Based on a novel by Chad Kultgen, Jason Reitman's Men, Women & Children is a multi-character film that wants to deliver a message about how our burgeoning electronic connectivity -- through phones and computers -- has actually distanced us from each other.
I've been covering the New York Film Festival since 1987 and have, over the years, developed a bit of a love/hate relationship with it, as an institution (specifically, Film Society of Lincoln Center) and as a festival.
Kill the Messenger is based on the true story of reporter Gary Webb, a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper journalist in the 1990s who documented CIA involvement in importing cocaine in the 1980s, to help fund the Contras in Nicaragua -- and then was hounded out of journalism.
There is always an audience for actors in late middle-age who know how to kick serious ass. Charles Bronson was 53 when he made Death Wish, Liam Neeson was 54 when he did Taken and Clint Eastwood was 73 when he did Gran Torino.
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.
Art and Craft is a potent title that can be taken in several different ways, in this fascinatingly complex and endlessly entertaining documentary from a trio of filmmakers: Sam Cullman, Jennifer Grausman and Mark Becker.
In Tracks, Mia Wasikowska plays a young woman who decides to do what no woman has done before her: She will walk halfway across Australia, beginning in desolate Alice Springs and traversing 1,700 miles of desert and wasteland, walking to the ocean on the island continent's west coast.
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.
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.
I admire Smith's impulse to expand his film-making palette and was a fan of his Red State. Tusk, however, may only be for Smith completists. It was so disheartening that I bailed a little early in order to make a screening of The Reach.
Begin Again comes from writer-director John Carney, who burst forth with Once a few years ago. This film, which stars Keira Knightly and Mark Ruffalo (among others), captures the same blend of wistful emotions and life-affirming musical energy as that 2006 hit.
Third Person, which stars Liam Neeson, Olivia Wilde, Adrien Brody and Mila Kunis, among others, is yet another attempt by writer-director Haggis to subvert the expectations of the people who come to see his films.
After I saw 22 Jump Street, I noted publicly that, while it was funnier than 21 Jump Street, so was my root canal. (Although the latter did include laughing gas.) Still, the bar wasn't particularly high.
For starters, I have no interest in the supernatural and paranormal -- mostly because I don't believe in it. (Of course, that's the perfect set-up for a horror story.) I've never had a paranormal experience, though I'm sure there are people who believe they have.
If you're keeping score at home, of the three Marvel comic-book movies so far this summer (a term I use advisedly for a season that technically doesn't start for another month), X-Men: Days of Future Past outranks Amazing Spider-Man 2 and is about on a par with Captain America: The Winter Soldier.