Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

What to See, What to Skip: New Reviews This Week

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire December 16, 2011 at 10:28AM

With Christmas nearing, the holiday blockbusters are upon us and this week sees two big tentpole sequels ("Mission Impossible" and "Sherlock Holmes") make their way into theaters. They're not the only releases opening this packed weekend. See what's opening (and what's worth your money) by checking out the reviews published this week on Indiewire and the blog network. "Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel" Indiewire: B+ Through their testimonies (in addition to those of the 80-year-old Corman himself), the movie delivers a compelling argument for appreciating the filmmaker as a major artist who's both largely responsible for many mainstream Hollywood cinema trends while somehow remaining superior to them. "Cook County" Indiewire: C A focus on the daily habits of meth addicts is the main strength of this otherwise murky work, which lacks focus but maintains a grim outlook that sets it apart from more popular takes on addiction and drug production. There's nothing slick or entertaining about the crumbling existence of Pomes' unsalvageable antiheroes. "Carnage" Indiewire: B- Thankfully, "Carnage" avoids complete dismissal thanks to its cast. Foster lets loose with her most heated performance in ages, playing a shrill, fragile woman always on the verge of losing it. Reilly portrays the kind of amusing naif he does best. Winslet returns to the repressed frustration that won her acclaim in "Mildred Pierce." Leonard Maltin Polanski has staged the movie so it never feels claustrophobic, even though it takes place in one Brooklyn, New York apartment and its adjacent hallway over the course of a long afternoon. But he has failed to capture the play’s ever-so-gradual buildup of tension. The Playlist: C+ But it's also a film of very little ambition, a minor entry in the director's canon. Perhaps it was just the desire to shoot something fast and quick after his brush with justice, which is certainly understandable, but he has essentially taken a pre-existing script, cast four A-listers, locked them in a room, and shot it. "Mission Impossible: Ghost Proticol" Leonard Maltin Character development is not the movie’s strong suit. One simply has to accept that Tom Cruise is the leader of a team of deep-cover agents who’ve been cut loose from the government and have to survive on their own. Simon Pegg returns, from the last film, to provide welcome comedy relief as the unit’s high-tech specialist, while Paula Patton is the requisite female agent. They’re joined by Jeremy Renner as a man with a mysterious past who is quickly adopted as one of the team. "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" Leonard Maltin The production is still needlessly overlong and overblown, a far cry from your father’s (or even your cousin’s) conception of the master detective. But it’s certainly lively and has clever moments that involve Holmes’ keen powers of observation, and his ability to think his way out of sticky situations. Caryn James Guy Ritchie’s sequel to his 2009 hit Sherlock Holmes can’t bring the same surprise, but it is every bit as much fun, mirroring the formula that worked so well: a popcorn detective movie in Victorian clothes, with high-tech action and a splash of droll humor. This time the bromance is so prominent that when danger arrives on Watson’s wedding day, it’s Watson and Sherlock who go on the honeymoon. The Playlist: B+ Ultimately, 'Game Of Shadows' is more complex than the first film, but it’s also a little less focused, and while the two qualities seem at odds with one another, the end result feels like a solid ‘70s or ‘80s movie where the filmmakers just aren’t in as much of a hurry, rather than a contemporary action-thriller that lacks steam or energy.
1
Roman Polanski's "Carnage" to Open 49th New York Film Festival
Sony Pictures Classics "Carnage"

With Christmas nearing, the holiday blockbusters are upon us and this week sees two big tentpole sequels ("Mission Impossible" and "Sherlock Holmes") make their way into theaters. They're not the only releases opening this packed weekend. See what's opening (and what's worth your money) by checking out the reviews published this week on Indiewire and the blog network.


"Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel"

Indiewire: B+
Through their testimonies (in addition to those of the 80-year-old Corman himself), the movie delivers a compelling argument for appreciating the filmmaker as a major artist who's both largely responsible for many mainstream Hollywood cinema trends while somehow remaining superior to them.

"Cook County"

Indiewire: C
A focus on the daily habits of meth addicts is the main strength of this otherwise murky work, which lacks focus but maintains a grim outlook that sets it apart from more popular takes on addiction and drug production. There's nothing slick or entertaining about the crumbling existence of Pomes' unsalvageable antiheroes.

"Carnage"

Indiewire: B-
Thankfully, "Carnage" avoids complete dismissal thanks to its cast. Foster lets loose with her most heated performance in ages, playing a shrill, fragile woman always on the verge of losing it. Reilly portrays the kind of amusing naif he does best. Winslet returns to the repressed frustration that won her acclaim in "Mildred Pierce."

Leonard Maltin
Polanski has staged the movie so it never feels claustrophobic, even though it takes place in one Brooklyn, New York apartment and its adjacent hallway over the course of a long afternoon. But he has failed to capture the play’s ever-so-gradual buildup of tension.

The Playlist: C+
But it's also a film of very little ambition, a minor entry in the director's canon. Perhaps it was just the desire to shoot something fast and quick after his brush with justice, which is certainly understandable, but he has essentially taken a pre-existing script, cast four A-listers, locked them in a room, and shot it.

"Mission Impossible: Ghost Proticol"

Leonard Maltin
Character development is not the movie’s strong suit. One simply has to accept that Tom Cruise is the leader of a team of deep-cover agents who’ve been cut loose from the government and have to survive on their own. Simon Pegg returns, from the last film, to provide welcome comedy relief as the unit’s high-tech specialist, while Paula Patton is the requisite female agent. They’re joined by Jeremy Renner as a man with a mysterious past who is quickly adopted as one of the team.

"Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows"

Leonard Maltin
The production is still needlessly overlong and overblown, a far cry from your father’s (or even your cousin’s) conception of the master detective. But it’s certainly lively and has clever moments that involve Holmes’ keen powers of observation, and his ability to think his way out of sticky situations.

Caryn James
Guy Ritchie’s sequel to his 2009 hit Sherlock Holmes can’t bring the same surprise, but it is every bit as much fun, mirroring the formula that worked so well: a popcorn detective movie in Victorian clothes, with high-tech action and a splash of droll humor. This time the bromance is so prominent that when danger arrives on Watson’s wedding day, it’s Watson and Sherlock who go on the honeymoon.

The Playlist: B+
Ultimately, 'Game Of Shadows' is more complex than the first film, but it’s also a little less focused, and while the two qualities seem at odds with one another, the end result feels like a solid ‘70s or ‘80s movie where the filmmakers just aren’t in as much of a hurry, rather than a contemporary action-thriller that lacks steam or energy.






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More