Wednesday, December 24 2014
In American Sniper, military sharpshooter Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) comes to see that delineations among wolves, dogs, and sheep are rarely obvious.
Tuesday, December 23 2014
The Martin Luther King Jr. in Ava DuVernay’s film is a preacher of vision, but he’s also a tactician willing to let blood be shed in order to advance the cause.
The story of the Olympian athlete Louis Zamperini story is ideal for the epic scale of Angelina Jolie's film, yet it's also too complicated to be reduced to such notorious generic confines.
Monday, December 22 2014
Tim Burton’s sweet little film about art and identity doesn’t demand enjoyment of Margaret Keane's big-eyed waifs, but instead an appreciation of her sincerity and expression.
Disney’s film of Stephen Sondheim’s ironic fairy tale musical keeps the master’s gorgeous melodies, knowing lyrics, and finger wagging intact.
This is a new Annie, decidedly anti-nostalgic and only clumsily cynical, but at the same time it tries too hard to both be and not be the previous Annie.
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.