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Movie Reviews

  • The Playlist
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    Berlin Review: Matt Porterfield’s ‘I Used To Be Darker’ Has Empathy To Burn But Lacks Urgency

    In between the big events that mark our lives -- the births, the deaths, the falling-in-loves, the breaking-ups, the runnings-away, the reconciliations -- there often exists a kind of pause moment. And it’s one such moment that Matt Porterfield’s Sundance-approved third feature, “I Used to be Darker...

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  • Indiewire
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    Berlin Review: 'It's All So Quiet,' A Tender Tale of Death and Farming From Nanouk Leopold

    Not much happens in "It's All So Quiet," a tender portrait of middle-aged frustrations set on a desolate farm, but nearly every moment is steeped in deep sadness. Dutch filmmaker Nanouk Leopold's adaptation of Gerbrand Bakker's bestselling novel moves with such extreme patience...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Weekend Preview: Good 'Side Effects,' 'Identity Thief' Steals Your Time, Praise for Foreign 'Lore' and 'Caesar Must Die'

    Steven Soderbergh's pharma-thriller "Side Effects" hits theaters this weekend, starring Rooney Mara as a woman suffering a deleterious breakdown after her husband's release from prison. Critics are praising Soderbergh's film, his last big-screen entry before a self-imposed retirement from cinema. In...

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  • The Playlist
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    Berlin Review: Joshua Oppenheimer’s 'The Act Of Killing' Is A Constantly Astounding, Terrifying Masterpiece

    Holy fucking shit. All apologies for incoherence in the following review but having just emerged from Joshua Oppenheimer’s shattering documentary “The Act of Killing,” which screened here in Berlin this morning, I am still shaking. I may not be in the best state to write about it, in fact, but there...

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    PAFF 2013 Review - Psycho Thriller 'Vipaka' Aims To Thrill But Underwhelms

    Directed by French/Lebanese director Philippe Caland (Boxing Helena), the psychological thriller Vipaka was the opening night film at the Pan African Film Festival in LA last night.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Lifers Imitate Art In Prison-Set Shakespearean Docudrama 'Caesar Must Die'

    In a prison in Rome, real-life convicts prepare to mount a production of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar,” and as the night of the public performance draws nearer, their real lives and the play’s narrative conflate to the point of indistinguishability. So runs an approxi...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    SIDE EFFECTS

    "Side Effects" is a good, juicy thriller with echoes of film noir in its DNA. Director Steven Soderbergh is a genre fan and while his film feels completely contemporary...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    IDENTITY THIEF

    Pairing likable Jason Bateman as a victim and outrageous Melissa McCarthy as the title character in "Identity Thief" would seem to be a perfect comedy setup. The results, however, are less than perfect…

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Berlinale Review: Wong Kar Wai's Opener 'The Grandmaster' and Press Conference

    Wong Kar Wai kicked off the 63rd Berlinale today in style with the international premiere of his much anticipated kung-fu period drama "The Grandmaster," which was promptly picked up by the Weinstein Company. Based on the life of Ip Man, master of the Wing Chun kung-fu style and teacher of Bruce Lee...

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  • The Playlist
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    Berlin Review: Wong Kar Wai's 'The Grandmaster' Is Occasionally Mesmerizing, Mostly Muddled

    Perhaps the best place to begin a review of Wong Kar Wai’s “The Grandmaster” is at the end -- or a few minutes after. An epilogue of sorts, which happens suddenly and far enough into the credits that maybe half the audience was watching it from the stairs, serves as a pretty representative microcosm...

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