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Movie Reviews

Best of 2015 Palm Springs International Film Festival

Brad Schreiber | Posted 03.15.2015 | Entertainment
Brad Schreiber

The 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival, Jan. 2-12, included fifty of the Academy Award-nominated foreign films. Here's the best of a fest that includes American studio, independent and overseas cinema.

Movie Review: Match -- Who's Your Daddy?

Marshall Fine | Posted 03.15.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Stephen Belber's Match is a slight but affecting film built around a stirring central performance by Patrick Stewart.

Selma

Dwight Brown | Posted 02.27.2015 | Black Voices
Dwight Brown

R.I.P. Martin Luther King. Your story has been told. Your legacy passed on. Your strategies for non-violent demonstrations shared. Your ability for changing hearts, minds and laws well-documented.

Movie Review: Two Days, One Night -- Your Money or My Life

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.25.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

But their newest, Two Days, One Night, pulled me in almost instantly and held me to its gripping conclusion. It's a small story -- an individual's fight for her economic life and that of her family in the suburbs of Liege, Belgium.

Movie Review: Unbroken barely scratches the surface

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.23.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

I happened to see Angelina Jolie's Unbroken before I read the Laura Hillenbrand book about the life of the amazing Louis Zamperini. My guest for an ...

Movie Review: American Sniper - Shooting blanks

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.23.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

The two most disappointing films of the season should have been two of the most gripping: Unbroken (also opening on Christmas) and Clint Eastwood's ...

Movie Review: Big Eyes ...of the Beholder

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.22.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

At heart, Big Eyes is a just a drama about a codependent relationship that strays into abusiveness, in which the wife finally finds the strength to ...

Movie Review: The Gambler -- Snake-eyes

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.22.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

I bristle whenever Hollywood decides that it's time to remake a film from the recent past (although, with a history of cinema that only extends a little over 100 years, it's ALL the recent past).

Movie Review: Selma -- The March Goes On

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.21.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Fifty years separate the events in the film and the headlines of 2014 and it feels as though little has changed.

Movie Review: The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies'

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.17.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Jackson has done something that will likely never be done again: It's not just that he got these movies made the way he wanted -- but that the way he did it was of such consistently high quality.

The Best Films of 2014

Dwight Brown | Posted 02.16.2015 | Black Voices
Dwight Brown

It's not like Michael Keaton's career was kaput, but it seems like he raised himself from the dead with this invigorating performance. Mexican director/writer Alejandro González Iñárritu gave Keaton a plum role.

Movie Review: Mr. Turner -- Go Toward the Light

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.16.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Had he been born in a different time and place, painter J.M.W. Turner might have been a member of the Hudson River School, a group of artists who worked in the second half of the 19th century, after Turner's 1851 death.

Zaki's Review: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Zaki Hasan | Posted 02.15.2015 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

All my previous qualms about the girth (and necessity) of individual installments notwithstanding, there's no denying that the totality of this saga represents a singular achievement in cinematic history.

Movie Review: Inherent Vice -- Tripping... and Stumbling

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.14.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Inherent Vice squanders a strong start in an orgy of wheel-spinning. Perhaps Anderson is indulging himself with one of those lengthy jokes in which the punchline is that there's no punchline.

ReThink Review -- Exodus: Gods and Kings -- Whitewashing Gets Biblically Bizarre

Jonathan Kim | Posted 02.11.2015 | Religion
Jonathan Kim

Usually when a film depicting a story from the Bible is made, the main danger for a studio is angering religious groups who feel that the film is attacking their beliefs or strays too far from accepted (or at least favored) interpretations.

Exodus: Gods and Kings

Dwight Brown | Posted 02.10.2015 | Black Voices
Dwight Brown

"Exodus: Movement of Jah people! Oh-oh-oh, yea-eah!" chants Bob Marley. In his rousing three-minute song "Exodus" he presents a more spiritual feel for Moses than Ridley Scott's 154-minute, whitewashed sword-and-sandals epic.

Movie Review: Wild -- Take a hike. Seriously.

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.03.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Based on the memoir by Cheryl Strayed, Jean-Marc Vallee's Wild offers an exceptional visual version of what could have been largely an interior journey.

Top Five

Dwight Brown | Posted 02.02.2015 | Black Voices
Dwight Brown

Andre Allen (Rock) is a hip New York-based stand-up comedian who has stretched his talents thin. He's in a plethora of movies; none are particularly good, though they have brought him fame and fortune.

Movie Review: Life Partners -- So?

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.01.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

What happens to a certain kind of codependent friendship when one member finds a significant other? Life Partners, the first film by Susanna Fogel, would like to answer that question. Instead it settles for sitcom setups and punchlines. 

5 Reasons to Suck It Up and Watch Frozen

Tammy Kahn | Posted 01.31.2015 | Arts
Tammy Kahn

So, you're one of the 5 people left on planet earth who hasn't seen Frozen yet. Congratulations - you're a renegade. But as this holiday season is upon us, the ice princesses of Disney are showing no signs of "letting go" of the spotlight.

Birdman

Marcia Liss | Posted 01.31.2015 | Entertainment
Marcia Liss

...

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.