Movie Reviews

Behold Oscar's shorts

Little ones

Another Oscar season, another opportunity to wonder aloud why it is that, in this age of supposedly dwindling attention spans, there has not been an explosion of interest in the short-film form. Tired of formulaic ...

G.B.F. will make you LOL

Trying to capitalize on the latest media craze of gay men as fashion accessories, a trio of prom queen probables (Sasha Pieterse, Xosha Roquemore, and Andrea Bowen) battle over friendship rights to their recently outed ...

Blood on the page

A showcase from director-star Ralph Fiennes, he of the fierce visage and pleading eyes. First, it is a visual marvel — the framing is now theatrical, now unobtrusive, but always masterful and appropriate. Second, it ...

Eat your roots

Not unlike the Japanese tourist who kicks off Paolo Sorrentino’s latest cinematic feast by collapsing under the scenic force of his search for the great beauty of Rome, I find myself more than a bit ...

The digital divide of Her

Better than reality

At first glance, you might be tempted to think that Spike Jonze’s latest film is titled Her because it’s about her: Samantha, the sentient operating system (fetchingly voiced by Scarlett Johansson), who is purchased, befriended, ...

Scorsese’s fugazis

Cocaine trilogy, completed

Having never read Jordan Belfort’s autobiography, The Wolf of Wall Street — which forms the basis of Martin Scorsese’s latest, most outrageous essay on common denominators living the life of upscale, drug-enhanced, and power-infested businessmen ...

Wise to the Hustle

Don't kid yourself.

I’m not sure American Hustle is the best picture of the year. I’m not even sure if it’s my favorite picture of the year. But I’m pretty sure it brought me more oh-hell-yes pleasure than ...

The Hobbit's unreal things

There be dragons

My favorite moment in The Desolation of Smaug, part two of Peter Jackson’s epic expansion of J.R.R. Tolkien’s children’s book The Hobbit, came when the titular hobbit and his thirteen dwarvish companions were buried under ...

And into the Oven

Brotherly love.

The only enjoyable part of Out of the Furnace was untangling its plot loopholes on the car ride home. An ex-con (Christian Bale) with the word “fishy” tattooed across his forehead takes a road trip ...

Spike Lee's Oldboy lacks the original’s creepy heart

Spike Lee’s remake of Chan-wook Park’s celebrated tale of a man who is mysteriously imprisoned and then just as mysteriously released has plenty of spattered brain matter and sadistic gut-punches. What it lacks is the ...

Life during wartime

A new study, published in the journal Pediatrics, has found that in 2012, the mean level of gun violence in PG-13 films exceeded the level of gun violence in R-rated films. That’s just gun violence ...