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: Review

Worst Movie Ever? I Spit On Your Grave

Welcome to the first installment of “Worst Movie Ever?,” where every month we’ll examine a universally panned movie to determine if merit lies in its critically deposited scorn. With the recent passing of Roger Ebert, this first choice, Meir Zarchi’s I Spit on Your Grave (originally titled Day of the Woman) is fitting. The great […]

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The Contrarian: Attack of the Clones is a Film of Incalculable Historical Significance

What does Palme d’Or winner Amour, Sundance Grand Jury winner Winter’s Bone, and The Evil Dead remake all have in common?  They might never have been made were it not for the unwavering vision of George Lucas and a little movie called Star Wars: Episode 2 – Attack of the Clones. Clones was the first […]

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The Big Wedding

Writer/director Justin Zackham must have some kind of movie Midas Touch. His script for The Bucket List attracted Oscar winners Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, while his current release, The Big Wedding, offers four Academy Award favorites-Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, and Robin Williams. Both films are benign burlesques catering to a crowd […]

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Kon-Tiki

Call it Life of Thor! As depicted in Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg’s Kon-Tiki, the story of Thor Heyerdahl (Pål Sverre Hagen), the Norwegian-born writer, ethnographer and thoroughly badass adventuring expert, and his 1947 raft trip from Peru to Polynesia affords similar wonders of the ocean as Ang Lee’s mediocre Oscar-winner. And yet Kon-Tiki is […]

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Mud

A small-town way of life that’s slowly disappearing. A young boy’s coming-of-age set against the possible dissolution of his parents’ marriage. A drifter who inspires both awe and anxiety in the people he influences. A bayou riverbank filled with secrets and struggles. These are the narrative elements writer/director Jeff Nichols works with, and against, in […]

Posted in: Review

The 10 Best Portrayals of Mental Illness in Modern Movies

For actors, it’s a cinematic gift, a chance to play a characteristic as well as a character. For directors, it’s a chance to explore the psyche in visual and narrative detail. For audiences, it’s a window into a world they will (hopefully) never experience. When combined in the just the right way, without histrionics or […]