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Marshall Fine

Chris Messina Heads for Venice

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.16.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

His acting career is percolating nicely -- featured role on a hit sitcom, parts in Oscar-winning films such as Argo and respected series such as The Newsroom -- but Chris Messina couldn't pass up the opportunity to direct a film of his own.

Movie Review: True Story -- Faking it

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.15.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

True Story is not a bad movie; indeed, it's a creepy little tale that has moments that will unnerve you. But the limitations of its script and of Jonah Hill's performance in the central role keep it from transcending its shortcomings.

Victor Levin Rallies for Romance With 5 to 7

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.03.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

At a time when the romantic drama is all but on the endangered-species list, writer-director Victor Levin tacked straight into a headwind with his new film, 5 to 7. The romance is the story of a love affair between a 25-year-old would-be writer and an older, married Frenchwoman.

Movie Review: Woman in Gold -- The Art of Justice

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.01.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Does it matter that Woman in Gold, Simon Curtis' moving drama about a woman seeking the return of art the Nazis stole from her family 50 years earlier, seems stenciled from a familiar template?

Movie Review: While We're Young -- Aging Ungracefully

Marshall Fine | Posted 03.26.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Films about the generation gap tend to pit parent versus child, old values against new, youth versus age, experience against optimism. Which is what makes Noah Baumbach's While We're Young such a treat...

Movie Review: Get Hard -- Hardly

Marshall Fine | Posted 03.24.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart seem like a match made in the acquisitions or marketing department, aiming for the merger of two different comedians' respective audiences, which don't necessarily overlap.

Movie Review: The Gunman -- Cashing the Check, Paying the Price

Marshall Fine | Posted 03.18.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Unfortunately, the script, while making broad political points, otherwise plays as by-the-numbers action fodder.

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

Marshall Fine | Posted 03.05.2015 | 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 03.04.2015 | 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: Maps to the Stars -- Cul-de-sac

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.27.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Writer Bruce Wagner's script for David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars is of a piece with his other work. It blends a cynical vision of people with an even darker examination of the worship of the superficial that is Hollywood life.

Movie Review: Focus -- Hard to Miss the Misdirection

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.26.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Focus works hard and does manage to generate entertainment. But, the strain shows, and the creative team (also responsible for writing Bad Santa and I Love You Philip Morris) can't seem to blend wit with plot complexity. 

Movie Review: Wild Tales -- Hang On Tight

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.20.2015 | 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 02.19.2015 | 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: Kingsman: The Secret Service -- Bloody Entertaining

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.14.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

When James Bond rebooted with Daniel Craig in Casino Royale, the blend of old-school spy tale and modern-action sensibility seemed right -- if still a little restrained. Imagine now what would happen if James Bond were put in the hands of someone who was willing to not just rethink the secret-agent film but blow it up all together.

Movie Review: What We Do in the Shadows -- Bloody Funny

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.14.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Written and directed by the team of Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, this film presents a flock (coven? pride? school?) of vampires sharing a flat in contemporary New Zealand. The documentarians supposedly not only have been granted access to film the vampires' private lives but have been promised that the vampires won't eat them.

Movie Review: Jupiter Ascending -- Not Terrible, Not Great

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.06.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

There aren't many films from the past 15 years that bowled me over the way The Matrix did. Unfortunately, the Wachowskis -- Andy and Lana -- haven't come close since then.

Live From Sundance: Wednesday, Jan. 28

Marshall Fine | Posted 03.30.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

I make a point of knowing as little as possible about the films I see at the Sundance Film Festival (or any other film festival -- or just films in general, for that matter) before I see them because I want to see them with a blank slate.

Live From Sundance: Tuesday, Jan. 27

Marshall Fine | Posted 03.30.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

There is plenty to distract you at the Sundance Film Festival, from parties to gifting suites (which journalists are invited to report on but never to actually visit) to other film festivals going on in Park City at the same time.

Live from Sundance: Monday, Jan. 26

Marshall Fine | Posted 03.29.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Craig Zobel's Z for Zachariah is a post -apocalyptic love triangle that is haunting and lovely -- a distinct change of pace from Zobel's last film, the chillingly neon-lit Compliance.

Live From Sundance: Sunday, Jan. 25

Marshall Fine | Posted 03.28.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

I hit the ground running, arriving not-quite midway into the 2015 Sundance Film Festival in time to crank out a five-movie day on Sunday. That's less a testament to my stamina than to luck and logistics.

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: Black Sea -- In Deep Water

Marshall Fine | Posted 03.23.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Black Sea, a crisply tense film from Kevin MacDonald, is always compelling and even, occasionally, surprising. While submarine films inspire the guessing game of who will be the next to die horribly and who might survive, Black Sea never quite goes where you expect it, thanks to the script by British playwright Dennis Kelly.

Movie Review: Blackhat -- System failure

Marshall Fine | Posted 03.16.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Here's my first problem with Michael Mann's Blackhat: Chris Hemsworth doesn't have the talent to make me believe he's smart enough to be an MIT-educated, world-class computer hacker.

Movie Review: Match -- Who's Your Daddy?

Marshall Fine | Posted 03.15.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Stephen Belber's Match is a slight but affecting film built around a stirring central performance by Patrick Stewart.

2014: My Favorite Films of the Year

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.28.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

If I were going to make a 10-best list, it would probably include films like Boyhood, The Imitation Game and Selma, among others that will be on everyone's list. But, as good as those films are, none of them are on my list of favorites.