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Movie Reviews

  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Now and Then: A 'Zero Dark Thirty' Piece That's (Mostly) Not About Torture

    We are Maya. That's the first thought that comes to mind about Jessica Chastain's tireless, obsessed CIA analyst in "Zero Dark Thirty," a "motherfucker" who's been chasing Osama bin Laden for twelve years — nearly the same length of time as this country's impossible war.

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    Sundance Review Roundup: 'Upstream Color' Is a Gorgeous Head-Scratcher

    Critics don't mind feeling stumped when it comes to Shane Carruth's gorgeous, enigmatic Sundance entry "Upstream Color." While the film is largely receiving praise, reviews are quick to point out that the narrative, nominally about a young man and woman "consumed by a higher force," will raise plent...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Sundance Review Roundup: Batmanglij and Marling's 'The East' Dividing Critics

    Critics are divided on director Zal Batmanglij ("The Sound of My Voice") and co-writer-star Brit Marling's newest collaboration, "The East." While some find the film a relevant, absorbing eco-terrorist thriller, others deem it overlong and "deeply silly." Review highlights below.

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  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: 'The Way, Way Back' A Familiar But Crowd Pleasing Coming-Of-Age Tale From Co-Writers Of 'The Descendants'

    Back in 2012, “The Descendants” took home the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, and most people were probably surprised to see Alexander Payne (a previous winner for “Sideways” and nominee for “Election”) flanked by Dean Pelton from “Community” and that dude from “Club Dredd.” For the first time in...

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  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: 'The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman' Plays Like An Overwrought & Dated Music Video

    "The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman" opens up with an arresting image, the titular character (played by Shia LaBeouf) dangling upside down in woozy slow-motion, his face brutally beaten and bloody. As the narrator (John Hurt) explains, Charlie Countryman is languishing in the wind ...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    THE WIZARD OF MGM

    For forty years, A. Arnold “Buddy” Gillespie made movie history as the king of visual effects at MGM. From Tarzan swinging on a supposed vine to a tornado ripping through Kansas in The Wizard of Oz, he and his team created true movie magic.

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  • The Playlist
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    27

    Sundance Review: ‘Narco Cultura’ Is A Disturbing Look At The Mexican War On Drugs & The Idolatry Within

    Since 2006, when the War on Drugs was officially declared in Mexico -- a joint operation by Federal Police and the Mexican military known as Operation Michoacan -- approximately 60,000 known murders have been recorded. At the epicenter of the major narcotics trafficking and drug cartels that ravage ...

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  • Indiewire
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    Sundance Review: Is the Hilarious 'Computer Chess' a Change of Pace for Andrew Bujalski?

    There is an immediate sense of change afoot in "Computer Chess," Andrew Bujalski's fourth feature as writer-director, visible to anyone familiar with his previous work. While Bujalski's influential "Funny Ha Ha" -- along with follow-ups "Mutual Appreciation" and...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Sundance Review and Roundup: 'Before Midnight'

    The magic alchemy originally conjured 18 years ago by director Richard Linklater and two gifted actors--Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, who could sustain scenes across lengthy uncut takes-- finds its third iteration in "Before Midnight." It's a tour-de-force home run that will play like gangbusters in ...

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  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: Shane Carruth's Beguilingly Enigmatic 'Upstream Color' May Cause Disorienting Side Effects, Results Will Vary

    Nine years ago, autodidact filmmaker Shane Carruth burst onto the indie scene with the abstruse and complex sci-fi thriller "Primer," which made him a Sundance darling in 2004 when it won the Grand Jury Prize and went on to become a cult hit. The polymath writer, director, actor, musician, editor, p...

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