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Film Reviews

The Wolf of Wall Street

Scorsese transfers a criminal rise and fall to high finance

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Dec 24,2013 - After more than 40 years of remarkable movies—documentary, biography, historical epic, drama, thriller, comedy, even family fare—there’s no way to pigeonhole Martin Scorsese

Film Reviews

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Nothing genuine about this Life

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Dec 24,2013 - Every one of us, at some time or another, has probably felt like the titular hero of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller)—an insignificant, invisible cog

Film Reviews

Inside Llewyn Davis

Inside Llewyn Davis uses its music—and its characters—to explore grief and mourning

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Dec 20,2013 - Near the end of Inside Llewyn Davis, the titular hero (Oscar Isaac)—a struggling folk singer in 1961 Greenwich Village—tears into a version of a song we’ve already heard a couple of

Film Reviews

Saving Mr. Banks

A spoonful of medicine to make the saccharine go down

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Dec 20,2013 - P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson)—the irascible author of Mary Poppins—frets and complains bitterly throughout Saving Mr. Banks that her beloved story will lose its realistic edge in the hands of

Film Reviews

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Continuing the Lord of the ... oops, The Hobbit

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Dec 13,2013 - When last we left the band of adventurers in Peter Jackson’s epic Middle-Earth fantasy, their group was in tatters. Boromir and Gandalf were dead; Merry and Pippin had been kidnapped by orcs; Ar

Film Reviews

Out of the Furnace

Scott Cooper builds intense drama out of a vivid sense of place

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Dec 6,2013 - Braddock, Pa.—the steel-town setting for Scott Cooper’s superb Out of the Furnace—is nothing special to look at, except for the fact that it’s so perfectly, brilliantly nothing special to look at.

Film Reviews

Frozen

Disney's fear of telling a story about (ick) girls

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Nov 27,2013 - Disney has a girl problem. Take a look at TV commercials for the new animated feature Frozen, and you’d likely suspect that it’s about a funny talking snowman, and maybe also a funny non-talking

Film Reviews

Nebraska

Low-speed road movie with many virtues

By Andrew Wright
POSTED // Nov 27,2013 - Alexander Payne has long inhabited the nexus between affectionate ribbing and pointed jabs. Although his killer satirical instincts have been evident since his debut—1996’s blackly hilario

Film Reviews

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Catching Fire doesn't deliver enough of its heroine’s rebel spirit

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Nov 21,2013 - Katiniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence)—“girl on fire,” District 12 tribute and reigning co-champion of the 74th Hunger Games—is something of a wild card. That’s what makes

Film Reviews

Dallas Buyers Club

Matthew McConaughey brings redemption clichés down to earth

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Nov 15,2013 - Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey), whose real-life story inspired Dallas Buyers Club, is a rough & tumble Texas oil-rig electrician, small-time hustler and big-time bigot when he learns in 1985
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