Latest film reviews

‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’

“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” restores your faith in the Hollywood … [More]

Dawn Planet Apes' Andy Serkis (as an ape) holds hand out to Toby Kebbell

‘A Most Wanted Man’

Melancholy pervades Anton Corbijn’s accomplished spy drama “A Most … [More]

Most Wanted Man's Robin Wright and Philip Seymour Hoffman share coffee at standup table

‘Lucy’

Luc Besson is a polarizing figure in international cinema, clearly … [More]

Scarlett Johansson's Lucy runs fingers through physical dimensions she can see

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

Owing more to “Star Wars” than the Marvel Comics roster from which it … [More]

Guardians of Galaxy's Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana pilot space craft into battle

‘Get on Up’

James Brown, the “Godfather of Soul” and a key figures in the … [More]

Get on Up's Chadwick Boseman fronts his band on stage

Documentaries

Roger Ebert sits in a screening room

‘Life Itself’

To be honest it’s nearly impossible to review “Life Itself” as I do other docs or even other films. It’s not because I knew Roger Ebert, the subject of this heart-felt, highly emotional and unusually probing documentary about his life and … [More ... ]

Cameraman shoots in LA County Hospital

‘Code Black’

In the movie "Network" Howard Beale taught the nation that when you're mad as hell and not going to take it anymore you stick your head out a window and scream. Lot of good that does. The ER doctors who made and star in "Code Black" did … [More ... ]

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Comedy

Trip to Italy's Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon relax after seaside meal

‘The Trip to Italy’

Michael Winterbottom’s “The Trip to Italy” puts you in two minds. You’re laughing awfully hard much of the time and certainly are in awe of the splendid meals and lavish suites its two stars enjoy during their sojourn in Italy. Then again, … [More ... ]

Life After Beth's Aubrey Plaza bears her teeth in full zombie mode

‘Life After Beth’

Genre mashups — the science-fiction western or horror comedy — are commonplace these days. But the danger of such genre-bending comes when a filmmaker hits an unyielding brick wall. Jeff Baena’s “Life After Beth” hits that wall. This is a … [More ... ]

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Love is Strange's Alfred Molina and John Lithgow look for cab on Manhattan street corner

‘Love is Strange’

Ira Sachs’ “Love is Strange” is a situational drama, meaning the film wants to tease insight and poignancy out of fleeting moments amid an on-going “situation.” There is no capital-I Issue here. Rather there are small issues that underscore larger ones. The film begins pleasantly enough as you witness the wedding of a couple who’ve been together … [More ... ]

Helen Mirren and Charlotte Le Bon sample a sauce in kitchen

‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’

“Slumdog Millionaire” meets “Ratatouille“ in the culinary comedy “The Hundred-Foot Journey.” Surprisingly, it’s a rather bland meal although spiced up with food-porn scenes of Indian and French dishes to excite any viewer’s salivary glands. So let the brain cells rest for this one and enjoy the purely sensory experience. The film comes from … [More ... ]

Brendan Gleeson's priest in Calvary stares into camera

‘Calvary’

If every parish priest had a congregation as entertaining as Father James’ in “Calvary,” the Catholic Church would not be experiencing its current shortage of priests. As Father James (Brendan Gleeson) makes his rounds in a small Irish village along the rocky cliffs of County Sligo, each and every parishioner is a flamboyant figure of comic … [More ... ]

And So It Goes' Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton hold hands at restaurant table

‘And So It Goes’

“And So It Goes” is a new Rob Reiner comedy starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton but to begin with what kind of a title is that? What is this “it” and where is it going? I’ve even seen the movie and damned if I know. What this is, in fact, is a generic title for a comedy that’s nothing but generic. There’s not a real moment or an actual … [More ... ]

Magic in Moonlight's Colin Firth and Emma Stone walks in villa garden

‘Magic in the Moonlight’

Going back to his days as a stand-up comic and through all his screenplays and New Yorker pieces, Woody Allen has toyed around with deeply felt existential angst, all this, of course, leavened with goofy gags and verbal slapstick. One of his early film comedies, “Love and Death,” summarizes these twin obsessions: Amid a knockabout comedy … [More ... ]