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Reviews

Monday, March 16 2015

James Franco and Seth Rogen Meet ‘Call of Duty’ in ‘The Interview’

Even if Sony had pulled off a successful marketing gambit with The Interview, they couldn't have masked that this is a genuinely unfunny film.


‘Through a Lens Darkly’ Should Have Let the Pictures Tell the Story

Through a Lens Darkly surveys the often hidden or forgotten history of African Americans as photographic subjects as well as photographers.


Friday, March 13 2015

Liam Neeson and Ed Harris Make ‘Run All Night’ Electrifying

This paint-by-numbers crime film is buoyed by the sharp work of its lead actors.


‘The Wrecking Crew’ Celebrates One of the Music Industry’s Best Kept Secrets

By showing the range and the influence these session musicians had on the hits from the '50s to the '70s, The Wrecking Crew proves their place in rock 'n' roll history.


‘Cinderella’ Is All Eye Candy and Empty Entertainment Calories

The audience already primed for more "happily ever after" will be more than satisfied with the results. Everyone else will wonder what the studio was thinking with this strategy.


Truffaut Channels Hitchcock and Chabrol in ‘The Soft Skin’

This is a cold film where it's clear something is always wrong, but no one can quite piece together what it is.


Thursday, March 12 2015

In ‘Rosewater’, Jon Stewart Conveys the Power of the Human Spirit

In a culture where people Tweet nonsensical thoughts, Rosewater challenges us to consider the ways we can use our voices to speak on behalf of those that are routinely silenced.


Wednesday, March 11 2015

‘Whiplash’ Isn’t Merely a Vehicle for J.K. Simmons

Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons turn music performance into a battle of espionage and counter-espionage under cover of darkness.


Tuesday, March 10 2015

The Odds Are Ever in Its Favor: ‘Mockingjay - Part 1’

Mockingjay -- Part 1 proves that a stellar cast and some meaningful direction can take a dreary storyline and turn it into the ultimate penultimate film.


Monday, March 9 2015

Too Much Is Adrift in ‘Every Man for Himself’

In his examination of the social isolation caused by capitalism, Jean-Luc Godard wanders too far off into the cerebral.


Friday, March 6 2015

‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ Is a Landlocked Version of ‘The Love Boat’

If you liked the first one, you'll love this return trip. All others should perhaps consider booking their entertainment lodging elsewhere.


‘Chappie’ Offers up Rave Rap Ridiculousness and Little Else

Chappie is a weird combination of science fiction and South African rage-rap culture that's so off key, you can't see the good for the god-awful.


With ‘Unfinished Business’, Vince Vaughn Can Kiss the Rest of His Career Goodbye

Unfinished Business is like a juggler given too many divergent elements to manage.


‘The Francois Truffaut Collection’ Captures the Director’s Finest Hours

These eight films collectively demonstrate a master filmmaker with a total understanding and command of cinematic language.


Wednesday, March 4 2015

‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ Fails to Rise Above Mere Bodice-Ripping

Like all adaptations of this classic work of erotic literature, this film misses the mark in capturing any of the poignancy of the novel's fluid and lyrical prose.


Tuesday, March 3 2015

Women Run the Street Showdowns in ‘Woman They Almost Lynched’

This woman-centric western isn't a lost masterpiece, but rather an entertaining and sometimes fascinating pleasantry.


Monday, March 2 2015

Love and Claustrophobia in ‘The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant’

Fassbinder's stifling drama about the sufferings of dependence is high camp, where the sparks fly with radiant colours.


Friday, February 27 2015

‘The Lazarus Effect’ Is an 88 Minute Excuse for Exposition

Because The Lazarus Effect takes so long getting to the supposedly scary stuff, we have to stay focused on either the characters or the content, and both fail.


‘Focus’ Is a Romantic Comedy With Dimension

This Will Smith vehicle is witty, brash Hollywood entertainment that's sexy, smart, and on the whole, successful.


‘Maps to the Stars’ Brings Back Some Classic Cronenberg Horror

While not in the vein of Cronenberg's classic body horror thrillers, the bleak showbiz satire Maps to the Stars could well be a horror film after all.


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