Among comic-book films, it's up there with Batman Begins and Spider-Man 2 (the first).
Posted Apr 3, 2014
In its enumeration of victories and setbacks within that time frame, Chavez fails to create a full or even full-ish picture of the man whose bold but nonviolent tactics led to better working conditions in the fields.
Posted Mar 28, 2014
Lots of stories are derivative yet still exciting to watch. Divergent, though, contains a middle stretch, during which Tris undergoes her training and falls for Four, that does not generate enough audience interest.
Posted Mar 20, 2014
There should be a sequel to further explore this intriguing concept. Gather your pennies, Marshmallows.
Posted Mar 14, 2014
Were it not for the Sept. 11 allusion, Non-Stop could be a guilty pleasure. But that allusion -- so destructive to the film's quality, so unnecessary to its plot -- squashes much of the pleasure.
Posted Feb 28, 2014
The makers of the raucous remake clearly recognized those sidekicks' value.
Posted Feb 13, 2014
Building a plausible love story between an escaped convict and a lonely, depressed single mother at whose house he hides would seem to require delicate, nuanced storytelling. Labor Day hits us with a rolling pin.
Posted Jan 31, 2014
Fiennes, who also directed, crafts a vividly human and likable character impossible to dismiss as an old, whiskered perv.
Posted Jan 24, 2014
Is it awards-worthy? No. But it's often exciting, the kind of strenuously acted movie that blows the cobwebs off the viewing experience after all those more carefully modulated awards-season dramas.
Posted Jan 9, 2014
Overlong by an hour and overindulgent by infinity, Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street entertains at times but mostly numbs.
Posted Dec 24, 2013
Lie emerges as less an indictment of our celebrity-obsessed culture (Armstrong's case is too specific) than a portrait of an incredibly demanding sport.
Posted Dec 19, 2013
Also impressive is all the beauty on display in Smaug, from the stunning New Zealand landscapes to the actors.
Posted Dec 12, 2013
Payne delivers a portrait of small-town America as observant as Picture Show, and a poignant/fun road movie that serves as a companion to the similarly toned Sideways.
Posted Nov 26, 2013
Blue is a coming-of-age story that's only partly a coming-out story.
Posted Nov 7, 2013
The extraordinary 12 Years a Slave thrusts its lead character (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and the audience into slavery's moral and psychological morass more fully and directly than any movie before it.
Posted Nov 1, 2013
The Counselor shows that some authors should write directly for the screen and others are better off adapted.
Posted Oct 25, 2013
Greengrass has used his hand-held cameras to lend Phillips great senses of immediacy and place, making us privy to the thought processes and interpersonal conflicts among the pirates and the ship's captain and crew.
Posted Oct 11, 2013
The year's great cinematic visual achievement.
Posted Oct 3, 2013
Never before has Gordon-Levitt disappeared into character as he does here.
Posted Sep 27, 2013
Austenland needs lessons on how a proper spoof should behave.
Posted Sep 12, 2013
For parents who must accompany them to the film, there's good news as well: It's far from the worst movie ever, and it lasts only 95 minutes.
Posted Aug 30, 2013
Oprah Winfrey is great at everything. This is no news flash, but it's as apparent as ever when watching Lee Daniels' The Butler.
Posted Aug 23, 2013
Teller and director Ponsoldt have crafted a character who only grows more sympathetic as the complications below his sunny exterior are revealed.
Posted Aug 23, 2013
Jasmine is unlikable, but Blanchett makes you feel her pain, anyway, because she's so subtly yet devastatingly good at showing that pain.
Posted Aug 9, 2013
The violence in Elysium is stark and cruel, befitting a film about a divided society.
Posted Aug 9, 2013
A triumph of bad taste and good casting, the very funny road comedy We're the Millers benefits from Jason Sudeikis' sleaze and Jennifer Aniston's lack thereof.
Posted Aug 8, 2013
Fruitvale Station's arrival in theaters corresponds with the outcry over the Trayvon Martin case. But Fruitvale did not need added relevancy to be remarkable.
Posted Jul 26, 2013
You ride along with inconsistencies because Ranger is building toward a final showdown. When that showdown disappoints, you feel every minute of the film's 2 1/2-hour length.
Posted Jul 1, 2013
Pitt has hidden his inner John Wayne-Bruce Willis for too long. In the highly engaging World War Z, he proves to be a capable, winning and -- in the great American film tradition -- exceptionally hard-to-kill action hero.
Posted Jun 21, 2013
Man of Steel contains little fun apart from the visceral thrill of seeing objects smashed in one of its endless action sequences.
Posted Jun 13, 2013
The great conceit of Polley's theories of perspective and truth is that she, as director, ultimately controlled everyone's memories because she arranged them on film.
Posted Jun 7, 2013