple under the sea, but there is plenty of clever humor and scenery-chewing to rile up audiences of all ages.


The Wachowski Siblings Repeat Themselves in ‘Jupiter Ascending’

At this point in the Wachowskis’ career, another hyped-up science-fiction saga about fate and humanity-as-cattle feels like less of a recurring theme and more like a lack of imagination.


‘Dear White People’ Untangles Complicated Relations of Racism and Identity

This film's ability to balance character-driven stories with didactic critiques against the racist practices that haunt our daily lives speaks to a sophisticated outlook rare among first-time directors.


‘Left Behind’ Would Have Been Better Left Behind

This Christian "blockbuster" thriller is a movie that looks and sounds significantly lower-rent than even the other low-rent thrillers Nicolas Cage has been doing lately.


Thursday, February 5 2015

A Clunky Conclusion Prevents ‘John Wick’ From Being a Minor Classic

This straightforward revenge flick doesn't quite nail its blood-soaked final bow, but it nonetheless provides far more thrills than your typical run 'n' gun film.


Wednesday, February 4 2015

Roman Polanski’s ‘Macbeth’ Is Sinister Jazz

Like a jazz performer playing a classic tune, Roman Polanski takes Shakespeare's classic text and offers slight but crucial emphases, inspired no doubt by his own personal turmoils.


Tuesday, February 3 2015

Dr. Who Becomes da Vinci in ‘Inside the Mind of Leonardo’

Peter Capaldi, the current Dr. Who, delivers an avant-garde bit of performance art that should be deconstructed just like da Vinci's notebooks.


In ‘The Boxtrolls’, the Adult Authorities Are Corrupt

In the good-but-not-great Boxtrolls, it falls to the young characters to take care of business and save the day themselves.


Monday, February 2 2015

‘A Life in Dirty Movies’ Is a Touching Documentary That Isn’t About What You Think

With a title like A Life in Dirty Movies you might not expect a love story, but that's what you get.


Friday, January 30 2015

‘Project Almanac’ Can’t Time Travel Away From Formula

With underdeveloped female characters and an emotional generic backstory, Project Almanac is trapped too much in formula for the youthful energy of its cast to rise to the fore.


‘Black or White’ Doesn’t Explore Gray Areas

In reducing the complexity of its characters, Black or White boils down complex racial dynamics to worn-out tropes, like the "well-meaning white guy".


Thursday, January 29 2015

‘Legends of the Knight’ Is a Little Too Reverent About the Dark Knight

Legends of the Knight takes the cultural impact of Batman seriously by highlighting a few of his biggest fans, even though the hero worship gets a little redundant by its conclusion.


Wednesday, January 28 2015

Sundance Film Festival 2015: ‘Princess’ and ‘The Wolfpack’

In the fictional film Princess and the documentary The Wolfpack, a child's resilience might thwart even the most determined of boogey men.


There’s a Real Warmth Beneath the Cold Exterior of ‘Ida’

Pawel Pawlikowski's frosty drama, although perhaps too simple for its own good, elevates strong emotional connections from an entirely chilly exterior.


Monday, January 26 2015

Sundance Film Festival 2015: ‘Z for Zachariah’ and ‘The Witch’

Both The Witch and Z for Zachariah point to the terrifying uselessness of religion in the face of the wilderness.


Cougar Copulates With Crazy in the Ludicrous ‘The Boy Next Door’

This loopy and stupid film promises eros and instead delivers an earache.


Friday, January 23 2015

Johnny Depp Is Lost Once Again in the Clueless Caper ‘Mortdecai’

As the eccentric art thief Charlie Mortdecai, Johnny Depp says things cleverly instead of saying clever things.


Broken Families Boxed In: ‘Mommy’

Mommy reminds you that mothers are not supposed to be sexual, and that children and everyone else need boundaries on mothers' behaviors.


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