Category: Movie Reviews

And for the defense…

Asa Butterfield and Chloë Grace Moretz in 'Hugo'

As the 3D debate rages on, more directors are taking up the medium even as the public seems to be rejecting it. James Cameron promised great things with Avatar but delivered an unremarkable animated tale whose 3D was as flat…

Tinker Tailor dolls of paper

Gary Old as George Smiley

If you were among the seeming plurality of viewers mesmerized by Swedish director Tomas Alfredson’s icy vampire endeavor Let the Right One In, it is likely you will be equally beguiled by his British intelligence whodunit, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.…

Taylor unmade

Taylor Lautner in 'Abduction'

It’s been two decades since John Singleton enamored critics with his debut film, Boyz n the Hood. He doesn’t seem inclined to improve. Though he strove to maintain his esteem through Poetic Justice and Higher Learning, his amateur aesthetic became…

Cruise control

Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan

There’s nothing singularly new or original in Nicolas Winding Refn’s crime-drama Drive. Nevertheless, it is a gratifying alternative to the usual frenzied features that tear through mulitplexes every summer, or the tedious independent films that suggest great import but offer…

Weak virus

The empty streets of San Francisco in 'Contagion'

Steven Soderbergh has always been an assured hand with all-star casts. Yet in Contagion, he gives them very little to do but look grave and spout dire predictions. The disaster-movie types are all in place: the philandering wife (Gwyneth Paltrow), her…

Great Apes

Caesar from 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes'

I’ve spent more than my fair share of time railing against CGI, motion capture, and their combined and discrete misuse. In light of 20th Century Fox’s reboot of their classic Planet of the Apes series, I could not be more…

How the West Was No Fun

Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig and Olivia Wilde in 'Cowboys & Aliens'

You’re probably aware by now that Jon Favreu’s epic genre mashup Cowboys & Aliens was met this weekend with a resounding, “eh,” a sentiment reflected in the less than blockbuster take at the box office. This is an apt reaction…

America needs a captain

Chris Evans as 'Captain America'

For about an hour, Joe Johnston’s Captain America: The First Avenger is the best superhero movie of the summer. Channeling the same pre-war simplicity he brought to his underperforming classic The Rocketeer, Johnston does something that few directors since Richard…

Harry Potter and the Loose Ends

There’s little point in trying to review this last film objectively. Harry Potter episodes ceased the ability to stand on their own as individual films since Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. That movie was the series’ peak,…