Venus in Fur

A foolish subtitling choice almost undercuts Venus in Fur

Damn These Heels Film Festival 2014

LGBT film festival showcases real talent and drama

Begin Again

A filmmaker fails to re-create his past triumph in Begin Again


Snowpiercer turns a director’s vision into propulsive genre satisfaction
Bong Joon-ho isn’t one for staying within the lines. Since making his debut with the bleakly funny Tarantino riff Barking Dogs Never Bite, the South Korean director has delivered a terrific streak of films that remain respectful to their chosen genres—crime procedurals for Memories of Murder,


Melissa McCarthy tries to stretch (inconsistently) in Tammy
I’m happy to live in a world where Melissa McCarthy can be a movie star. Even if you assume that she’s working a single stock character—an irrationally confident force of nature whose size might be used for physical punch lines—it’s baby steps of progress that she can now headline a Hollywood comedy that in years past might only have gone to a male comedian.

Obvious Child, They Came Together

Two new comedies slice up the rom-com formula
How old is “romantic comedy” as a cinematic genre? That may seem like an absurd question, since movies have been combining funny with cutesy nearly as long as there have been movies, and tales of “they hate each other,

Jersey Boys

Jersey Boys can’t translate a stage musical to the screen
Over the opening credits of director Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys, there’s something unusual for a modern movie: an overture. And over the closing credits, there’s something unusual again: the entire cast joining together, dancing in what amounts to a curtain call.

We Are the Best!

A scary, joyous act of rebellion
There are complicated ways to analyze Lukas Moodysson’s We Are the Best!, and then there is this: It’s hard to imagine another movie this year that will make me smile as hard as this movie did pretty much from start to finish.

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Dragon 2 shows DreamWorks is still willing to be daring
At the opening of How to Train Your Dragon 2, the familiar logo appears—a boy casting a fishing line from his seat on a crescent moon—accompanied by a message that just doesn’t seem like it could be right. “20 years”?

Night Moves

Night Moves is as terrific as it is frustrating
Writer/director Kelly Reichardt and her frequent collaborator Jonathan Raymond have crafted some of the best character studies of recent years—Old Joy, Wendy and Lucy, Meek’s Cutoff—

Edge of Tomorrow

Tom Cruise learns life lessons—repeatedly—fighting aliens
Doug Liman—director of the terrific new science-fiction thriller Edge of Tomorrow—is probably best known for propulsive action movies like Go and the original Bourne Identity.

Cold in July

Cold in July delivers old-school Southern-fried genre satisfaction
Mention Joe R. Lansdale to someone familiar with his books, and watch the crooked grins start to form. First identified as a member of horror fiction’s short-lived ’90s “splatterpunk” movement,


Maleficent doesn't bother with "character" or "story" nonsense
Beware, children, when attempting to rehabilitate a cartoon villain, or update a fairy tale or beloved classic fantasy story, for you tread on treacherous ground, and a successful completion of your quest is far from certain.


Drew Barrymore civilizes Adam Sandler again — just a little — in Blended
There’s a metaphor somewhere in the relationship at the center of Blended between Jim (Adam Sandler) and Lauren (Drew Barrymore). He’s a widower with three daughters who has no idea how to relate to the females around him;


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