City Weekly - Film Reviews <![CDATA[The Railway Man]]> By MaryAnn Johanson

The Railway Man starts out like a sweet little romance, when Colin Firth meets Nicole Kidman somewhere near Edinburgh in 1980, on a train he’s only on because his encyclopedic knowledge of train]]>
<![CDATA[Under the Skin]]> By Scott Renshaw

Among the first discernible sounds in Under the Skin—director Jonathan Glazer’s instant masterpiece of meditation-on-the-human-experience body horror—is Scarlett Johansson’s voice practicing sounds. ]]>
<![CDATA[Nymphomaniac Vol. 2]]> By Scott Renshaw

When we left Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, we’d been stopped cold in the middle of an ongoing narrative with damaged, ravenously sexual Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) relating her life story to the bookish, ]]>
<![CDATA[Draft Day]]> By Scott Renshaw

Journey back with me, if you will, some 20-25 years to the prime of Kevin Costner’s reign as a movie star, forged in vehicles ranging from romances to epics to big-budget summer spectacles. He w]]>
<![CDATA[The Raid 2]]> By Scott Renshaw

I don’t care that The Raid 2 runs 2 1/2 hours. I don’t care that it’s spectacularly, unapologetically, borderline-insanely violent. I don’t care that it’s over-plotted to a degree that might require a few helpful ]]>
<![CDATA[Captain America: The Winter Soldier]]> By Scott Renshaw

Full disclosure: Where Marvel Comics super-hero movies are concerned, I have a terrible record of getting it right the first time. Such is the burden of being a recovering adolescent comic-book geek; ]]>
<![CDATA[Nymphomaniac Vol. 1]]> By Scott Renshaw

There’s a wee problem with the idea of reviewing Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac Vol. 1: It’s not actually a movie. Yes, it’s a series of images captured on some image-capturi]]>
<![CDATA[Bad Words]]> By Scott Renshaw

Guy Trilby (Jason Bateman)—the protagonist of Bad Words, in the loosest possible sense that one could employ the word “protagonist”—appears to be a fairly wretched excuse for a human being.]]>
<![CDATA[The Grand Budapest Hotel]]> By Scott Renshaw

As fascinating—and maddening—as it can be watching the arguments that emerge between the fans and detractors of a given filmmaker, it can be almost more fascinating watching fans argue among themselves. ]]>
<![CDATA[Muppets Most Wanted]]> By Scott Renshaw

“We’re doing a sequel,” sing the Muppets in the opening number of Muppets Most Wanted, “And everybody knows that the sequel’s never quite as good.” ]]>
<![CDATA[Need for Speed]]> By Scott Renshaw

It takes a sizeable sack of balls for a car-chase movie like Need for Speed to feature an early scene in which characters are gathered at a drive-in watching Bullitt. ]]>
<![CDATA[300: Rise of an Empire]]> By Scott Renshaw

Early in 300: Rise of an Empire, a spirited “debate” breaks out in the middle of the Athenian Senate. The powerful Persian army is headed to Greece, led by the “god-king” Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), ]]>
<![CDATA[Oscars 2014: Inside the Envelope]]> By Scott Renshaw

Over the years, I’ve written long and often about my evolving relationship with the Academy Awards, but that relationship can safely be summarized as follows: The Oscars and I agree to disagree ]]>
<![CDATA[The Wind Rises]]> By Scott Renshaw

To dub or not to dub? It wasn’t really a question for Disney in its plans for releasing Hayao Miyazaki’s Oscar-nominated animated feature The Wind Rises. ]]>
<![CDATA[Like Father, Like Son]]> By Scott Renshaw

It is one of my cherished critical principles: You must grant a movie its premise. Maybe you’re being asked to believe in a series of tests that allows a sinister agency to predict someone’s every move, ]]>
<![CDATA[Robocop ]]> By Scott Renshaw

It can be fascinating watching history work its magic on conventional wisdom. Take, for example, the case of Paul Verhoeven. As is true for so many purveyors of genre pleasures, Verhoeven was respecte]]>
<![CDATA[The Lego Movie]]> By Scott Renshaw

The cynicism, however knee-jerk, is understandable: “The Lego Movie? Seriously?” It’s understandable because we live in an era of cinema as product, a seemingly endless barrage of]]>
<![CDATA[The Monuments Men]]> By Scott Renshaw

Not every war movie needs to be Saving Private Ryan—a searing, dark journey into man’s inhumanity to man at its most inhuman. Yet there’s also something odd about a war movie as, well, jolly as The Monuments Men.]]>
<![CDATA[Sundance 2014: Festival of Funny]]> By Scott Renshaw

For 11 days in Utah’s mountains in January, not a flake of precipitation fell on the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. And the cheery blue skies could not possibly have been a better match for the mood of the festival’s best films.]]>
<![CDATA[2014 Film Preview]]> By MaryAnn Johanson

You may find this hard to believe, but there are, in fact, a few films opening in 2014 that are not sequels, not remakes, not reboots and not based on stage shows, the Bible (there’s more than one of these coming our way)]]>