Posted in: Review

Love Is All You Need

Starting off your movie with a round of Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore” is never promising, especially when the story features broken-hearted northern Europeans reconnecting with love down in sunny Italy. To be sure, Susanne Bier’s romance comes slathered in a certain kind of schmaltz. But she holds back at certain key moments, keeping her film […]

Posted in: Review

The Iceman

Pity the cast of Ariel Vromen’s dreckish and embarrassing hitman saga The Iceman. With a few exceptions (say, David Schwimmer, who can’t escape his character’s marked-for-death imbecility), the performers here take Vromen and Morgan Land’s screenplay about real-life assassin Richard Kuklinski quite seriously indeed. It’s understandable, since one does have to go to work with […]

Posted in: Commentary

Ebert is Dead; Long Live Ebert!

It goes without saying that Roger Ebert, who died yesterday from cancer at the age of 70, was America’s movie critic. It also goes without saying that there will never be another like him, especially not in these media-atomized times. No other critic was better known or (arguably) more listened to; at least as much […]

Posted in: Review

The Company You Keep

The ghosts of other, greater film whisper through Robert Redford’s stilted drama about sixties radicalism and millennial ennui, highlighting just how pat and unambitious an effort this is. This shouldn’t be a surprise coming from Redford, given that his directorial efforts (Quiz Show to The Horse Whisperer) have tended towards the lachrymose. What makes The […]

Posted in: Review

Oz the Great and Powerful

Sam Raimi’s big and splashy but tin-eared prequel Oz the Great and Powerful turns the spirit of the 1937 The Wizard of Oz inside out. Oz is no longer the place where misguided Earth youths like Dorothy can discover how special home really is. This time, Oz — with its expensively imagined rainbow- and candy-colored […]

Posted in: Review

Les Miserables (2012)

Some stories are so bulletproof that even a tuneless Russell Crowe can’t deliver a mortal wound. There are also some so prone to overwrought pathos that even a fearsomely committed Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, working every creative muscle in their bodies, can’t quite elevate to greatness. In Tom Hooper’s labor-of-love adaptation of the workhorse […]