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Movie Reviews

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    REVIEW | Ancient Ultra-Violence: Nicolas Winding Refn's "Valhalla Rising"

    The introductory text at the beginning of "Valhalla Rising" both sets the scene and describes it. "In the beginning, there was only man and nature," we're told, and in this era -- 1,000 A.D., to be precise -- men bearing crosses drove the heathen to "the fringes of the earth." A blood-soaked chronic...

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    REVIEW | Kids In The Big City: Lance Daly's "Kisses"

    For ages, neglected or abused children have provided fodder for mainstream entertainment, as proven by the lasting reputations of Oliver Twist and Little Orphan Annie alike. Youth, however, makes for a tough subject of filmmakers intent on capturing realism: The challenge of eliciting a believable p...

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    Big Screen | Cholodenko's Anticipated "Kids" Opens To Raves

    One of the most anticipated specialty releases of the summer, Lisa Cholodenko's "The Kids are All Right," finally arrives in theaters this week amidst a batch of newcomers that also includes Ben Steinbauer's festival circuit favorite "Winnebago Man" and the sequel to "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo...

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    Big Screen | Three New Specialty Releases Provide Counterprogramming to Latest "Twilight"

    While the nation's "Twi-hards" continue to line up to see the latest Stephenie Meyer "Twilight" adaptation as they did last night for the midnight premiere of "Eclipse," three films open in limited theaters this week. Taylor Hackford's melodrama "Love Ranch" is likely to draw the biggest crowds of t...

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    REVIEW | Youthful Whimsy from an 88-Year-Old Legend: "Wild Grass"

    Like the 102-year-old Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira, the 88-year-old Alain Resnais gets a lot of publicity mileage out of staying active in his old age. While seniority hardly necessitates critical leniency, the most impressive aspect of "Wild Grass," Resnais's twenty-fifth directorial effo...

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    REVIEW | Parental Lies: "Dogtooth"

    The Greek thriller "Dogtooth" has an original premise that should pique interest for the sake of its ingenuity alone, but the major accomplishment of director Yorgos Lanthimos's Orwellian story emerges from a careful navigation of moods. Few movies convey such a deeply unnerving atmosphere in nearly...

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    Big Screen | "Dogtooth" Leads Trio of Critically Acclaimed Openers

    After months of scarce offerings of critically acclaimed films, June has certainly proved 2010's MVP. From "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work" to "Cyrus" to "I Am Love" to "Winter's Bone," arthouses have been packed with critic-approved fare (and in turn, they've also been packed with audiences). And come Friday, another batch of worthy filmmaking will join them. There's Alain Resnais's 2009 Cannes Film Festival entry "Wild Grass," which divided critics at Cannes, but those who loved it really loved it. There's Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington's Sundance Grand Jury Prize winning doc "Restrepo," which was a favorite on indieWIRE's poll of S...

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    REVIEW | Living in the Present: "The Imperialists are Still Alive"

    Records of post-9/11 Middle Eastern life have been virtually absent in Western cinema for obvious, if deplorable, reasons. Zeina Durra mercifully comes to the rescue with a sharp contemporary yarn sporting an appropriately alarming title: "The Imperialists Are Still Alive!" The first-time director's...

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    REVIEW | The Toxic Avenger: Josh Fox's "GasLand"

    This review was originally published as part of indieWIRE's coverage of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. "GasLand" premieres on HBO Monday, June 21st.

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    REVIEW | Emotional Style: Luca Guadagnino's "I Am Love"

    Form and content are often viewed as two distinct ingredients that, when joined together, form a coherent work of art. In the lavishly stylized family drama "I Am Love," however, direct Luca Guadagnino constantly pits form against content and vica versa. The story of a desperate housewife (Tilda Swi...

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