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Tag: Film Review


‘Citizen Jane’: A Hugely Entertaining Film Oversimplifies the 1950s Battle Over Growth in New York

Matt Tyrnauer’s chronicle also fails to connect the dots between the issues that beset America’s largest city in 1957 and those facing urban centers today. (Pictured, Jane Jacobs.)

Posted on Apr 28, 2017 READ MORE


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Two Accomplished Actors—and a Cute Dog—Elevate ‘Truman’

Ricardo Darin and Javier Camara shine in Cesc Gay’s film about imminent death and old friends getting together for the last time.

Posted on Apr 14, 2017 READ MORE



Remembering Richard Schickel

The film world lost a key figure Saturday with the passing of the distinguished critic and filmmaker, whose work Truthdig was privileged to feature in the latter years of his career.

Posted on Feb 21, 2017 READ MORE



‘The Salesman’: An Iranian Domestic Drama With a Dash of Arthur Miller

Oscar-winning filmmaker Asghar Farhadi is back in the awards mix.

Posted on Jan 26, 2017 READ MORE



‘Neruda’ Makes Poetry of a Cat-and-Mouse Tale

The film, nominated for a Golden Globe, follows Chile’s world-renowned Communist poet as he lives a colorful life on the run from an ambitious and mysterious cop.

Posted on Dec 16, 2016 READ MORE



‘Arrival’: A Gossamer Dream of Hope Beams In From Outer Space

It takes an otherworldly element to deliver an unforgettable moviegoing experience—as well as a message of understanding across cultures at a time when earthlings struggle with that on our own planet.

Posted on Nov 11, 2016 READ MORE



‘The Lovers and the Despot’ Film Review: The Curious Case of Kim Jong Il’s Stolen Filmmakers

Not even North Korea’s late supreme leader was immune to Hollywood’s charms. (Pictured, Choi Eun Hee, left, and Shin Sang Ok.)

Posted on Sep 23, 2016 READ MORE



‘Paying the Price for Peace’ Tells an Epic Story of Courage and Commitment

S. Brian Willson’s tour of duty in Vietnam changed his views forever. “We are not worth more. They are not worth less,” he decided about those in lands where Americans go to war. Since his military service he has dedicated his life to the anti-war movement at great personal cost.

Posted on Sep 3, 2016 READ MORE



‘Weiner’ Film Review: This Is What Our Democracy Looks Like

The career of Anthony Weiner (remember him?) may have imploded, but his personal and professional disasters provide the basis for what may be the most unnervingly canny treatment yet of our celebrity-mad political culture.

Posted on May 19, 2016 READ MORE



‘Maggie’s Plan’ Film Review: ‘Annie Hall’ for Millennials

“Maggie’s Plan” marks Rebecca Miller’s rowdy comedic debut, and it’s so sharp about modern dating and mating that you could dice an onion with it.

Posted on May 19, 2016 READ MORE



‘Love and Friendship’ and ‘The Lobster’: What’s Love—or Lobster—Got to Do With It?

An adaptation of an unpublished Jane Austen work and a futuristic horror-comedy provide two wildly different takes on the mating game.

Posted on May 12, 2016 READ MORE



‘Everybody Wants Some!!’ Film Review: A Cut-Above Campus Comedy

Richard Linklater uses the Carter-Reagan cusp year of 1980 as a backdrop for his peek into the character-forming college experience.

Posted on Apr 6, 2016 READ MORE



Film Review: Hilarious ‘Hail, Caesar!’ Hails and Skewers Hollywood

The Coen brothers’ new movie—a backstage drawing-room Western musical biblical (with a splash of synchronized swimming)—pays tribute to midcentury escapism while dispensing barbs sharp enough to nick both Tinseltown denizens and ordinary folk.

Posted on Feb 4, 2016 READ MORE



‘The Big Short’ Film Review: A Morality Play Dressed Up as Modern Farce

The mortgage and banking crisis of 2007 gets the business in this fast-paced, hilarious and, yes, frightening outline. It’s a tale powered by lots of villains and a handful of not-exactly-villains.

