The Good Dinosaur (2015)
"If the franchise continues to feel a bit dull--heavy on the drama and light on the excitement, with pageantry long in the rear-view--there's a respectable purity in the films' political cynicism and populist fervor. "
"Even if you don't like the film--though it's a fair bet you will--it will prime you for a spirited discussion about the choices of its hero, a resilient Irish lass who strives to sort out her best judgement from her impulses, her hope from her naiveté. "
The 33 (2015)
"Smart and stinging, Spotlight excels not only in depicting the stonewalling around the scandal but also the double-talk conversations from within and without the Globe that don't say-but don't not say-'Don't go there.' "
"The Craig Bonds...continue...questioning the dark and destructive psychology of this masculine icon, this preternaturally skilled but insanely reckless secret agent--his greatest secrets being his own hurt and loss and loneliness. "
The Assassin (2015)
Mulholland Drive (2001)
"Begin by imagining that a single story is being told in multiple ways throughout the film: a story of naive hopes, heartbreak, jealousy...Erotic, fear-ridden, and beautiful, Lynch's primal imagery has the abhorrent and alluring pull of death itself. [BD] "
My Fair Lady (1964)
"The well-nigh-irresistible...My Fair Lady...comedically softens Shaw's ending but nevertheless nearly single-handedly transcends the material's sexist leaning through the sheer humanism of Hepburn's deeply felt performance. [Blu-ray] "
"Though the [film]...cannot pretend to be free of its own leanings, Vanderbilt allows a reading of Mapes' tragic errors amidst its melancholy diagnosing of TV-news' slow, painful death march from the public trust into modern corporate product. "
"The film's conspicuously irreverent style suggests that, blithe offenses aside, writer-directors Ron Clements and John Musker...have their heart in the right place: firmly situated in the anarchic comic tradition of Warner Brothers' Looney Tunes. "
Steve Jobs (2015)
"No movie can fully suppress the talents of Moore, Page, and Shannon, but in Ron Nyswaner's script, every theme gets put in a character's mouth, and every plot point gets telegraphed, mailed, emailed, and texted ahead of its arrival. "
The Martian (2015)
Sleeping with Other People (2015)
Pawn Sacrifice (2015)
"Maguire isn't obvious casting, but he convincingly owns the role...The actor pairs an oft-fevered, disheveled aspect with the fierce impatience and unwillingness to suffer fools that attend genius. "
The Intern (2015)
"A popular entertainment with two movie stars in likeable mode, a sunny Hollywood sheen, and a novel premise. And yet there's something vaguely unsettling about how Myers' mildly amusing comedy gets tangled up in political (in)correctness. "
Black Mass (2015)
"Stars Depp in a performance generating awards talk, makes a complicated story coherent without dumbing it down (much), lets a bunch of strong actors do their things, and yet inspires little more than adjectives like 'efficient' and 'workmanlike.' "
Time Out Of Mind (2015)
"Though it's hit and miss for audiences trying to forget Gere's screen history, Moverman ably serves a slice of homeless life, dramatizing a problem we've contended with further back than we can remember. "
"For those who don't yet know of Jobs' dark side, Gibney's documentary will be a useful eye-opener, but those looking to understand what made Jobs great in almost equal proportion to his nastiness will remain in the dark. "
Gotham: Season 1 (TV, 2014)
"At times suffers from dull, dunderheaded, or dead-end plotlines [but]...There's enough here to keep hope alive that Gotham could grow into more of a weekly treat than a fanboy obligation. [Blu-ray] "
A Walk In The Woods (2015)
We Are Your Friends (2015)
"Does not miss its chance to blow...Every bit a screenwriter's idea of what it takes to make it...while accidentally cultivating the pervading sense that real DJs would laugh their asses off at this movie and its endless dopey brodowns. "
The Diary Of A Teenage Girl (2015)
American Ultra (2015)
The Blacklist: Season 2 (TV, 2014-2015)
"A week-in, weak-out study in same-y procedural storytelling and mythology stalling that's powered by the usual salacious crime exploitation and the unusual lead performance of James Spader. [Blu-ray] "
Mistress America (2015)
"Pure mid-period Allen, a muscle-stretching ensemble comedy with dramatic undertones and playful philosophical musings...Allen's characters ponder the permeable divide between lust and love, and the meanings of sexual intercourse... [Blu-ray] "
The End Of The Tour (2015)
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015)
"Honors the original characters just fine, but the leads are lukewarm...the [action] mostly unmemorable ...and the split-the-difference jokey-serious tone errs...on the side of fashion-conscious and smug. "
House of Cards: Season 3 (TV, 2015)
"'Do what you have to do.'...Netflix's flagship series addresses this dictum to many characters grappling with tough choices, but the core subject of [Season Three]...is the marriage of Frank and Claire Underwood. [Blu-ray] "
"Zimbardo insists he's 'trying to understand how an institution affects an individual's behavior.' Alvarez's own dark study, empowered by potent acting, allows the audience to contemplate the many variations on that psychological dynamic. "
Best Of Enemies (2015)
"Like the debates it concerns, Best of Enemies entertains to a degree, enlightens to another, and asks us to ponder the relative merits of polar political ideologies and two complicated men who very publicly represented them. "
Ricki And The Flash (2015)
"McQuarrie doesn't make it easy to invest in the characters here, but paradoxically he does know how to make us grip our armrests as they face danger, and thus the mission is accomplished once more. "
"Resembles its own remarks about predictable patterns in the circuitry of arcade games: here is a series of crass caricatures, obvious setups and payoffs (not to mention a woman problem...), further suffocated by overweening commercialism... "
Mr. Holmes (2015)
"McKellen dazzles...Mr. Holmes spins a tale about the falsely drawn lines between stories and our perceptions of real life, between celebrity image and genuine persona, and between upper and lower classes. "
Batkid Begins (2015)
"Celebrates a city united for fun and goodwill, and the rare, pronounced sense of play and energy adults are capable of rediscovering, as do those who toil excitedly and hopefully to give Miles 'a little bit of his childhood back.' "
Die Brücke (The Bridge) (1959)
"That it is Hitler doing the exploiting has little relevance to the overriding theme of tragic history humanity remains doomed to repeat: sending naive young men--and, at some times and places, boys--to their ends. "
A Master Builder (2014)
"Gregory (credited as having 'created for the stage' this version), Shawn (the translator/adaptor), and Demme (the director) nobly pursue their solid, usually convincing, but rarely exceptional concept for a manifestly challenging symbolist play. [Blu-ray] "
Vanya on 42nd Street (1995)
"A deeply moving, inspirational secular-sacred experience both for its beautiful embodiment of Chekhov's story of unmoored souls and for the beauty of the greatest collaborative art form, practiced with pure joy and for love. [Blu-ray] "
My Dinner with André (1981)