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Marshall Fine

Movie Review: Emperor

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.08.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Emperor doesn't reimagine history so much as use it as the jumping-off point for a fictional historical romance set against the backdrop of impending war, when everything seems more vital and in-the-moment. Except for this sometimes plodding film.

Movie Review: The Silence

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.07.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

The Silence is chilling stuff, the kind of thriller -- like The Vanishing, let's say -- that leaves you stunned and gulping.

Movie Review: Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.05.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Not to put too fine a point on it, but as someone who was working as a rock critic for the first decade and a half of Journey's existence, I always regarded them as unexplainably popular, an at-best thoroughly mediocre hit-making machine.

Movie Review: Oz, the Great and Powerful

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.04.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

James Franco, the Energizer bunny of actors, plays Oscar Diggs, a small-time magician in a second-rate traveling circus first seen doing his show to a small crowd in the black-and-white Kansas of the early 20th Century.

Movie Review: The Sweeney

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.01.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Though Ray Winstone has been a TV star in Great Britain since the mid-1970s, a lot of Americans got their first sighting of the beefy British actor with Gary Oldman's 1997's Nil By Mouth or 2000's Sexy Beast.

Movie Review: Phantom

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.30.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Phantom supposedly is based on actual events. But that doesn't lend it weight, authority or even a modicum of dramatic sense.

Movie Review: Jack the Giant Slayer

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.29.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

A roiling visual extrusion rendered from computer-generated imagery, Jack the Giant Slayer makes you long for the days of Ray Harryhausen.

Movie Review: Stoker

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.28.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Chan-wook Park's Stoker is audaciously, in-your-face creepy and exhilarating in a way few films have been since David Lynch's Blue Velvet. Because it's not just the creepiness -- but the way Park gets you involved in his world so that you can't look away.

Movie Review: A Place at the Table

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.27.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

A Place At the Table, with talking heads ranging from Jeff Bridges to Tom Colicchio, all of them articulate and impassioned, is a film that should make you furious.

Movie Review: Snitch

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.24.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

While this could nominally be considered an action film -- because of a couple of shoot-outs and car chases -- Snitch is more a dramatic thriller with violence thrown in.

Actor-director Alex Karpovsky Releases a Double-bill

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.23.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Getting a movie made is an Olympian task. Getting a movie made and released is even tougher. So Alex Karpovsky's accomplishment -- writing, directing and starring in two movies that are being released the same day as a double-feature -- seems positively Herculean.

Movie Review: Inescapable

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.22.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

There are a number of people whose work I admire involved with Inescapable. So allow me to say some nice things about them before I talk about what is so wrong with this movie.

The Difference Between What's Hot and What Lasts

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.21.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

There are a lot of things that are popular and commercial, but aren't very good. Or are just good enough. Consider Justin Bieber: It's not that the kid isn't talented; it's that he's only just talented enough.

Movie Reviews: Red Flag, Rubberneck

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.20.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Alex Karpovsky actually has two films out the same day: Red Flag and Rubberneck. They also happen to be surprising and compelling, in very separate ways.

Movie Review: A Good Day to Skip Die Hard 5

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.17.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

According to box-office pundits, A Good Day to Die Hard will be the big box-office winner this holiday weekend. If the predictions hold true, this film confirms the conventional wisdom: People want what's familiar, no matter how hackneyed and repetitive.

Why Beasts of the Southern Wild Doesn't Deserve Its Oscar Nominations

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.16.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Cheap, amateurish and sometimes just plain hard to watch, Beasts enjoyed a wave of overwrought critical hosannas, going all the way back to when the film first was shown more than a year ago at the Sundance Film Festival.

Interview: Actor Walton Goggins Gets Justified

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.14.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

When he plays Boyd Crowder on FX's wildly entertaining Justified, Walton Goggins is the charming face of evil, the yin to the yang of Timothy Olyphant's Raylan Givens.

Movie Review: Beautiful Creatures

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.13.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Based on the first in a series of books by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Beautiful Creatures (opening Thursday) hopes the "Twihards" can shift their focus from the undead to the magically endowed.

Movie Review: Lore

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.10.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Shortland's film has an occasionally detached, whispery quality, as the camera focuses on the nature around Lore and her group. These Malick-like moments take us out of the story, for better or worse, depending on your point of view.

Movie Review: Identity Thief

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.09.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

The only thing Identity Thief steals is your time and your expectation of inventive comedy. The concept may be high, but the yield (in terms of laughs) is depressingly low.

Movie Review: Side Effects

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.07.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Dear Steven Soderbergh: Please don't stop making movies. Your name is high on the list of filmmakers whose careers I'm thankful have coincided with my career as a movie critic. And Side Effects is further proof that you are at the height of your powers as a filmmaker.

Movie Review: Warm Bodies

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.06.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Jonathan Levine's Warm Bodies won the weekend box-office race for a couple of reasons. It's a romantic comedy that works, for one thing. For another, it's a smart reworking of Romeo and Juliet.

Movie Review: Bullet to the Head

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.02.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

I lost count of the number of noggins that were perforated by hot lead in Bullet to the Head, but it was more than a dozen. Henchman apparently is a particularly dangerous job description, at least in this movie.

Movie Review: Girls Against Boys

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.01.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

It would be too easy to dismiss Girls Against Boys as a simplistic horror-thriller, but there is much more going on here.

Movie Review: Stand Up Guys

Marshall Fine | Posted 03.31.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

The waste of talent in Fisher Stevens' Stand Up Guys is criminal. It's the movie equivalent of shooting a man in Reno, just to watch him die.