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Marshall Fine Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Results May Vary

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.27.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Andrew Bujalski's Results is a surprising little romantic comedy that never goes where you expect, even as it creates a story built on a triad of characters striving to be better -- in some way. As Bujalski seems well aware, there's who you think you want to be and who you really are. The distance between those two points is where things get interesting.

Movie Review: San Andreas -- Rumble. Tumble. Yawn.

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.27.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Each generation of special effects creates its own avalanche of disaster films: movies about disasters that are themselves disastrous.

Movie Review: 1001 Grams -- The Measure of Life

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.14.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

I am a big fan of Norwegian filmmaker Bent Hamer. The Norwegian films of his that have made it to American screens -- Kitchen Stories, O'Horten and now 1001 Grams (currently in limited release) reveal a miniaturist dealing in microcosms that reveal the world.

Movie Review: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel -- Checking out

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.05.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

No one wants to be deemed second-best, yet there it is, right in the title of the film: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The result when you succumb to sequel-itis: Let's take this delightful little surprise hit and try to duplicate its success without doing anything original. 

Movie Review: An Honest Liar -- Art of Deception

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.04.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

As this entertaining and touching nonfiction film reveals, that has been Randi's most important work over the years: debunking charlatans who profit from their supposed ability to contact the dead or otherwise harness the supernatural. 

Movie Review: Wild Tales -- Hang On Tight

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.22.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Truth in advertising. Damian Szifron's Wild Tales is exactly that: an anthology of surprising and unexpectedly wild short stories. Though it feels like there's going to be a connection, the individual stories share neither characters nor plotlines. Instead, they align along a similar theme: revenge, with an occasional overlay of class struggle.

Movie Review: McFarland USA -- On the Right Track

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.21.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Sports movies starring Kevin Costner: It could be a category on Jeopardy. But that's not really a bad thing. While the Costner oeuvre has its share of titles devoted to athletic themes, he hasn't made many bad ones.

Movie Review: The Boy Next Door -- Get a Fence

Marshall Fine | Posted 03.24.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

How can J-Lo ignore The Boy Next Door? She can't, obviously, because he's a blazing wackjob with an erotic obsession for his new neighbor.

Movie Review: Into the Woods -- We All Die. The End.

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.25.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods arrives on the big screen 27 years after it opened on Broadway -- and with the same second-act problems that have plagued it through the years.

Movie Review: Big Eyes ...of the Beholder

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.22.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

At heart, Big Eyes is a just a drama about a codependent relationship that strays into abusiveness, in which the wife finally finds the strength to ...

Movie Review: The Gambler -- Snake-eyes

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.22.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

I bristle whenever Hollywood decides that it's time to remake a film from the recent past (although, with a history of cinema that only extends a little over 100 years, it's ALL the recent past).

Movie Review: Selma -- The March Goes On

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.21.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Fifty years separate the events in the film and the headlines of 2014 and it feels as though little has changed.

Movie Review: The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies'

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.17.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Jackson has done something that will likely never be done again: It's not just that he got these movies made the way he wanted -- but that the way he did it was of such consistently high quality.

Movie Review: The Imitation Game - Decoding a Complex Man

Marshall Fine | Posted 01.25.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

To my mind, The Imitation Game is the best film of the year: a gripping tale of wartime espionage and code-breaking that also manages to be the character study of an important figure whose contributions have been ignominiously ignored.

Movie Review: Theory of Everything and Others

Marshall Fine | Posted 01.07.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Eddie Redmayne stars as Stephen Hawking, from his days as a Cambridge grad student in physics to his breakthrough years as a faculty physicist. It also deals with his marriage to Jane (Felicity Jones), who weds him even though he's been given a death-sentence diagnosis of ALS.

Movie Review: Big Hero 6 -- The Future Starts Now

Marshall Fine | Posted 01.05.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

The same Disney folks that brought you Bolt, The Emperor's New Groove and The Princess and the Frog return with Big Hero 6, a wildly imaginative action-comedy about super-tech-savvy kids somewhere in the near future. 

Movie Review: Low Down -- Hooked on Cliches

Marshall Fine | Posted 12.29.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Only serious jazz fans remember Joe Albany, a pianist whose bright and energetic attack kept him working until his death in 1988. Low Down, based on a memoir by his daughter, Amy, feels hackneyed, despite being a true story.

Movie Review: Citizenfour -- Sound the Alarm

Marshall Fine | Posted 12.21.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

What is most astonishing, as you watch Laura Poitras' Citizenfour, is how calm everyone is. At least at first.

Movie Review: Gone Girl -- Let's Do the Twist

Marshall Fine | Posted 12.01.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

There hasn't been a twisty, best-selling legal thriller whose film version was as anticipated as Gone Girl since, I would say, Presumed Innocent.

Movie Review: The Good Lie -- Emotional Honesty

Marshall Fine | Posted 11.30.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

It would be easy to dismiss The Good Lie as manipulative, a movie aimed at the tear ducts (and we all know you can't trust a movie about emotions).

Movie Review: This Is Where I Leave You

Marshall Fine | Posted 11.19.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Don't get me wrong: This Is Where I Leave You isn't a great movie. But it's an enjoyable one, an emotional comedy that earns its lump in the throat and most of its laughs.

Movie Review: A Walk Among the Tombstones

Marshall Fine | Posted 11.19.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

They used to make films like A Walk Among the Tombstones on a regular basis: mysteries built around flawed heroes, in which character was as important as plot, and action was the catharsis, not the reason for the story itself.

Wrapping up the Toronto Film Festival

Marshall Fine | Posted 11.12.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Get used to hearing the title The Imitation Game because, between the filmmaking of Morten Tyldum and the acting of Benedict Cumberbatch, this is the film they'll be talking about at the end of the year.

Live from the Toronto Film Festival: Wednesday, Sept. 10

Marshall Fine | Posted 11.11.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Entitlement is also an issue in Noah Baumbach's wonderfully acidic While We're Young, which captures a pair of Gen-Xers, Josh and Cornelia (Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts), at a crisis point.

Live from the Toronto Film Festival: Tuesday, Sept. 9

Marshall Fine | Posted 11.09.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Which is what I value most about the film festival experience in general: the chance it offers to discover a film, a filmmaker, an actor -- the operative word being discover. That's less and less of a factor at this particular festival these days. Instead, it seems stacked with pre-sold titles.