Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
" 'You forget that women's voices shouldn't be heard by men outside,' a teacher says near the start of the film, in an early indicator that the movie is going to champion the cause of giving women back their voices, so to speak. "
How I Live Now (2013)
12 Years a Slave (2013)
" Not only the most powerful movie yet produced about our national shame but also the rare film about history and race that does not seek to absolve, comfort or flatter the mass audience it aspires to reach. "
Day of the Dead (1985)
" Demonstrates you don't need to be bombed back into the stone age when you can reach that state by exercising your own stupidity. The subterranean setting is the tip-off: While the zombies evolve the humans devolve -- almost literally -- into cave men. "
Generation Iron (2013)
" Well-crafted, sympathetic and apparently fairly honest, but not as novel as it would have been in the pre-reality TV era, when the home lives of participants in obsessive family units and strange subcultures weren't an entertainment staple. "
Escape From Tomorrow (2013)
" It's not so much disrespectful to 'Uncle Walt' and his beloved creations as it is honest about the primal urges and shameful desires that motivated the myths and fairy tales that inspired many of Disney's more famous projects in the first place. "
" Women are absent from 'Gorgo' because the title beast proves to be the biggest mother of them all, literally. The entire movie is constructed around a feminine presence that is destructive and wrathful but also righteous. "
" A purposeful revamp of Stephen King's prescient novel, updated for an era of cyberbullying, home schooling, high-school mass murder and America's so-called culture wars (De Palma referenced Norman Bates, the new movie name-drops Tim Tebow). "
Machete Kills (2013)
The Devil Bat (1940)
Hands of the Ripper (1971)
Inequality For All (2013)
Birth Of The Living Dead (2013)
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2013)
Captain Phillips (2013)
" The situation is emblematic of the inequality that was the impetus for the pirates' crimes. Even in waters off the coast of their African homeland, they are as inconsequential as corks in the wake of the roused American behemoth. "
" Even more welcome than its unusual story content is its humanistic impulse: It comes from a place of respect for its characters and belief in their dignity; by extension, it offers these same courtesies to its audience. "
The Act Of Killing (2013)
" The production design is so imaginative and amusing that it makes not only most live-action fantasy films but most computer-animated features -- with their paradoxical insistence on photorealism -- look conventional and timid. "
Baggage Claim (2013)
" If the dating process depicted here is humiliating for the character of Montana Moore, it's liberating for Paula Patton: The actress reveals herself to be a sort of sexier Lucille Ball, agreeably sacrificing her dignity in pursuit of laughs. "
Enough Said (2013)
" Just the type of movie fans have come to expect from writer-director Nicole Holofcener, who emerges every few years from the economic security of episodic television to deliver another wry, acutely observed, character-based comedy-drama. "
Frankenstein's Army (2013)
" 'Adore' has received mostly negative reviews. The dismissiveness suggests a discomfort with the subject matter -- an unwillingness to process this particular fiction by writers who on other days grapple agreeably with haunted houses and singing chipmunks. "
" Surely any real aficionado of Jane Austen would reject the film's notion that the author's literary masterworks are essentially wish-fulfillment fantasies for women too timid for the red-blooded bodice-rippers of the Harlequin line. "
" Clarice's life may be no longer than that of a fruit fly, but its brevity, Nunes suggests (not through words but through the emotional and psychological effect of his images), does not diminish its value "
The Source Family (2013)
The Hunt (2013)
Museum Hours (2013)
" Most successful at its most hushed and explicitly 'artful,' in the museum; less interesting when it becomes more casual, as when Johann and Mary hang out and discuss general topics at coffeehouses. (Mary is nice, but, frankly, a bit of a bore.) "
I Am Divine (2013)
" Hard to beat for sheer enjoyment, as when Divine's mother remembers: 'I used to always say, Glenn, don't do anything to embarrass us' -- a sound bite accompanied by footage of Divine being raped by a giant lobster in 'Multiple Maniacs.' "
Valentine Road (2015)
Any Day Now (2012)
" If the movie preaches to the converted, in the manner of period films about racial civil rights, it never becomes soapy or pious, thanks in part to the tart performances of Alan Cumming and Garrett Dillahunt... "
" A cheerful, colorful sitcom of a high-school comedy in which a trio of sassy 'mean girls' vie for the attentions of their first 'out' classmate, after reading in their style magazines that gay sidekicks are 'the hottest new trend' for teen queen bees. "
Ain't Them Bodies Saints (2013)
" An outlaw saga of undying love distilled to its emotional essence, as if it were something to be inhaled or applied to the skin, to work at the level of the blood and bypass the cynical defenses of the intellect... "
Hands of a Stranger (1962)
" Body, mind, soul -- can one exist without the others? Is the 'self' determined by one or a combination of all three? These age-old questions are examined more directly in even B horrors, such as 'Hands of a Stranger,' than in most other entertainments. "
You're Next (2013)
" Mumblecore may be dead but mumblegore is alive and, well, pretty grisly, judging from this tongue-in-cheek, blender-in-head home-invasion horror thriller notable for its go-for-broke brashness and what-the-hell spirit. "
Closed Circuit (2013)
" I wonder if the constant repetition in an entertainment context of the idea that government is corrupt and deceitful inspires weariness, resignation and even acceptance in the public mind, rather than outrage or a demand for reform. "
Fill the Void (2013)
" Eventually reveals itself to be a sort of Jane Austen romance -- a tale of matchmaking and marriage motivated by the ritual and decorum of Haredi Judaism in modern Tel Aviv rather than by the social strictures of 19th-century England. "
The Grandmaster (2013)
" More impressive than its flurry of fists is its sleight of hand, the misdirection that perhaps conceals for some the truth that this is not primarily a decades-spanning historical drama but a romance of unrequited love. "
Kick-Ass 2 (2013)
" Offers a convenient punching bag for critics who want to equate the youth violence in movies with its manifestations offscreen, even if teenagers probably represent the ideal audience to both enjoy and see through this contradictory, nuance-free cartoon. "
" The most memorable scene doesn't showcase Confederate zombies or the reawakened Kronos but 'Firefly' star Nathan Fillion as Hermes, god of speed, dressed like a parcel messenger and bemoaning the fact that the best TV shows are 'of course, canceled.' "
" 'Crime and Punishment' transplanted to post-Soviet Kazakhstan, where a ruthless new capitalism is creating millionaires and gangsters; the film suggests there isn't much difference between the two. "
" As slick and corny and sitcom-esque as 'La Cage Aux Folles'; but if its message seems obvious and unchallenging for the typical U.S. viewer, it's not so easily digested in post-Soviet Eastern Europe, as recent events in Russia have demonstrated. "
The Spectacular Now (2013)