Initially seeming like a comedy about the vicarious voyeurism of a literature teacher at a Paris high school, it casually transforms itself into something else: a psychological thriller of sorts, in which what is real is never quite clear and never particularly important.
With a Chinese censorship two-step thrusting it back into the news and a brand-new DVD release, Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained might seem to be ideal fare for those seeking an evening's frivolous entertainment. Or maybe not? It may help to have a little perspective.
Chanoch Ze'evi's documentary, Hitler's Children, tracks down survivors of the top command of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. What they've made of the world is unique from person to person and raises questions in the viewer, as well.
To play with history as the background for a good story is one thing. To reach into history and snatch out well-known historical figures and make them say and do what you want to produce a sexy film is quite another.
In telling Robinson's story, Helgeland doesn't dwell on the endless barrage of racist bile that Robinson (and his wife) endured, but he doesn't shy from it either. As a result, Robinson's achievement takes on more meaning and more power.
If Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life was too much the dialogue-driven, story-heavy film for your liking, you'll probably be more in the mood for his latest, To the Wonder, which features Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams and Olga Kurylenko in its cast.
I just urge artists that in lieu of instant publication, we don't forget why we got into art to begin with: to wonder. There are ways to be meaningful online -- it's our job in this generation to seek out those ways.
To say that Evil Dead is a film for a specific audience is an understatement. If things like dismemberment and self-mutilation make you queasy -- as they would any normal person -- then you probably shouldn't even visit the same multiplex where this film is showing.
This is a film that challenges the audience to plug into the story and stick with it. But if you do, it pays off with a portrait of a manipulative, dark character, one who continually surprises the viewer with his choices.
When is violence okay for kids? In the mind of the Motion Picture Association of America, violence without blood is a lesser form of violence that kids won't find disturbing. Films like G.I. Joe: Retaliation illustrate how bizarre that distinction is.
Andrew Niccol's film of The Host starts so well that, when it suddenly slows to a crawl 20 minutes later, your impulse is to give it some slack -- to let it find its feet and get back on track.
Unfortunately, it never does.
Ostensibly a documentary, it's meant as an eye-opening deconstruction of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. Director Rodney Ascher lets a group of obsessives spout off about their theories of what Kubrick really meant. The only thing they don't suggest is that Kubrick is talking to them over the radio.
A second-rate Die Hard knock-off with Gerard Butler playing the Bruce Willis role, Olympus Has Fallen is preposterously overblown, an action movie that seems to prove the old saying: If brains were gunpowder, this movie wouldn't have enough to blow its own nose.
When is a cavemen not a cavemen? In the case of the new animated movie The Croods, it's when the family of "cavemen" in question looks cosmetically like Neanderthals but seem to have the powers of superheroes.
A blend of archival footage and recreations of the cave and these people in their younger days, No Place on Earth is both a reminder of a horrifying period in history and a primer on the resilience and determination of which human beings are capable.