Movie Reviews

Foxcatcher does fruitful work in the land of sport

For much of its running time, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher was among my favorite films this year. Like Miller’s last movie, Moneyball, it does fruitful work in the field of sport, where lofty notions of excellence ...

You are my density

Based on what little I know of Stephen Hawking’s private and personal life, the man has never given the impression of one prone to wresting pity from gawkers. Then why rely on The Theory of ...

SDAFF 2014: A few pics

The Pacific Arts Movements’ 15th Annual San Diego Film Festival kicks into full gear this week with ten days (November 6–15) of seemingly nonstop movies. Artistic director Brian Hu and his team have once again ...

Basest instinct

Gyllenhaal delivers genuinely unnerving performance in Nightcrawler

Don’t let his unblinking doe-eyes, hands-in-pockets demeanor, and proverbial gift of gab fool you. Within ten minutes of meeting Nightcrawler protagonist Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal), screenwriter and first-time director Dan Gilroy casts a purposeful light ...

The thing with feathers

The artist and the self

Michael Keaton used to be a box-office superstar, in part because he played Batman in two films. Now he’s starring in much artier fare: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s darkly comic backstage drama Birdman or (The Unexpected ...

Rough brotherhood

God and guns.

Fury’s title refers to an American tank that started out WWII fighting Germans in Africa and is now pushing toward Berlin as the enemy makes its last stand. Its crew — evangelical Shia LaBoeuf, brutish ...

Grecian Daddy Drama

The Two Faces of January could have been urid and awful and fun.

It’s not a subtle move to open your story with a tour guide (Oscar Isaac) leading a group around some sun-drenched ruins and telling site-specific stories from the Greek myths. (In this case, the story ...

Ballyhoo

Five days and 100 films. That’s the promise made by this year’s San Diego Film Festival. The festival runs September 24–28, with the lion’s share of the screenings to be held at Reading Cinemas Gaslamp ...

Everything is nothing

The Zero Theorem runs in a counter-parallel universe to Terry Gilliam’s masterwork, Brazil, a film he’s dedicated a career to remaking. The setting looks the same. The church that computer genius Qohen Leth (Christoph Waltz) ...

What becomes a legend

Swashes, buckled, in The Last of Robin Hood

“They’re real sticklers for the rules these days, not like in my time,” says Errol Flynn (Kevin Kline) while effortlessly trying to put across Hollywood’s attitude toward May/December romances to star-struck Florence Aadland (Susan Sarandon), ...

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