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Movie Reviews

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    Venice Review: 'A Hijacking' Is A Detailed, Gripping & Powerful High-Seas Hostage Tale

    As exciting as it can be to be one of the audience at the first public screening of an eagerly anticipated film – the new Paul Thomas Anderson or Terrence Malick, the new Rian Johnson or David O. Russell – perhaps the purest pleasure that can be found at a film festival is that of discovery. Picking...

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    Venice Review: 'Linhas De Wellington' Is A Handsome But Middling Tribute To The Late Raúl Ruiz

    If you had to pick the final film to be completed after a forty-year career of over one hundred films, you’d certainly hope for one as masterful as “Mysteries Of Lisbon,” the four-hour 2010 epic that proved to be the last completed directorial effort from Chilean-born, French-settled filmmaker Raúl ...

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    Telluride Review: Harrowing 'Act of Killing' Is the Most Unsettling Movie About Mass Killing Since 'Shoah'

    In Joshua Oppenheimer's "The Act of Killing," a pair of gangsters -- responsible for murdering an untold number of suspected communists in the years following the 1965 overthrow of the Indonesian government -- get the chance to recount their experiences. At first showing no visible rem...

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    Telluride Review: Bill Murray's Uneven FDR Performance Just One of Many Issues Plaguing 'Hyde Park on Hudson'

    Bill Murray is a man of many talents who has lately struggled to find the right outlet for them. The latest example, "Hyde Park on Hudson," finds Murray in a tame, mannered costume drama delivering his best FDR impression. The actor's pathos and deadpan skills are buried in the materia...

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    Telluride Review: 'Hyde Park On Hudson' Is A Lightweight & Toothless Crowd-Pleaser

    At 61 years of age, the presumably hard-living Bill Murray conservatively only has two more decades of work left in him. So perhaps we all want him to really dazzle us with some meaty roles and not waste his time with middling fluff like Roger Michell's "Hyde Park on Hudson," a moderately pleasant b...

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    Venice Review: 'Blondie' A Promising Swedish Family Drama That Gets Less Interesting As It Goes On

    For millennia now, the idea of three sisters has been a potent one in myth and literature. From the Fates of Greek legend to the witches in “Macbeth” to Olya, Masha and Marina in Chekov’s play, the theme recurs across civilizations, with mountain ranges and rivers named some variation on ‘three sist...

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    Venice Review: ‘Disconnect’ Is ‘Crash’ For The Web Era, And Even More Dismal Than That Sounds

    Many writers say they prefer not start the writing process with a theme in mind – they simply let it emerge organically from their plot or characters. But then, plenty of films have gone the other way. The multi-stranded, interconnected drama revolving around a particular subject or theme, like Stev...

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    Telluride Review: Sarah Polley's Brilliant Family Documentary 'Stories We Tell' Explores Multiple Versions of the Truth

    Sarah Polley's efforts behind the camera have showcased tender performances attuned to nuanced fluctuations in shared screen chemistry. Both her Oscar-nominated 2006 directorial debut "Away from Her" and the recent "Take This Waltz" explore the deterioration of relationships ...

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    Venice Review: Olivier Assayas’ ‘Something In The Air’ A Gorgeous Autobiography Marred By Underdeveloped Characters

    He’s been something of a critical favorite for a while now, but after making the hugely acclaimed “Summer Hours” and the acclaimed TV miniseries/theatrical marathon “Carlos” within a few years of each other, French filmmaker Olivier Assayas has firmly cemented himself as one of the more exciting dir...

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    Telluride Review: Michael Winterbottom’s ‘Everyday’ Is Uneven, But Emotionally Rewarding

    The ultra prolific British helmer Michael Winterbottom has now made twenty films since his debut, “Butterfly Kiss,” in 1995. His eclectic creative appetites and peripatetic energy has seen the restless director take on a disparate array of projects from moody sci-fi ("Code 46")...

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