Posted on Dec 10, 2015 READ MORE



‘Carol’ Film Review: The Art Nearly Upstages the Artistry

Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara are beautifully balanced in this love story, but Todd Haynes’ overstylized cinematography is downright distracting.

Posted on Nov 19, 2015 READ MORE



‘Our Brand Is Crisis:’ Sandra Bullock’s Latest Movie Gets History Oh, So Wrong

The satirical flick about American campaign strategists in Bolivia fails to mention that they worked for the bad guy.

Posted on Nov 15, 2015 READ MORE



‘Brooklyn’ Film Review: An Ugly Duckling Soars From New Ground

Director John Crowley strikes universal chords in this adaptation of a much-praised novel, and Saoirse Ronan paints a remarkable image of transformation as a young Irish woman who finds herself after crossing the Atlantic.

Posted on Nov 5, 2015 READ MORE



‘Our Brand Is Crisis’ Film Review: A Half-Baked Hollywood Version of a Great Documentary

David Gordon Green’s star-studded film is a middling comedy about the humdrum conflicts between American meddlers in Bolivia’s 2002 election. Meanwhile, the Bolivians in it are as invisible as most of the slaves in “Gone With the Wind.”

Posted on Oct 30, 2015 READ MORE



‘Bridge of Spies’ Film Review: A Movie for the Cold War Nostalgic

Starring Tom Hanks, it’s an efficient, exciting entertainment, but it’s also a Steven Spielberg movie, which usually means trouble somewhere. In this case, though, the irritations are minor, diffusely woven into the fabric of the film.

Posted on Oct 15, 2015 READ MORE



‘He Named Me Malala’ Film Review: Who’s Behind the Persona?

Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim documents the public side of the world-famous Pakistani education crusader but gives us only fleeting glimpses of the real girl.

Posted on Oct 1, 2015 READ MORE



‘Prophet’s Prey’ Film Review: This American Horror Story Is All Too Real

Amy Berg’s disturbing documentary on the Warren Jeffs polygamist sect zooms in on a story that oozes with archetypal evil.

Posted on Sep 22, 2015 READ MORE



‘A Walk in the Woods’ Is a Cinematic Walk in the Park

The pairing of Robert Redford and Nick Nolte is entertaining, family-friendly and perhaps just a wee bit too glib.

Posted on Sep 3, 2015 READ MORE



‘Diary of a Teenage Girl’ Gets Adolescent Sexuality Right

Few movies view sex from the perspective of a female teen; even fewer resist imposing the man-made double binds of silly virgin/stupid skank or hottie and nottie.

Posted on Aug 6, 2015 READ MORE



In ‘Best of Enemies,’ Politics Becomes the Spectator Sport We’re Still Watching

The documentary spotlights the riveting 1968 exchanges between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley that set the bar for political TV and helped frame America’s culture wars.

Posted on Jul 27, 2015 READ MORE



‘The Look of Silence’: Showing the Human Side of Genocide

What if the Nazis had won in World War II? That question represents one of the thematic forces that shape Joshua Oppenheimer’s quietly riveting, Oscar-nominated documentary about Indonesia’s 1965-66 tragedy.

Posted on Jul 17, 2015 READ MORE



Sony Pictures Classics

Can’t Knock Woody Allen’s Hustle

The prolific director’s latest isn’t his greatest, but it’s good enough.

Posted on Jul 29, 2014 READ MORE



Courtesy of Music Box Films

This Unexpected Movie Just Won’t Leave Me Alone

“Ida” is a strangely haunting movie—for a failure. For all its faults, it’s taken up something like permanent residence in my brain.

Posted on May 7, 2014 READ MORE



Cohen Media Group

‘The Artist and the Model’: Less Is More

It’s perhaps easy to make too much of a film like “The Artist and the Model.” But it’s also easy to make too little of it—and I’d rather run the prior risk.

Posted on Aug 3, 2013 READ MORE



Sony Pictures Classics

Woody Allen’s Latest Shows He’s Still Got It

Imagine—77 years old and still making movies as good as “Blue Jasmine,” when most directors his age are out of work or collecting dubious awards.

Posted on Aug 2, 2013 READ MORE



Spectacle in Summer: The Guilty Pleasures of ‘The Lone Ranger’

“The Lone Ranger” is too long and more than a little bit incoherent, but you will see some things in the movie that you will not have seen anywhere else.

