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Movie Reviews

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.

ReThink Review: Dear White People -- Lessons for Republicans and the "Post-Racial" Generation

Jonathan Kim | Posted 12.24.2014 | Entertainment
Jonathan Kim

Dear White People is sure to become both a cult hit and a staple on college campuses across the country, and I'm glad for it since the movie ultimately ends with more questions than answers. And with an issue as multi-faceted as racism, that is as it should be.

St. Vincent

Dwight Brown | Posted 12.22.2014 | Black Voices
Dwight Brown

When you hire Bill Murray to star in your comedy, his eccentric curmudgeon persona comes with the deal. First-time screenwriter/director Theodore Melfi knew that and desperately wanted Murray to star in his movie, which is based on a true-life experience.

Movie Review: Citizenfour -- Sound the Alarm

Marshall Fine | Posted 12.21.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

What is most astonishing, as you watch Laura Poitras' Citizenfour, is how calm everyone is. At least at first.

Movie Review: Laggies -- Start Your Engines

Marshall Fine | Posted 12.20.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

This blithe romantic comedy just jumps right in, introducing Megan (Keira Knightley) and her high school pals as they prepare for the wedding of one of them, Allison (Ellie Kemper). Megan is the only one who isn't really launched in life, though she lives with her high school boyfriend Anthony (Mark Webber) -- and they were, after all, voted best couple back in the day.

The Best Yoga Film of 2014: Get a Sneak Peak Here

Shannon Sexton | Posted 12.20.2014 | Healthy Living
Shannon Sexton

(photo credit: Self-Realization Fellowship, Los Angeles, California) Yogis, meditators, and spiritual seekers, make a movie date. Awake: The Life of...

Birdman: Existentialist Selfie

Sandra Ramos O’Briant | Posted 12.20.2014 | Entertainment
Sandra Ramos O’Briant

The story rushed headlong into all the hard questions revolving around love, death and what gives life meaning, but they were overlain with the pop culture vagaries that make everything and everyone seem shallow these days.

ReThink Review: Young Ones -- Praying for Rain in the Sci-Fi West

Jonathan Kim | Posted 12.17.2014 | Entertainment
Jonathan Kim

Young Ones is one of my favorite movies of 2014, combining aspects of science fiction and Westerns with Greek and Shakespearean tragedy in a beautifully realized, utterly realistic, lived-in world with age-old themes that continue to echo throughout the human experience.

Movie Review: Birdman -- Taking Flight

Marshall Fine | Posted 12.16.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

The premise itself will bring a chuckle, if you get it. A former movie action star, Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton), wants to win back his legitimacy as a serious actor. So he has not only written a stage adaptation of Raymond Carver short stories, he's directing it and playing the lead role.

Dear White People

Dwight Brown | Posted 12.15.2014 | Black Voices
Dwight Brown

In his debut feature film, writer/director Justin Simien's perceptive observances take no prisoners.

Movie Review: Fury -- War Is Hell

Marshall Fine | Posted 12.15.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

David Ayer's Fury is one of the few that warrants its length (or most of it). Brutal, punishing and exciting -- in that order -- Fury gives you an approximation of what it would be like to spend a few action-packed days trapped inside an under-equipped American tank toward the end of WWII.

Movie Review: The Judge -- Call a Recess

Marshall Fine | Posted 12.10.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

The Judge is, in its way, the kind of old-fashioned potboiler -- a courtroom drama -- that the studios made regularly when the studios actually thought there was an audience for films about adult concerns.

Movie Review: St. Vincent -- The Passion of St. Bill

Marshall Fine | Posted 12.09.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

With St. Vincent, Murray gives his most soulful performance since Lost in Translation. As Vincent McKenna, he gets to unleash a growling, dyspeptic misanthrope unlike any he has played before.

I Am Ali

Dwight Brown | Posted 12.08.2014 | Sports
Dwight Brown

"I am the greatest!" Who can forget the cocky trademark phrase that was delivered by the most endearing boxer of all time? Retracing Muhammad Ali's vibrant life is an opportunity for audiences to reexamine American history.

Movie Review: Whiplash -- The Beat Goes On

Marshall Fine | Posted 12.08.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

This smart, razor-edged film has been out there, tantalizing critics and viewers, ever since it caused a sensation with its debut at Sundance in January.