"The play of light and dark elements in what's arguably Akira Kurosawa's most broadly appealing and entertaining picture...explores a dichotomy of the idiocy of greed and the rewards of sacrifice. [Criterion Blu-ray]"
Muppets Most Wanted (2014)
"The state of the Muppet union remains strong...self-reference sits comfortably along hip pop-cultural references for the 'rents: stylish parodies and retro musical numbers along with vintage Muppet gags..."
The Lunchbox (2014)
Need For Speed (2014)
300: Rise of an Empire (2014)
Tim's Vermeer (2014)
"To look into García's face is to see the movie, a loving character study, in miniature at any moment: Gloria refuses to be your stereotype or a writer's stock character. She's complicated, like you..."
The Wind Rises (2014)
Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
King of the Hill (1993)
"To revisit King of the Hill—or to discover it—is to realize how seldom American cinema deems it worthwhile to tell a child's story with anything approaching serious psychological intent. [Criterion Blu-ray/DVD]"
Foreign Correspondent (1940)
Winter's Tale (2014)
The Monuments Men (2014)
The LEGO Movie (2014)
"Zany episodes...provide a clothesline on which to hang social satire and an overriding message that an individual's imagination can trump social and cultural oppression. Throw out the instructions, and make what you want of the world. Plus butt jokes."
Labor Day (2014)
"A laughably precise, even parodic, archetype of a fantasy male...[and an] offensive stereotype of a female basket case who, more than anything, needs a strong man, preferably a bad-boy hunk with an easy touch for her and a slow hand for a Swiffer."
The Nut Job (2014)
August: Osage County (2013)
"Absent the electricity of live-wire live performance, the play's paucity of depth becomes more obvious. What's left to carry the day are a nasty streak of black comedy and the redoubtable acting ensemble."
The Invisible Woman (2013)
"Crucially, we stay at the side of the conflicted Nelly, and Jones proves as powerful in nuanced moments of quiet emotional availability as in Nelly's few, stirring allowances to speak truth to male privilege"
Lone Survivor (2014)
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Le passé (The Past) (2013)
"Captures the zeitgeist of a tech-centric world that may be too 'smart' for its own good...It's about the life of the mind and emotional dysfunction as much as it is a quirky romance, and every scene opens up new questions."
American Hustle (2013)
"There's a self-aware feel to the period pageantry, the alternatingly seductive and kinetic cinematography, and the actor's showcase this ramshackle contraption has been held together with spit and bailing wire to be."
Saving Mr. Banks (2013)
Mary Poppins (1964)
The Great Beauty (2013)
Out of the Furnace (2013)
"If you can grin and bear [certain] eye-rolling situations...there's found poetry in Nebraska's slow builds of respect and its deeply understated emotional climax: a father and son crossing past each other as they switch places."
"Though Coogan's the avowed funnyman, twinkly-eyed Dench makes beautiful comic music with him (ironically, as a woman whose sense of humor is lacking), and though Dame Judi's the classically trained tragedian, Coogan holds his own when matters get serious."
"(NO SPOILERS.) A culminative reflection on the reboot's characterization of the Doctor, a respectful hat tip to the decades that preceded the show's return to the airwaves in 2005, and a jumping-off point for...the next fifty years of Who."
The Book Thief (2013)
Delivery Man (2013)
The Armstrong Lie (2013)
"Gibney frames his film as being somewhat catch as catch can, and it is...educates about the details of doping, the 'moral relativism' so pervasive in the age of juiced athletics, and the willful ignorance that attends it."
Blue Is The Warmest Color (2013)
"Tease[s] out the provocative and liberating properties of art. Add extraordinary, emotionally generous performances, and Blue Is the Warmest Color grasps enough moments of truth to justify its extensive reach."
Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
Shrek The Musical (2013)
Kill Your Darlings (2013)
12 Years a Slave (2013)
The Counselor (2013)
All Is Lost (2013)
Muscle Shoals (2013)
"The lightning rod figure here is Rick Hall, "the founder of the music business in Muscle Shoals"...At 80, Hall remains sharply opinionated, and his extensive recollections give Muscle Shoals its spine."
The Fifth Estate (2013)
"Cumberbatch gives a commanding performance, but corrective rewrites to the worrying early drafts of the script obviously were too little, too late to do justice to the nuanced complexities of [Assange] and his revolution."
Captain Phillips (2013)