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Film

Family Flavours in Mike Leigh's 'Life is Sweet'

Family, friends, and food form the focus of Leigh’s broad but funny, relatable and affectionate 1990 film, which here receives a welcome Blu-ray and DVD re-release from BFI.

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Film

'The Battery' Is a First Act in Search of a Plot

Amounting to one feature-length inciting incident, the low-budget zombie film The Battery will test the limits of even the most devoted horror fans’ patience.

Reviews

Can You Survive if You're Not a Monster in 'Hannibal: The Complete Second Season'?

The landmark horror series steps away from crime procedurals and deeper into its inimitable sense of style in a triumphant sophomore year.

Film

What Happens When You Don't Want Your Kid?: 'Proxy'

A slack conclusion can't totally detract from the twisty script, mannered performances, and uncommonly gorgeous direction that make Proxy, the must-see independent thriller of 2014 so far.

Film

Kristen Wiig Sinks 'Hateship Loveship'

Infusing Alice Munro's portrait of a lonely woman and her quest for happiness with deadpan comic beats, Kristen Wiig muddies the tone of "Hateship Loveship" and leaves it without a center.

Film

'The Long Day Closes' Recollects Memory and Childhood in Constant Motion

One of cinema's most resonant and timeless works, Terence Davies's second film recreates childhood dreams and memories within which any viewer can situate themselves.

Film

A Little Ominous Noir Music Makes Jules Dassin's 'Rifif' Nearly Perfect

This benchmark of the heist genre shows that for the criminal, elegance and brutality go hand-in-hand, never more vividly depicted than in this tightly structured ode to Paris.

Film

'The Canyons' and the End of Film

The first movie for the "post-theatrical era", The Canyons vividly illustrates a despairing, nymphomaniac generation run amok.

Reviews

'The Uninvited' Could Be the Nucleus for all American Narrative Horror Cinema

The disparate influences, caginess, and behind-the-scenes difficulties in The Uninvited make for an intoxicating snapshot of a genre on the verge of popular acceptance.

Reviews

Welcome to the Jungle: 'Assault on Precinct 13'

John Carpenter's classic siege thriller isn't quite the old Hollywood throwback it's reputed to be, but it offers a striking reworking of genre mechanics and imagery to make up for its unsentimental atmosphere.

Reviews

'Somebody Up There Likes Me' Is a Deadpan Dead End

In this failing-to-age comedy, no one cracks a smiles, or cracks a good joke. But that's the cost of earnestness at the expense of wit.

Reviews

'Suddenly' Beggars Not Snark, But Indifference

Director Uwe Boll's Suddenly, to paraphrase Mel Brooks, rises below mediocrity, a film that has not the liveliness to offend, surprise, engage, or even to amuse.

Reviews

Too Much Is Never Enough in 'Pain & Gain'

Michael Bay’s frenzied, kaleidoscopic, dumb-ass magnum opus arrives on Blu-ray just in time to flex menacingly at The Great Gatsby from across the DVD aisle. The American dream lives on.

Reviews

'Identity Thief' Struggles With Its Own Identity

Despite a solid trope and a topical premise, the story and characters aren’t quite sure what, or who, they want to be.

Reviews

'Norman' Tests the Limits of Sympathy

As this film wears on, Norman starts to feel a bit like Macbeth with his misguided ambition.

Reviews

Bundle Up for 'Into the Cold'

This adventure documentary captures the scenery -- and chill -- of the Arctic while sharing a message about global warming.

Reviews

Rage, Rivalry and Rose Hip Tea:' Veep: The Complete First Season'

Thanks to Veep's sharp writing and excellent ensemble cast, Armando Iannucci's satirical look at the office of the Vice President lifts the lid on the powerlessness of those in power.

Reviews

'This Must Be the Place' Shows It’s Never Too Late to Come of Age

This smart, bemusing film explores themes of maturity and redemption.

