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Movie Reviews

  • Indiewire
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    Review: Quentin Tarantino's Wild Western Pastiche 'Django Unchained' Is Messy As Hell, But We Love Him For It

    Quentin Tarantino's characters are often astonished to find themselves in his intricate universe of references. That's certainly true of Django (Jamie Foxx), a black slave in the antebellum South freed from bondage by German dentist-turned-bounty hunter Dr. King Schulz (Christoph Waltz) in the openi...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Now and Then: The Rachel Weisz Argument, or the Best Performers of the Year

    Last week, the NYFCC awarded Rachel Weisz its Best Actress prize for her sumptuous period turn in "The Deep Blue Sea," and well-deserved it was. But it reminded me of what I'm calling the Rachel Weisz Argument: an actor's entire body of work in a given year is a better measure of "best."

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    Review: Czech Oscar Entry 'In the Shadow,' Sleek Neo-Noir and Gorgeously Old-Fashioned Policier

    “In the Shadow,” the Czech Republic’s official Oscar entry, takes place in 1953 Prague, during the currency reform. World War II has been over for the better part of a decade, but the stench of anti-Semitism is still thick in the air, and a tightly controlled police state looms. Detective Jarda Hakl...

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    Critic's Picks: The Best Film Performances of 2012

    We no longer live in the age of the method. The performances that stand out in current cinema radiate a self-reflexive intensity less impressive for how much they convince us of their authenticity -- although they do that -- and pertain instead to addressing viewers aware of the artifice.

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    Critic's Picks: The Best Movies Released in 2012

    Another year, another list. While the industry is in the midst of pricey marketing campaigns for awards contenders -- dominated this time by studios with the wherewithal to position their smart fall season product as the definitive movies of the year -- critics get to play a different game. Despite ...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    2012 Heroine Worship in Movies, from Katniss Everdeen and Hushpuppy to 'Bridesmaids' and 'Girls'

    The New York Times' A. O. Scott recaps the year in Heroine Worship, when it was still news when women actually carry a movie that scores at the box office. He writes: "There is a smattering of evidence to support the impression that [things have changed], because 2012 was, all in all, a pretty good ...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Weekend Preview: Head for Indie Doc 'Tchoupitoulas' & Neo-Noir 'Deadfall'; Skip 'Playing for Keeps' on the 'Hudson'

    If you live in a "limited release" city, it might be best to stick with documentaries this weekend. Standouts are "Tchoupitoulas," following three young brothers discovering the magic of New Orleans, and "Only the Young," a portrait of a trio of charismatic teens.

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    Whet Your Appetite for 'Zero Dark Thirty' With the Soldier Drama 'Happy New Year'

    In the closing moments of "Happy New Year," writer-director K. Lorrel Manning's somber portrait of a despondent Iraq war veteran stuck in a ward for victims of post-traumatic stress disorder, fiction gives way to an unsettling truth: After nearly two hours of a close-up look at the burgeoning death ...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Review Roundup: Bill Murray Deserves Better than 'Hyde Park on Hudson'

    Focus Features has done a swell job promoting Joe Wright's "Anna Karenina," but two of their small-scale year-end features aren't getting the kind of response any awards-contender needs, "Promised Land," and "Hyde Park on Hudson." Which leads me to ask what benefit these films get from being scrutin...

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  • Criticwire
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    Criticwire Picks: Like 'Beasts of the Southern Wild'? 'Tchoupitoulas' is Another Successful Trip to New Orleans

    Months after "Beasts of the Southern Wild" reached its theatrical apex, Criticwire Picks returns to the Crescent City to look at the extremely positive reactions to the Ross Brothers' new documentary. Plus: a new documentary available on Netflix Instant, possible future successes with audiences and ...

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