Veronica Mars
Bad Words
Noah
The Raid 2
Bigger, Badder and Better: Gareth Evans and Iko Uwais on The Raid 2's Astonishing Action, Complex Character and 2014's Most Entertaining Film
Under the Skin
Joe
Tye Sheridan Comes of Age in David Gordon Green’s Joe, a Story of Hard Won Maturity in an Unforgiving South

Tye Sheridan Comes of Age in David Gordon Green’s Joe, a Story of Hard Won Maturity in an Unforgiving South

Tye Sheridan Comes of Age in David Gordon Green’s Joe, a Story of Hard Won Maturity in an Unforgiving South 

  In three films—Tree of Life, Mud and now Joe—seventeen-year-old actor Tye Sheridan has carved out a niche as a rural teen that experiences lost innocence and disillusionment about the world by close examinations of his adult role models.  Remarkably sensitive and without posture, Sheridan comes of age in David Gordon Green’s Joe, the story […]

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Joe

Joe 

* * * 1/2 Based on the 1991 novel by Larry Brown, Nicolas Cage makes an undeniably impressive return to dramatic form as titular Joe Ransom, a hard-living Texas local, a small town former con both bitter and goodhearted, who frequents the local bar and whorehouse when he’s not collecting down-on-their-luck day laborers to work […]

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Under the Skin

Under the Skin 

* * “Maybe you shouldn’t dress like that.” “This is a blouse and a skirt. I don’t know what you’re talking about.” “Then maybe you shouldn’t wear that body.” That exchange came from William Hurt and Kathleen Turner in Lawrence Kasdan’s classic 1981 noir Body Heat, on a sweltering first meeting between Hurt’s hapless schmuck […]

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The Raid 2

The Raid 2 

* * * * Sensational The Raid 2 begins almost immediately after 2012’s The Raid, but that’s where the resemblance ends. The first picture, a perfectly acceptable Indonesian actioner—an orgiastic ballet of bullets, bodies and martial arts involving a pair of agile Jakarta SWAT cops laying waste to the denizens of an apartment complex commandeered […]

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Bigger, Badder and Better, Gareth Evans and Iko Uwais on The Raid 2’s Astonishing Action, Complex Character and 2014’s Most Entertaining Film

Bigger, Badder and Better, Gareth Evans and Iko Uwais on The Raid 2’s Astonishing Action, Complex Character and 2014’s Most Entertaining Film 

The Raid 2: Berandal (meaning thug), is quite an accomplished movie, and one that took me by complete surprise.  If you saw 2012’s The Raid, the scrappy story of two Jakarta SWAT cops who took down a cabal of drug pushers holed up in an apartment complex, you knew that director Gareth Evans and star […]

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Noah

Noah 

* * * 1/2 Darren Aronofsky’s ambitious and visionary Noah is a vividly rendered epic adventure writ large, using the Biblical tale as a framework for a morality play about faith, obsession and forgiveness.  It’s a story that has fascinated the director since his youth, and in this risky and expensive (reportedly $150m) movie, Aronofsky […]

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Bad Words

Bad Words 

  * * *   In today’s overly cautious culture of political correctness, it’s refreshing to have a subversive comedy of all-out annihilation.  Bad Words, loaded with uproariously mean-spirited jokes in service of a genuinely creepy character (albeit one played by a likable movie star), takes no prisoners in its tale of a forty-year-old failure […]

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Veronica Mars

Veronica Mars 

* 1/2 Whatever the appeal of Veronica Mars may have been on the small screen, it is wholly lost on the big screen version of the same name, a lackluster movie that plays like a television show loaded with in-jokes, hijinks and cardboard characters, and a vehicle for star Kristen Bell to revisit her most […]

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Endless Love

Endless Love 

* * If you come away from Shana Feste’s Endless Love with nothing else, you’ll have seen two beautiful people with beautiful bodies in beautiful settings and, for a brief time at the beginning of the picture, some beautiful moments of falling into first love.   In a nicely photographed and capably acted misfire, co-writer and […]

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Labor Day

Labor Day 

* * * If you can get past the central premise—and that’s a big if—in Jason Reitman’s Labor Day, you’ll be rewarded with rich performances and an unabashed romanticism that, while perhaps unbelievable, also somehow works.  Set in 1987 on the outskirts of a Mayberry-esque hamlet, it’s clear right away that Adele (Kate Winslet) is […]

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