Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Director Timur Bekambetov’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, an awkward mash-up of historical fiction, satire and horror, couldn’t be less inspired.  “History is made of legends, not men,” we learn in the opening sequences—not exactly apropos for a movie sure to be quickly forgotten.  In…

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Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

A strangely affecting film that begins as a broad comedy before settling down into something sweeter, filmmaker Lorene Scafaria’s Seeking a Friend at the End of the World, about an unlikely friendship that forms as a meteor hurls toward Earth, has a surprising, beating…

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Safety Not Guaranteed

What a wonderful picture Safety Not Guaranteed turns out to be—to describe it is to reduce it to its rudimentary plot points, but to see it, and witness the sensitivity and sweetness play out onscreen, is a thing of beauty.  It’s a movie that…

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Your Sister’s Sister

Filmmaker Lynn Shelton’s new comic chamber piece, Your Sister’s Sister, has an uncanny ear for the dynamics between adult sisters and a firm grasp on the identity of a young man going through  a period of crisis.  As in her first feature, Hump Day,…

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Snow White and the Huntsman

As critics we worry so much about plot structure, character development, contrivance, logic—that we sometimes forget that film is primarily a visual medium.  When a great-looking film emerges, it’s often derided as style over substance.  But it is undeniable that the new adventure, Snow…

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Prometheus

Superbly mounted by director Ridley Scott, the ambitious sci-fi epic Prometheus poses the big questions—origin of the species, science vs. faith and the potential end of Earth—and it’s a hell of a way to spend two hours, inside a smart, visionary, big-budget ride that…

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The Intouchables

The Intouchables, about an unlikely friendship between a wealthy quadriplegic and a street-smart young man who becomes his caretaker and friend, won’t surprise anyone in its story of two closed-down souls whose lives take a turn when they are unexpectedly brought together.  It’s a…

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The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The pleasures of seeing a first-rate British cast in a nicely photographed movie about late life rebirth cannot be underestimated. Indeed, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a welcome antidote to the blockbuster summer movie season. As it turns out, audiences are going to…

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Damsels in Distress

What I wouldn’t give if filmmaker Whit Stillman would write one—just one—realistic character who doesn’t sound like a hip know-it-all from some far off alien planet. Stillman, the creator of Metropolitan, Barcelona and The Last Days of Disco, is a master at placing arch,…

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