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Film Review


by Laura Leon November 13, 2014


  Anybody knows that with a Christopher Nolan movie, however much we might leave the theater thinking “Wow, that was amazing,” the inevitable feelings of “WTF was that?” begin encroaching on one’s feelings of amazement. Interstellar ...

Lighter Than Air

by Shawn Stone November 6, 2014


  It’s an irresistible concept: Cast the star (Michael Keaton) of a 1990s blockbuster film franchise (Batman) in a movie about the midlife crisis of a star (the fictional Riggan Thomson) of a 1990s blockbuster film ...

Action Man

by Laura Leon November 6, 2014


  One might think that a movie starring Keanu Reeves and co-directed by his former stunt double, Chad Stahelski, might not be worth its weight in popcorn, but damn, if John Wick isn’t wildly entertaining. It’s ...

My Hero

by Laura Leon October 30, 2014


  Like so many films before it, St. Vincent takes the plot of curmudgeonly coot regaining his humanity through contact with an innocent, and gallops away with it. The, er, title character (Bill Murray) is an ...

The Battle Rages

by Laura Leon October 23, 2014


  Shot in dim gradations of brown, gray and what can only be called “griege,” Fury depicts a World War II that is all but over, except for the furious, determined last-ditch efforts made by those ...

Lacks Bite

by Ann Morrow October 16, 2014


  Dracula Untold is about Vlad III, the Wallachian warlord who was immortalized by Bram Stoker in Dracula, though Stoker used only a few details about the bloodthirsty ruler in his vampire horror story. Now we ...

Missing Pieces

by Laura Leon October 9, 2014


  Gillian Flynn’s 2012 novel Gone Girl was a big hit among many of my friends (and millions of others). I read it over the course of a soccer game and wasn’t overly impressed with the ...

Kill for Peace

by Shawn Stone October 2, 2014

Denzel Washington Stars in The Equalizer

  When Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) tells Teri (Chlőe Grace Moretz) that his name is “Bob,” she doesn’t believe him. The Russian hooker with a heart of gold says, “You don’t look like a Bob. You ...

Follow You Down

by Laura Leon October 2, 2014


  Somewhere in L.A., a despondent Milo (Bill Hader) slits his wrists to a blaring backdrop of Blondie. Across the country, his estranged twin Maggie (Kristin Wiig) contemplates swallowing a handful of pills. The symbiotic cord that ...

Are We Related?

by Laura Leon September 25, 2014


  Based on the popular (or so I’m told) novel by screenwriter Jonathan Tropper, This Is Where I Leave You is one of those movies whose preview has garnered a lot of buzz. I can’t tell ...

Paris When It Drizzles

by Ann Morrow September 25, 2014


  The old lady in My Old Lady is played by Maggie Smith, but don’t let the cast—which includes Kevin Kline and Kristen Scott-Thomas—lure you into this tepid-at-best family drama centered on a genteel apartment in ...

Minimal Rescue

by Laura Leon September 18, 2014


  Soaking in the atmosphere of old bars where the leather seats are taped over and there are decades-old ghost vapors of thousands of cigarettes smoked, The Drop transports screenwriter Dennis Lehane’s usual milieu to Brooklyn, ...

The Thrill is Gone

by Laura Leon September 4, 2014


  I love thrillers in which you can’t tell who’s really the bad guy, and where there are suspenseful chase scenes, although, admittedly, my tastes kind of run the gamut from Charade to The Bank Job, ...

Going His Way

by Shawn Stone August 28, 2014


  A guy walks into Father James’ confessional and tells him he’s going to kill him in a week’s time. The guy explains that, as a kid, he was a victim of brutal sexual abuse at ...

Me Me Me

by Shawn Stone August 28, 2014


  Having never read the novel on which If I Stay is based, I can’t judge the merits of Gayle Forman’s book. But the film version, which tells the story of a talented teen named Mia ...

And Then We Grow Up

by Laura Leon August 21, 2014

boyfilm 1.JPG

  By now, anybody with a modicum of interest in cinema knows that Richard Linklater’s Boyhood was filmed over the course of a few days every year for 12 years. What seems rather gimmicky on the ...

Nothing Up His Sleeve

by Ann Morrow August 21, 2014


  In the sumptuous opening to Magic in the Moonlight, there is real magic, both on the stage—with a couple of grand illusions from a magic show—and in the film, which enchantingly captures the swank and ...

Starship Enterprise

by Laura Leon August 7, 2014


  When the first Star Wars came out—and by that, I mean the real first one with Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill—my sister and her then-boyfriend insisted that I see it. “You’ll love it,” they exclaimed. ...

Less Than Meets the Eye

by Ann Morrow August 7, 2014


  The human eye: a window to the soul, inspiration for great poetry, evolutionary trump card and favored feature of advertising artists. In I Origins—yes, the title is used for all sorts of allegories—eyes are an ...

Dude, Where’s My Brain?

by Shawn Stone July 31, 2014


  It’s hard not to be impressed by Luc Besson’s audacity in his latest actioner, Lucy. The director and/or producer of such decade-spanning, high-octane entertainments as La Femme Nikita, The Professional, The Transporter and Taken isn’t ...

Popcorn Gods

by Ann Morrow July 31, 2014


  The ancient Greece of Brett Ratner’s enjoyably silly Hercules is mostly backdrop for an action-packed tale of a wandering warrior and his merry band of followers, and as such, the classical world works well enough ...

Shadows Enthrall

by Laura Leon July 31, 2014


  Out of the roiling murk of a river in Hamburg emerges Issa (Grigoriy Dobrygin), a bearded mess of Chechen humanity seeking asylum. Through the kindness of a Turkish family, he is put in touch with ...

Chimps Ahoy

by Shawn Stone July 17, 2014


  When last we left the rebooted Planet of the Apes series, Caesar (Andy Serkis) had led his genetically enhanced ape friends into the forests north of San Francisco, and the genetically engineered drug that altered ...

The Nihilism Express

by Ann Morrow July 10, 2014


  Snowpiercer is a train, but it might as well be called the Ark, for it contains the only survivors of an environmental apocalypse. This near-future scenario, starting 17 years after the Earth’s surface froze over ...

It’s My Life

by John Rodat July 3, 2014


  Chances are, Obvious Child will not be a particularly controversial movie. Few indie romantic comedies are; they just don’t have the visibility. (And, the armchair sociologist in me thinks, they tend to be screened at ...