Movie Reviews

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 ...


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), ...

Crime and circumstance

Life is hard.

The Fourth of July fireworks display that caps off the poor-kids-in-the-heartland documentary Rich Hill can be viewed in a couple of ways. You can see the young’uns staring open-mouthed at the pretty explosions while chants ...

Broken adults

Music mines memory

“I’ve forgotten so much,” says the 90-year-old woman who opens the documentary Alive Inside. “I’m very sorry. I’ve forgotten what I did after I became a young lady. If I could tell you, I would.” ...

Very, very good?

Meaningful ménage

The PR slaves at Tribeca Films want potential viewers to believe their latest release, Very Good Girls, spotlights a pact between two high school virgins, Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen, to enter college unchaste. All ...

A boy’s life

“Twelve Years in the Making!” Sounds more like a tagline from a Hollywood biblical epic, not Boyhood, the latest, commendably ambitious film from director Richard Linklater. I know what you’re thinking. Would it really have ...

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