Posted on Jul 8, 2013 READ MORE



Warner Bros.

Will There Ever Be a Great ‘Gatsby’?

It’s understandable that the book has been a constant temptation to moviemakers. It’s also understandable that it has never been turned into a fully successful film.

Posted on Jun 11, 2013 READ MORE



facebook.com/LesMisMovie

‘Miserables’? More Like ‘Les Middling’

There are times when a cast of dozens, working intensely, is actually superior to a cast of hundreds working routinely.

Posted on Dec 26, 2012 READ MORE



Bill Murray Captures FDR’s Pain and Wit in ‘Hyde Park’

What makes “Hyde Park on Hudson” a good deal more than delightful is its lightly touched seriousness of purpose.

Posted on Dec 5, 2012 READ MORE



Warner Bros./Publicity Still

Let ‘Argo’ Take You Hostage

I don’t know how much of the picture—beyond its basic premise—is “true.” And, frankly, I don’t give a damn.

Posted on Oct 15, 2012 READ MORE



imdb.com

‘The Iron Lady’: Power in Spectator Pumps

Do we learn anything about Margaret Thatcher from Abi Morgan’s screenplay? And more important, will anyone born after Thatcher’s 11 years in office learn anything about her brand of conservatism and its effects?

Posted on Jan 14, 2012 READ MORE



imdb.com

A ‘War Horse’ and His Boy

Boy gets horse. Boy loses horse. Boy (after many adventures, especially by the horse) is reunited with the animal. In terms of narrative, that’s all there is to “War Horse”—except to say that Steven Spielberg’s film is a lovely and touching movie, representing, among other things, a vast improvement on the extraordinarily successful novel and stage play.

Posted on Dec 24, 2011 READ MORE



imdb.com

‘The Descendants’: Clooney Goes Down Easy

We exist today in a climate of movie extremes—extreme action, extreme comedy. There are not many mild, agreeable pictures that take place in pleasant surroundings and set people we can identify with to dealing with issues that at sometime or other all of us will have to engage.

Posted on Nov 18, 2011 READ MORE



imdb.com

‘J. Edgar’: Hoover’s Hubris Writ Large

This is a brave film. There was a time when J. Edgar Hoover was among the most prominent Americans and there was no way to make a reasonably honest movie about him. Now there is a tendency to ask, J. Edgar Who?

Posted on Nov 9, 2011 READ MORE



imdb.com

‘Tabloid’: Errol Morris’ Lunatic Love Story

Morris’ film has a giddy quality. But, essentially, he is trying to keep a straight face amid the chaos he is recounting. Come right down to it, what could a filmmaker add to this story by striking attitudes toward the events he recounts?

Posted on Jul 15, 2011 READ MORE



Hanks Falls Flat in Languid ‘Larry Crowne’

“Larry Crowne” is a wan and predictable romantic comedy, much more the former than the latter. It is, for me at least, a major disappointment.

Posted on Jul 1, 2011 READ MORE



imdb.com

Revisiting the Horror of Nanking

“City of Life and Death,” by the Chinese writer-director Lu Chuan, is the second film about Nanking, and it is a work that aspires to the definitive and almost achieves that status.

Posted on Jun 18, 2011 READ MORE



preciouslifemovie.com

Enemies: A Love Story

Hey Hollywood, we’ve got your next blockbuster. It’s heartwarming, politically relevant, uncontroversial and, best of all, based on a true story! 

Posted on May 5, 2011 READ MORE



imdb.com

Herzog Lights Up ‘Cave of Forgotten Dreams’

What I’m saying is that Herzog is a director whose work is never to be missed, for the simple reason that he takes you places—especially in his documentaries—that no other director thinks of going.

Posted on May 3, 2011 READ MORE



imdb.com

Columbus, Marx and Zinn Go to Bolivia

What is ironically fictional in “Even the Rain’s” story is the intrusion on a volatile situation of a film crew intent on portraying Christopher Columbus’ not entirely benign arrival in the New World.

Posted on Feb 21, 2011 READ MORE


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