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Movie Reviews

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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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    Big Screen | "Love," "Killer" and "Cyrus" Heat Up Summer Art Houses

    An eclectic trio of indie films featuring some consider star power are looking to continue the specialty box office surge that - of all things - Joan Rivers and a dark drama set in the Ozark Mountains started last weekend. This Friday, Luca Guadagnino's "I Am Love," Mark And Jay Duplass's "Cyrus," and Michael Winterbottom's "The Killer Inside Me" will all hit theaters and, between them, feature casts that include Tilda Swinton, Catherine Keener, John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei, Jonah Hill, Kate Hudson, Casey Affleck and Jessica Alba. Like last weekend's "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work" and "Winter's Bone," they all also hail from Sundance 2010 (t...

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    REVIEW | Anatomy of a Psychopath: Michael Winterbottom's "The Killer Inside Me"

    Notorious from the moment it first unspooled at the Sundance Film Festival in January, Michael Winterbottom's "The Killer Inside Me" certainly has a fair share of brutal indulgences. However, as much as the controversy may scare off the faint of heart, the viciousness comes and goes -- which could a...

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    REVIEW | In Search of Happiness: Agnes Jaoui's "Let It Rain"

    "I'm basically really happy," says the genial hotel clerk Karim (Jamel Debbouze) in the first scene of Agnes Jaoui's "Let It Rain," a brisk French dramedy in which happiness constantly lurks just barely outside the frame. Looking for an escape his unremarkable life, Karim joins forces with self-described "reporter" Michel (Joui's ongoing writing partner, Jean-Pierre Bacri) to make an ill-fated documentary about the established feminist writer Agathe Villanova (Jaoui), whose long-standing family maid happens to be Karim's Algerian mother. There are tensions of both racial and professional natures in this arrangement, but they lurk in the nuanc...

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