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Movie Reviews

  • Leonard Maltin
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    Headhunters—movie review

    I can’t remember the last time a movie surprised me as much as 'Headhunters': not just its story twists and turns, which are considerable, but its continual stripping of character veneer and overall audaciousness left me breathless.

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Bernie—movie review

    Some films—even good ones—fall neatly into one category or another, but I often find myself drawn to movies that defy pigeonholing, like Richard Linklater’s 'Bernie'. Is it a comedy? Yes, in part. Is it a character study? Certainly. Is it a true-crime story? Absolutely. Does it have two outstanding ...

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    The Raven—movie review

    Poor Edgar Allan Poe can’t get a break from Hollywood—at least, not since Roger Corman made his famous adaptations in the 1960s with Vincent Price. Even the 1963 Corman movie called 'The Raven' with Price, Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, and young Jack Nicholson had nothing to do with Poe’s immortal poe...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Review: Cusack and McTeigue's 'The Raven' Does Not Live Up to Literary Promise

    Since his ‘90s heyday, John Cusack has seemed plagued by a never-ending struggle to find roles that fit his watchable talents with anything resembling snugness. Where he once made funky-weird blockbusters like "Con Air," bringing his patented brand of wry, whip-smart detachment to the outlandishness...

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  • The Playlist
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    Tribeca Review: 'Supporting Characters' Is A Middling Movie, But A Decent Would-Be Pilot Episode For A Show We Might Watch

    What fascinates about “Supporting Characters,” the new relationship comedy premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival, is that it’s greatest strength also registers as its most notable weakness. This decidedly Noo Yawk tale of an editing team in New York City and their satellite frien...

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  • The Playlist
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    Tribeca Review: 'Graceland' Mashes Together Suspense Thriller With Sobering Child Trafficking Drama, With Mixed Results

    Mild-mannered husband and father Marlon Villar is just having one of those days. The boss is on his case. His wife is being needy. His daughter is acting up. The cops are bugging him. “Graceland” begins as a compendium of what some adults would call a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Wah w...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Tribeca 2012 Review - "Broke" Paints An Incomplete Picture Of The Many Forces Draining Athletes' Bank Accounts

    NOTE: This was a work-in-progress screening of the film I attended.

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  • The Playlist
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    Tribeca Review: 'Beyond The Hill' A Slow Burn Without The Burn

    Initially a proficient micro-budget character study with promises of suspense, "Beyond The Hill" squanders its tension by hitting repetitive notes and devolving into a heavy-handed parable. Emin Alper's little bag of tricks can't sustain an entire film and no amount of beautifully-...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Dim-Witted Edgar Allan Poe Thriller 'The Raven' Is Too Boring To Be A Guilty Pleasure

    About ten minutes into James McTeigue's "The Raven," a large, hairy man -- a writer and a critic, as it turns out -- is strapped to a table by a mysterious figure. A mighty blade, inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's "The Pit And The Pendulum," hangs forbodingly above him. And to his unseen captor, he scre...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Restrained Werner Herzog Still Shines In Gripping 'Death Row' Series

    The prologue of each of the four episodes of “Death Row” is the same: a restless camera prowls through the dismal ante-room, holding cell and injection chamber of an unnamed execution facility, while director Werner Herzog tells us in his familiar teutonic monotone that, as a German and a guest of t...

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