Reviews

'Silent Souls' Is a Quiet Reflection on Life and Death

Silent Souls is reminiscent of Winter’s Bone, where a sad human tale unfolds within a cold and aloof yet beautiful-in-its-own-way natural environment.

Reviews

'Detropia' Ponders the Fate of Motor City

Filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady raise the question: Is Detroit a place of despair or opportunity?

Reviews

A Paean to the Pictures: 'The Story of Film: An Odyssey'

'The Story of Film' is the best film-studies class you never had.

Reviews

Seth McFarlane Goes Feature-Length with 'Ted'

Ted is a bit difficult to classify; it’s too raunchy to be a pure rom-com, too brainy to be a raunch-fest, too goofy to be a think-piece, too televisual to be cinematic.

Reviews

A Modern Allegory: 'The Dust Bowl: A Film by Ken Burns'

Consider The Dust Bowl's historic backdrop: an economic bubble, a financial crisis, a drought, a natural disaster, and the effects of human activity on the climate.

Reviews

'Nova: Secrets of the Viking Sword' Makes a Point

Renaissance martial arts expert John Clements slashes through tomatoes and pumpkins, not to mention a pair of two-liter water bottles, a basketball, an ice block, a side of beef and a number of rugs.

Reviews

Finding Resolution to 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood'

Writer Gwyneth Hughes gallantly strives to solve the biggest mystery of Charles Dickens' Edwin Drood: how it ends.

Reviews

True Grit: 'Tom Palazzolo's Chicago'

Tom Palazzolo uses his camera to capture the stories of Chicago not shown in glossy postcards.

Television

For Your Smoking Pleasure

Love and hate. Success and failure. Life and death. Cigarettes. You could get addicted to Brian Dooley's The Smoking Room.

Reviews

The City of Minneapolis Nearly Steals the Show in 'Stuck Between Stations'

This is the story of two people who meet by chance and spend a night talking and wandering the streets of Minneapolis. They may or may not love each other, but they clearly love their city.

Reviews

'Mozart's Sister' Explores the Whys and What-ifs

We’ll never know the extent of what Nannerl Mozart had to offer the world of music, but for the 120 minutes of Mozart’s Sister, René Féret dares to wonder.

Reviews

Mod Film Noir: 'Brighton Rock'

Rowan Joffe sets this adaptation in 1964, amidst the mods and the rockers. A mods-versus-rockers riot serves as chaotic cover for one of the film’s acts of murder.

Reviews

'Maxwell Street Blues' Is a Toe-Tapping Time Capsule

Viewing Maxwell Street Blues paradoxically stirs simultaneous emotions of melancholy and elation. Much like what happens when singing the blues.

Reviews

Campy, Preachy, Dancey, Singy: 'Glee: The Complete Second Season'

With characters coming and going faster than a mono outbreak amongst teens, the second season of Glee at its worst is uneven, and at its best finds a voice for gay youth.

Reviews

'Bride Flight' Is Beautiful but Predictable

Despite its serviceable storyline, Bride Flight is visually sumptuous and the characters are truly endearing.

Television

Life, Murder and Companionship: Dexter's Quest for Friendship

Looking back over Dexter’s journey, the need for a trustworthy companion has never been greater. As the character has become more human, the desire for companionship and a normal life has overtaken the necessitation to kill. It has become—in fact always was—the driving force in his life.

Reviews

A Riveting Story Is Elevated by Captivating Performances in 'Barney's Version'

This is not a romantic comedy as its trailer misleads; rather, it’s a drama that carries us through the defining moments that occur within nearly 40 years of the eponymous character’s life.

Reviews

Discover a Hero in 'Cedar Rapids'

What's at first blush a light-hearted comedy is actually a much more profound tale.

Reviews

'Vanishing of the Bees' Could Do with More Honey, Less Vinegar

Vanishing of the Bees flits about from topic to topic -- and loses its way.

Reviews
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