Movie Reviews

Mutual wounds

Destin Cretton’s award-winning Sundance short film, Short Term 12, gets a feature-length expansion.

Soul death

Interview with Afternoon Delight writer-director Jill Soloway

Matthew Lickona: How did you pitch this film? Jill Soloway: A mom rescues a stripper and realizes that she’s the one who needs rescuing. ML: So Rachel (Kathryn Hahn) is the mom in that sentence, ...

Zoom, pan, kaboom! Closed Circuit!

Defense under duress

What’s this? An intelligent, paranoid suspense thriller with no bullets fired, zero special effects, two sizzling romantic leads who don’t kiss (let alone hit the sheets), and the good sense to pack a tripod?! Summer’s ...

Modern English Society

Ah, raised stakes. Is there any movie you can’t weaken, even as you seek to ratchet up the significance and tension of the crisis at hand? My top-of-the-head answer for favorite film of Summer 2013 ...

Service for seven

Domestic perspective

Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker), an African-American man born into a family of sharecroppers and schooled in the art of “knowing he’s black,” spends 34 years of his life in domestic servitude under seven presidents. While ...

Indentured motherhood

Tomato soup served cold.

Films about missing children are as common today as unmotivated camera movements. Shake a cable box and at any given time you’re bound to find a couple. Few are about adult children and even fewer ...

Messengers of love

A bee movie

Everything you always wanted to know about honeybees but never thought to ask is answered in the sweet documentary More than Honey. Who knew that one-third of what we eat would not exist without these ...

Melville’s money movie

Cue the rain

Jean-Pierre Grumbach’s (Melville was the French filmmaker’s nom de guerre, appropriated in honor of his literary correlate, Herman) acutely minimalist take on American gangster films resulted in a formal probity unlike anything cinema has experienced ...

Pacific Rim's sense of fun

Godzilla vs. Mechas

Hey, did you hear the one about how the foreign market now accounts for 75 percent of the take on big studio releases? How ’bout the one where China, Japan, and the U.K. are the ...

The Long Ranger

Silver — hey-o!

The list of things that are terrible about The Lone Ranger is long. Reading a complete version might take longer than the film itself (a murderous 2 hours and 20 minutes). It might also be ...

Monstrous

Animal, er, Monster House

Everybody loves Mike and Sully, the scaresome monster team from Monsters, Inc. So, maybe they’ll be happy to see them again as college students in Monsters University. So happy that they won’t mind the clichéd ...