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Thursday, October 16 2014

‘The Essential Jacques Demy’ Captures the Director’s Breezy, Bluesy World

The Essential Jacques Demy provides an insightful look inside an auteur who may finally be getting the recognition he deserves.


Wednesday, October 15 2014

In ‘The Zero Theorem’, Terry Gilliam Is Still Looking for the Meaning of Life

Terry Gilliam's quest for life's biggest answers finds a new formulation in The Zero Theorem: perhaps, the film suggests, there is no meaning to it all.


‘Million Dollar Arm’ Is a Million Dollar Idea With a Ten-Cent Film Plot

Million Dollar Arm is a film that picked the wrong protagonist.


Tuesday, October 14 2014

The Bully at the Pulpit: ‘Elmer Gantry’

Richard Brooks's adaptation of Elmer Gantry lives and dies on Burt Lancaster's strangest, most unforgettable performance.


Monday, October 13 2014

‘Obvious Child’ Looks at Unplanned Pregnancy from a New Angle

Even when Obvious Child lacks interesting conflict, it still admirably presents women in a way atypical from mainstream cinema.


Saturday, October 11 2014

‘Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’

Like most kids' movies, this one is less chaotic and inventive than it is predictable and reassuring.


Friday, October 10 2014

There’s Blood on the Drums in ‘Whiplash’

In Whiplash, all the visual and aural magic comes from Andrew's (Miles Teller) precise and jazzy drum solos.


Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall Chew Scenery in ‘The Judge’

A strong cast fights a losing battle against subpar material in this ramshackle drama.


There Are Lots of Bill Murray Bits in ‘St. Vincent’

Like any movie in the curmudgeon-mentors-a-child subgenre, St. Vincent draws some fine lines, between comedy and sentimentality, formula and, well, more formula.


Love in a Gilded Cage: ‘Blanche’

A master of visuals, Walerian Borowczyk's stunning recreation of medieval life presents a world which seems as real and defined as the space in our own living rooms.


Thursday, October 9 2014

Verhoeven Had a Lot to Learn After ‘Flesh + Blood’

Flesh + Blood has at least this to its credit: it's not as bad as Howard the Duck.


Wednesday, October 8 2014

‘Kill the Messenger’: Truth in Headlines

Even as you know the US government can be brutal in its retributions, you're also left with a set of images that are a bit too mythic or contrived.


‘Cotton Comes to Harlem’ Has Quality Activism and Acting

Ossie Davis's directorial debut raises questions and statements about race and culture in America that resonate strong today.


Tuesday, October 7 2014

Cold War Tensions Turn to Unintentional Comedy in ‘Meteor’

Meteor is one of a breed of '70s disaster flicks, but only real standout about this new re-release is its large price tag.


Monday, October 6 2014

‘Donnie Brasco’ Shows It’s Easy to Get Lost in the Underworld

When Mike Newell's relatively low-key mob movie was released in 1997, Al Pacino and Johnny Depp were at very different junctures than they are today.


‘Last Action Hero’ Is a Parody That Misses Its Own Point

The irony of Last Action Hero is that many of the best jokes work better in hindsight; however, most of the jokes are so dated that it is hard to imagine the film cultivating new fans.


Friday, October 3 2014

‘The Good Lie’ Means Too Well

The Good Lie voyages from the endless deserts of east Africa to the well-intentioned if myopic world of white America.


‘Bird People’ Is Perched Between Rapture and Oblivion

At first focused on quotidian details, Bird People takes a surreal turn.


‘Seizure’ Rides on Oliver Stone’s Name

Oliver Stone's feature film debut is a wicked little horror movie that predicted the home terror films of later eras.


Thursday, October 2 2014

‘The Two Faces of January’ Tells the Tale of Compatriots in a Foreign Country

Aided by Marcel Syskind's gorgeous cinemaphotography, the audience sees that these characters are often hidden beneath only the lightest of masks.


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