Star Trek Into Darkness
A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III
Makes up for a creaky structure with the intensity of emotion and psychological nuance provided by two of our finest screen actors.
It plays a predictable, if pretty, game.
Pretty much just a string of words and ideas and stick-figure characters who never become fully formed.
As brave as it is affecting.
| Original Score: 3/4
When Luzhin's old chess teacher shows up, the movie becomes a slow-motion wreck.
| Original Score: C+
If The Luzhin Defence falls short of being totally absorbing and compelling, it's surely because it's so difficult to translate Nabokov's view that we are all pawns in the big game.
Trapped between being an offbeat, slightly daffy period romance and a dark study of a tragic genius, The Luzhin Defence struggles to a draw.
Nabokov's novel is an internal adventure; the Gorris-Berry film is imperfect theater.
Just as Hicks did for the keyboard, Gorris makes the chessboard sexy, mostly by focusing not on it but on the people sitting at it.
| Original Score: 4/5
An utterly hypnotic movie.
Has many beautiful moments.
The film is elegiac and sad, beautifully mounted, but not as compelling as it should be.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
If you accept this Defence as a compromise of its source ... you should find a lot to enjoy
| Original Score: 3/4
By the time the center of gravity shifts to a villain who exploits Luzhin, the pleasure of following this film has turned to impatience.
| Original Score: 2/4
A more than workable romance carried by gorgeous visuals and intense performances.
Turturro, by conveying his character's painful, ecstatic inwardness, creates a bond of sympathy with the audience.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
Fine candy for mind and eye.
| Original Score: B+
Trumped by its own equivocations and reliance on hackneyed conventions.
It's Turturro's extraordinary, Oscar-worthy performance that makes The Luzhin Defence something really special.
Carefully made, involving and old-fashioned.
Turturro .... delivers a mesmerizing portrayal of Alexander Luzhin.
Gorris's recreation of the period setting is scrupulous and fresh.
[Turturro and Watson] demonstrate considerable rapport.
Effectively combines the maneuvers of the chess board with the unfathomable intricacies of the human heart.