Film Reviews

Latest Reviews

  • There’s no one right way to show mental illness in the movies, yet there are hundreds of ways to get it wrong. Even though certain disorders come with specific traits, a diagnosis is not a human being, and doomed is the actor who just cycles...

  • A romance about wanting to see a romance, a comic tragedy about an onlooker willing something tragic, Anne Fontaine's Flaubert-inspired meta-pleasure Gemma Bovery takes as its subject the act of watching the lives around us — and of wishing those...

  • Mia Hansen-Løve's lucid and shimmering movie memoir Eden traces the sloping rise and even more meandering fall of a French techno DJ across some 20 years. Eden isn't even about anything as broad as electronic dance music: It deals largely with...

  • Steven Soderbergh's 2012 Magic Mike was a tease. The ads tempted audiences with sweaty chests and thrusting crotches, but after Soderbergh lured us in to his all-male strip club, he turned on the lights to show us the squalor. His hunks were...

  • Five films into the franchise, Terminator: Genisys feels like a VHS cassette that's been rewound and recorded over for 31 years. Director Alan Taylor (of the unmemorable Thor: The Dark World) gives us images — a thumbs-up, an abandoned factory, a...

  • The latest entry in the evergreen nature horror genre (Jaws, Arachnophobia, Piranha), David Hackl's Into the Grizzly Maze -- not to be confused with the similarly named and -themed Grizzly, from 1976 -- is steeped in clichés,...

  • Finland, as any fourth-grade book report could tell you, is a land of contrasts. This explains how director Jalmari Helander can combine scenes of timeless natural beauty with action and dialogue straight out of a 1980s Golan-Globus production....

  • The beauty of watching a soapy period piece as escapist "corset porn" is that its shortcomings can be ignored as long as the costumes and production design are sumptuous enough -- or, as a trump card, the immortal Kate Winslet is the headliner....

  • Benicio del Toro looms on the poster for Escobar: Paradise Lost in full hollow-eyed mustachioed grandeur, his deadly visage filling the sky above a teensy image of a white dude running along with a gun. What a surprise, then, to discover...

  • Even within the strictest formulas of today's superhero-driven Hollywood, the experienced craftsman with a genuine enthusiasm for the form can find precious moments that are able to accommodate his or her personality. See, for example, director...

  • Some movies are indefensible, and Ted 2 is one of them. Not only is this a movie about a libidinous, foul-mouthed stuffed bear; it's the sequel to an earlier movie about a libidinous, foul-mouthed stuffed bear. But I laughed and laughed at...