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Movie Reviews

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

Marshall Fine | Posted 12.18.2014 | 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 12.17.2014 | 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 12.17.2014 | 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 12.17.2014 | 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 12.15.2014 | 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 12.12.2014 | 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 12.11.2014 | 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 12.04.2014 | 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 12.03.2014 | 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 12.02.2014 | 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 Fennell | Posted 12.01.2014 | Arts
Tammy Kahn Fennell

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 12.01.2014 | Entertainment
Marcia Liss

...

Movie Review: The Imitation Game - Decoding a Complex Man

Marshall Fine | Posted 12.02.2014 | 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 11.21.2014 | 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 11.19.2014 | 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 11.19.2014 | 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 11.17.2014 | 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 11.14.2014 | 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 11.13.2014 | 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 11.13.2014 | 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 11.12.2014 | 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 11.12.2014 | 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 11.12.2014 | 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 11.12.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

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