Movie Reviews

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 ...

In preparation for landing: San Diego Asian Film Festival

A world of cinema in our backyard

With 140 films to choose from — the program book is as thick as the city directory — spread out over ten days, a world of cinema (aka the 14th Annual San Diego Asian Film ...

New releases opening this week: 12 Years a Slave, Ender's Game, and more

Everybody loves 12 Years a Slave. Well, almost everybody. Look, I know what you're thinking. "Oh, Marks is just a contrarian from the School of Armond White. Of course he's not going to like a ...

Opening Shot: All Is Lost

Because a good opening shot tells you something, like a good opening sentence

The image above is actually the film's second opening shot. It's the opening of chapter one in the story. What comes before is a prologue. The prologue opens with a shot of an utterly calm ...

Happy retro Halloween from the boys and ghouls at The Big Scream

My introduction to the concept of trick-or-treating was so bland and uneventful that it has forever soiled my view of the holiday. Never wanting to venture too far from home, the first door we knocked ...

Review: Bad Grandpa

Bad role models frequently make for memorable protagonists. Walter Matthau’s beer-soaked little league coach in The Bad News Bears. Chazz Palminteri as Lilo Brancato’s gangster mentor in A Bronx Tale. Toni Colette's zoned out hitchhiker-turned-babysitter ...

Mini Mausoleum

What’s Halloween without a Saw sequel? This marks the second holiday in a row minus Jigsaw and a cellar filled with raw teenage bodies to exenterate. Last year at this time Frankenweenie, Sinister, Paranormal Activity ...

Afterimage: Gravity

Three separate trailers that basically show the same cataclysmic incident from three different angles did little to arouse my interest. It looked like more effects-driven outer space shenanigans, this time with Bullock and Clooney on ...

Captain Phillips: Unacceptable exceptionalism

We've all got bosses.

If you can get past the bombastic score and the wavering, seasick camera and what is perhaps the hackiest, laziest opening-scene conversation of the year, you might find something remarkable in Captain Phillips: a quietly ...

German import

Yay! Beer!

The twinkle lights of the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Theatre at the Museum of Photographic Arts will once again shine upon German Currents, the third annual festival of German films. Limited to four films and ...

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