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Movie Reviews

Birdman

Marcia Liss | Posted 01.31.2015 | Entertainment
Marcia Liss

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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: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 -- Action, Interrupted

Marshall Fine | Posted 01.21.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

At this point, it seems pretty pointless to review a new entry in The Hunger Games series. 

AFI Fest Presents 'American Sniper': Clint Eastwood's Effort in Heroism

Tony Bartolone | Posted 01.19.2015 | Arts
Tony Bartolone

American Sniper succeeds in showing the struggle of a dangerous man trying to live a normal life with his family. The affect the war has on families, and how it changes their loved ones is something not often explored, especially not this deeply or honestly.

Movie Review: Happy Valley -- Kettle, Meet Pot

Marshall Fine | Posted 01.19.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Amir Bar-Lev's documentary, Happy Valley, about the Penn State sex scandal that unfolded from mid-2011 to 2012, may surprise people.

AFI Fest Presents The Gambler: A Safe Bet

Tony Bartolone | Posted 01.17.2015 | Arts
Tony Bartolone

There is something deeper at work here. It is not a just a fear of death. Nobody is just afraid of death. People are afraid of life. Not having enough life. This is where The Gambler really missed the mark.

'Belle' Actress Says 'Beyond The Lights' Shows Power Of Self

Associated Press | MARCELA IZASA | Posted 11.19.2014 | Black Voices

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw has had a busy 2014. Earlier this year, she starred in "Belle," based on a true story about a ...

Movie Review: Rosewater -- Well-meaning

Marshall Fine | Posted 01.14.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

On a regular basis, I see many worse movies out there than Rosewater, Stewart's sometimes affecting, sometimes overly earnest film about an Iranian journalist thrown into solitary confinement by a regime that thinks he's a spy.

Is He a Good Father, Katie?

Tricia McCallum | Posted 01.13.2015 | Entertainment
Tricia McCallum

My cinematic crème de la crème takes many forms. It may be one line of dialogue all on its own, or an entire scene's worth. It might be a look or a gesture from one character to another, or to no one in particular. It might be as simple as the quality of light the director captured at a window in early morning.

Movie Review: Foxcatcher - You'll want to wrestle with this movie

Marshall Fine | Posted 01.13.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

When I saw Bennett Miller's Foxcatcher at the Toronto Film Festival in September, I wrote that "Miller, in my estimation, has jumped into the class ...

Is Birdman Michael Keaton's Best Performance Ever?

Culturalist | Posted 01.12.2015 | Entertainment
Culturalist

The buzz around Michael Keaton's star turn in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) got our users wondering: "Where the heck has he been all these years?" As it turns out, Keaton has quietly been racking up some iconic performances that may finally get an overdue honor from the Academy this February. Here's how they ranked his best:

Inherent Advice: An AFI Fest Essay

Tony Bartolone | Posted 01.12.2015 | Arts
Tony Bartolone

Making a film is the art of retroactive hypnotism. And there is no greater cinema hypnotist than Paul Thomas Anderson. It's rare to see a movie simultaneously this interesting and this good; this incoherent and this profound; this frustrating and this enjoyable.

Beyond the Lights

Dwight Brown | Posted 01.12.2015 | Black Voices
Dwight Brown

Quick Rihanna, check to see if someone stole your diary. This ode to young black chanteuses fighting personal demons feels like the story of her life.

Movie Review: The Homesman -- Have Patience

Marshall Fine | Posted 01.12.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

No good deed goes unpunished in Tommy Lee Jones' The Homesman. And that's how the West was won. 

Movie Review: Beyond the Lights -- Return of the Romantic Drama

Marshall Fine | Posted 01.11.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

On the surface, Beyond the Lights is about the unlikely romance between an L.A. cop named Kaz (Nate Parker) and a rising British pop star named Noni (Gugu Mbatha-Raw). They meet when he subs for a pal doing private security work and winds up saving her from a suicide dive off her hotel balcony. 

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.

The Imitation Game

Geoffrey R. Stone | Posted 01.05.2015 | Entertainment
Geoffrey R. Stone

The Imitation Game traces the real-life tale of Alan Turing, the brilliant and highly idiosyncratic British scientist and philosopher whose secret contributions during World War II saved the lives of an estimated 14 million individuals.

The Oscar Race Is in Full Swing!

Jay Weston | Posted 01.05.2015 | Los Angeles
Jay Weston

In response to a reader who emailed me that 'there is nothing out there to see these days,' I can only refer her to the following list and suggest she start at the top of the list and work her way down. The viewing is fine!

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. 

Forget the Media: Another View of Nightcrawler

Jon Eig | Posted 01.04.2015 | Entertainment
Jon Eig

So if Nightcrawler is not, at its core, a condemnation of the current condition of news media, what is that larger message? Gilroy's movie is about a society that has become unmoored, a society in which traditional economic and moral structures no longer function.

Movie Review: Interstellar -- Nolan's Overstuffed Vision

Marshall Fine | Posted 01.04.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Christopher Nolan's philosophy of filmmaking apparently is this: Why make one movie when you can make three? Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't.

Movie Review: Nightcrawler - the new Network

Marshall Fine | Posted 12.31.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

In depicting the world of local TV news in Los Angeles, Gilroy has created a kinetic joyride that surfs a giddy wave of dark wit and intelligence.

Nightcrawler

Dwight Brown | Posted 12.29.2014 | Black Voices
Dwight Brown

This journey into a bleak world not fathomed before is intriguing, unnerving and haunting. You'll walk out of the theater feeling like you need to go home to shower and scrub this film off your skin.

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.

Citizenfour Review: Quiet Moments in a Hong Kong Hotel Room as Edward Snowden, Journalists Fight to Save Democracy

Jonathan Handel | Posted 12.24.2014 | Entertainment
Jonathan Handel

When journalist Glenn Greenwald and documentary film maker/journalist Laura Poitras responded to emails from an intelligence community member who identified himself at first only as "Citizenfour," little did they how deep the rabbit hole would be.