Posted in: Review

Land Ho!

Aaron Katz, director of mumblecore-ish twentysomething chronicles Quiet City (basically a less chatty Before SunriseĀ set in Brooklyn) and Cold Weather (basically Brick or Nancy Drew after washing out of grad school), has honed such a singular voice over a handful of films that I was surprised to see that he shares both writing and directing […]

Posted in: Review

Third Person

Winning Academy Awards for producing and writing Crash may have ultimately done more harm than good to Paul Haggis’s reputation. Just as well-respected movies like Shakespeare in Love and Ordinary People became “the movies that beat” seventies auteurs like Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese at an ultimately meaningless awards ceremony, Crash went from well-acted if […]

Posted in: Review

The Signal

The Signal begins, excitingly and promisingly, by pulling together odd little movie subgenres. It’s sort of a road movie, as Nic (Brenton Thwaites) and his best friend Jonah (Beau Knapp) ride along cross-country with Nic’s girlfriend Haley (Olivia Cooke), who is moving from MIT to the west coast; it’s also sort of a hacker thriller, […]

Posted in: Review

Palo Alto

Emma Roberts plays a high school senior in Palo Alto. Within the context of the movie, she’s convincing, containing multitudes: her April is insecure about her future, overlooked by her distracted mother, and both intrigued and frustrated by her classmate Teddy (Jack Kilmer). But by now Roberts has been playing a teenager for longer than […]

Posted in: Review

That Awkward Moment

That Awkward Moment is built on suggestions of real life, rather than depictions of it. Jason (Zac Efron), Daniel (Miles Teller), and Mikey (Michael B. Jordan) are suggestions of twentysomething men who hook up with suggestions of twentysomething women. Their New York City location is suggested by the characters’ smug bromides about what it’s like […]

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

In Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder, Jack Black plays a comic actor from a Nutty Professor-like franchise hoping to be taken seriously via his part in a movie about the Vietnam War. It would be easy enough to draw parallels, however sketchy, to Stiller himself, whose past Christmas season releases have included A Night at the […]

Posted in: Review

Bad Milo!

Few movies feel as strained as those that consider themselves cult classics in the making, drunk on the suspicion that a certain audience will embrace their self-conscious weirdness. Jacob Vaughan’s Bad Milo!, though, goes further, by which I mean not very far at all: this horror-comedy about a demonic creature who emerges from a man’s […]

Posted in: Review

Enough Said

On its own, the premise of Nicole Holofcener’s Enough Said could fit snugly into a sitcom episode. Divorced masseuse Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) goes to a party and meets both a potential new boyfriend, Albert (James Gandolfini), and a potential new client and friend, Marianne (Catherine Keener). Later, she realizes Albert and Marianne used to be […]