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Marshall Fine

Interview: Kiefer Sutherland and The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Marshall Fine | Posted 06.24.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Mira Nair's film of the novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist isn't about terrorism, Kiefer Sutherland observes, but about the reaction to terrorism - a ...

This Critic's 20-minute Rule

Marshall Fine | Posted 06.23.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Over the years, I've developed what I refer to as the 20-minute rule. It basically says that a movie that hasn't hooked me in the first 20 minutes probably isn't going to.

Movie Review: Mud

Marshall Fine | Posted 06.22.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

There is something both engaging and unique about Jeff Nichols' plain-spoken tale of youngsters learning hard lessons about the nature of love and the darker side of the adult world.

Movie Review: In the House

Marshall Fine | Posted 06.18.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Initially seeming like a comedy about the vicarious voyeurism of a literature teacher at a Paris high school, it casually transforms itself into something else: a psychological thriller of sorts, in which what is real is never quite clear and never particularly important.

Interview: Actor Alan Tudyk Plays a Racist in 42

Marshall Fine | Posted 06.16.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

In the film about Jackie Robinson's first year in the majors, Chapman shows up spitting one racial epithet after another from in front of the Phillies' dugout at Ebbets Field, a monologue of bitter bigotry that left Tudyk feeling slightly hungover after each day of filming.

Movie Review: Ain't In It For My Health: A Film About Levon Helm

Marshall Fine | Posted 06.15.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Jacob Hatley's documentary about the late Levon Helm (who died in 2012) is a flinty valedictory to a rough-hewn but cagey and soulful musician.

Movie Review: Hitler's Children

Marshall Fine | Posted 06.12.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Chanoch Ze'evi's documentary, Hitler's Children, tracks down survivors of the top command of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. What they've made of the world is unique from person to person and raises questions in the viewer, as well.

When Movies Aren't Audience-Friendly

Marshall Fine | Posted 06.12.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

You know what an audience-friendly film is. It tells a story that engages you about characters you can like and root for. Yet those films -- movies that seek to tell a story that uplifts or inspires -- often get short shrift from critics for that reason alone.

Movie Review: 42

Marshall Fine | Posted 06.11.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

In telling Robinson's story, Helgeland doesn't dwell on the endless barrage of racist bile that Robinson (and his wife) endured, but he doesn't shy from it either. As a result, Robinson's achievement takes on more meaning and more power.

Onstage: Paul Giamatti in Hamlet

Marshall Fine | Posted 06.10.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

It's that rare evening of theater where something that was already familiar becomes new, yielding unexpected meaning and feelings.

Movie Review: To the Wonder

Marshall Fine | Posted 06.09.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

If Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life was too much the dialogue-driven, story-heavy film for your liking, you'll probably be more in the mood for his latest, To the Wonder, which features Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams and Olga Kurylenko in its cast.

Movie Review: Disconnect

Marshall Fine | Posted 06.08.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Disconnect is upsetting, exhilarating and frightening in equal measures. It's got the ability to pierce your complacency with its cautionary tale.

Movie Review: Evil Dead

Marshall Fine | Posted 06.04.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

To say that Evil Dead is a film for a specific audience is an understatement. If things like dismemberment and self-mutilation make you queasy -- as they would any normal person -- then you probably shouldn't even visit the same multiplex where this film is showing.

Movie Review: The Company You Keep

Marshall Fine | Posted 06.03.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

While The Company You Keep can't sustain itself as the kind of thriller it's being pitched as, it's still a thoughtful, provocative story about the continuing battle between idealism and cynicism.

Movie Review: The Brass Teapot

Marshall Fine | Posted 06.02.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Neither terrible nor revelatory, Ramaa Mosley's The Brass Teapot is the kind of movie you might stumble across on cable and stick with, if only because, well, you've got nothing better to do.

Movie Review: Simon Killer

Marshall Fine | Posted 06.01.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

This is a film that challenges the audience to plug into the story and stick with it. But if you do, it pays off with a portrait of a manipulative, dark character, one who continually surprises the viewer with his choices.

Movie Review: G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.29.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

If the first G.I. Joe movie was an F, Joe 2 is, at best, a C-. More likely a D+. Barely passing.

Movie Review: The Host

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.28.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Andrew Niccol's film of The Host starts so well that, when it suddenly slows to a crawl 20 minutes later, your impulse is to give it some slack -- to let it find its feet and get back on track. Unfortunately, it never does.

Deliver Us From Stupid Hollywood Films

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.27.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

At this point in movie history, the Hollywood studios are to movies what McDonald's is to cuisine: a factory producing products that are nearly identical in their lack of depth, quality or concern for the viewing audience's intellect.

Movie Review: The Place Beyond the Pines

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.26.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Derek Cianfrance's The Place Beyond the Pines is a sure-handed effort from a director who proved himself capable of dramatizing difficult human emotions in Blue Valentine.

Movie Review: Olympus Has Fallen

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.22.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

A second-rate Die Hard knock-off with Gerard Butler playing the Bruce Willis role, Olympus Has Fallen is preposterously overblown, an action movie that seems to prove the old saying: If brains were gunpowder, this movie wouldn't have enough to blow its own nose.

Interview: Checking in With Veteran Seymour Cassel

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.22.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Actor Seymour Cassel is on the phone and, when asked what he's been doing, says, "Well, I'm looking for work."

Movie Review: No Place on Earth

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.21.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

A blend of archival footage and recreations of the cave and these people in their younger days, No Place on Earth is both a reminder of a horrifying period in history and a primer on the resilience and determination of which human beings are capable.

Movie Review: Admission

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.21.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

You can count on one hand the number of good romantic comedies in any given year. Not that people aren't making them -- they just don't do them very well. Which is why Admission is such a treat.

Movie Review: The Sapphires

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.19.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

The darling of the Australian Academy Awards and a hit on the festival circuit, The Sapphires is that pure treat: an aggressively entertaining movie about the struggle, uplift, romance and joy of music.