Archive of: Movie Reviews

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‘Prisoners’ a gripping, smart revenge saga September Issue 4 2013

‘Prisoners’ a gripping, smart revenge saga

Parenting involves countless mundane decisions — dozens a day. But as any parent knows, the potential for tragedy stemming from a wrong decision is never far from the surface of the mind. What if they go out and get hit by a car? What if I look away and they drown in the current? What if they get kidnapped?

‘Spectacular Now,’ a gem of a teen romance August Issue 2 2013

‘Spectacular Now,’ a gem of a teen romance

“Live in the moment.” It’s a pat piece of advice we all get at some point in our lives, usually when we’re being anxious or obsessive about something we can’t control. But living in the moment can be overrated — especially when everyone else is suddenly looking to the future. That’s the predicament addressed in “The Spectacular Now,” a pure gem of a teen romance graced with sparkling acting by its young leads, Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, as high-school seniors falling awkwardly in love.

Vaughn-Wilson’s ‘Internship’ silly but fun June Issue 2 2013

Vaughn-Wilson’s ‘Internship’ silly but fun

There are really three movie stars headlining “The Internship”: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, and Google. Actually, it’s a surprise Google doesn’t get top billing over the humans, so adoringly is the company displayed.

Latest ‘Scary Movie’ is frighteningly unfunny April Issue 3 2013

Latest ‘Scary Movie’ is frighteningly unfunny

LOS ANGELES (AP) — You have to at least give “Scary Movie 5” points for timeliness. This latest installment of the horror movie spoof franchise manages to deliver parodies of movies as recent as last week’s “Evil Dead” remake, not to mention one that hasn’t even been made yet (“Fifty Shades of Gray”). But those points are immediately subtracted by the fact that this Wayans-less installment doesn’t manage to wrest a single laugh from any one of them.

‘The Call’ dials up a shallow thriller March Issue 3 2013

‘The Call’ dials up a shallow thriller

In countless films about emergencies, crimes and police work, the 911 dispatcher is but a bit player, an anonymous, robotic voice briefly heard on the other end of a breathless call made by our movie’s main players.

Arnold’s back in ‘The Last Stand’ January Issue 4 2013

Arnold’s back in ‘The Last Stand’

“The Last Stand” is the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie you didn’t even realize you wanted to see. This is the action superstar’s first leading role in a decade, having left acting to serve as the governor of California and whatnot, and while it may not have occurred to you to miss him during that time, it’s still surprisingly good to see him on the big screen again.

‘Gangster Squad’ is a numbing barrage January Issue 3 2013

‘Gangster Squad’ is a numbing barrage

“Gangster Squad,” a pulpy, violent tale of cops and mobsters in 1949 Los Angeles, rides an uncomfortable line between outlandishness and outright parody, and it’s difficult to tell which is director Ruben Fleischer’s intention. Which is a problem.

‘Zero Dark Thirty’ is massive, meticulous December Issue 2 2012

‘Zero Dark Thirty’ is massive, meticulous

Until the very end, she is described as “The Girl.” Even after a relentless, decade-long pursuit that leads to the daring midnight raid of Osama bin Laden’s compound, even as she unzips the body bag to verify that the bloody corpse inside is indeed that of the slain al-Qaida leader, Jessica Chastain’s CIA officer character is defined primarily by her femininity in this male-dominated world.

‘Softly’ hammers its message hard December Issue 1 2012

‘Softly’ hammers its message hard

Writer-director Andrew Dominik’s “Killing Them Softly” is an incredibly stylish genre exercise set in the world of mobsters, junkies and lowlifes, but it’s also trying incredibly hard to be About Something.

‘The Twilight Saga’ ends with real bite November Issue 4 2012

‘The Twilight Saga’ ends with real bite

Finally — finally! — the “Twilight” franchise embraces its own innate absurdity with the gleefully over-the-top conclusion, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2.”

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