Reviews

The Secret World of Arrietty (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, G)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Wednesday, 15 February 2012 15:41

 

film arietty_smThat is to say The Secret World of Arrietty is a brilliant film, surely one of the year’s best.

 

A Separation (Sony Pictures Classics, PG-13)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Wednesday, 15 February 2012 15:38

 

film separation_smYou’ll be hard pressed to find a more engrossing, dramatic portrayal of how annoying it often is to be alive.

 

 

   

This Means War (R, 20th Century Fox)

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Written by Adrienne Jones Wednesday, 15 February 2012 15:34

 

film this-means-war_smIt is different from the standard rom-com…until it isn’t.

 

Young Goethe in Love (Music Box Films, NR)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Wednesday, 15 February 2012 15:30

 

film young-goethe_smWhere everyone knows Shakespeare and can hop right on board with Shakespeare in Love, how many people are going to be rushing to the theater to see this on account of being interested in Johann Goethe?

   

Safe House (Universal Pictures, R)

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Written by Sean Lass Friday, 10 February 2012 12:55

 

film safe-house_smThe style of this film is 100% lifted from the later Bourne movies.

 

The Vow (Screen Gems, PG-13)

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Written by Matthew Newlin Friday, 10 February 2012 12:52

 

film the-vow_smThe director and numerous writers would have served their audience well by studying the great love stories before clumsily throwing together their half-hearted final product.

   

Pina (IFC Films/Sundance Selects, PG)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Friday, 10 February 2012 12:47

film pina_smThere’s a little bit of biographical information here, but the majority of Pina’s 103-minute running time is just people dancing in 3-D.

 

Chronicle (Twentieth Century Fox, PG-13)

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Written by Sean Lass Friday, 03 February 2012 11:28

film chronicle_smAny found-footage film has to work extra hard to win me over, and Chronicle pretty much did.

   

The Woman in Black (CBS Films, PG-13)

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Written by Sean Lass Friday, 03 February 2012 11:23

film woman-in-black_smIt really felt very middle of the road; ghosts spend most of their time jumping out and saying “boo.” 

 

El Bulli: Cooking in Progress (Kino Lorber, NR)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Wednesday, 01 February 2012 13:11

film el-bulli_smYou’re probably thinking either “Cool; how can I learn more?” or “Isn’t that a little precious for something that will be traveling through your digestive system?”

   

Albert Nobbs (Roadside Attractions, R)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Tuesday, 24 January 2012 23:25

albert-nobbs smWhen she shares the screen with McTeer, Close simply disappears into the woodwork, which may be appropriate for her character but doesn’t give the audience much to appreciate.

 

Man on a Ledge (Summit Entertainment)

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Written by Sean Lass Tuesday, 24 January 2012 23:20

man-ledge snI felt nothing while watching it, and as I was leaving the theater, I could feel the film fade from my memory at an alarming rate.

   

Tomboy (Rocket Releasing, NR)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Tuesday, 24 January 2012 23:04

tomboy smThe film hinges on Héran’s performance, and she pulls it off rather remarkably.

 

Haywire (Relativity Media, R)

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Written by Sean Lass Thursday, 19 January 2012 14:35

film haywire smGina Carano certainly wins the audience over in the fight scenes, so I see potential for her to have a future; I just can’t fully endorse her at this point.

   

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Warner Bros., PG-13)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 19 January 2012 14:32

film extremely-loud smI can’t say that I can get too upset about this awful chunk of treacle, aside from the fact that it will probably put a lot of people off of reading the book.

 

Pariah (Focus Features, R)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Thursday, 19 January 2012 14:28

film pariah smOne of the most remarkable facts about Pariah is how it manages almost completely to avoid stereotypes.

   

Shame (Sony Pictures Classics, NC-17)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 19 January 2012 14:25

film shame smBy the end of the film, it almost feels as if director Steve McQueen has lost interest and just needs a way to put some semblance of closure on the proceedings.

 

A Dangerous Method (Sony Pictures Classics, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 19 January 2012 14:10

film dangerous-method smI tend to prefer David Cronenberg when he’s heavier on action and lighter on psychological fare.

   

Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today (Jeff Lipsky, NR)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Thursday, 19 January 2012 11:44

film nuremerg smDirector Stuart Schulberg skillfully combines trial materials with other footage from the war to illustrate the extent of the crimes of which the defendants were accused.

 

The Iron Lady (The Weinstein Company, PG-13)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Friday, 13 January 2012 13:17

 

film iron-lady_smThe main problem with The Iron Lady is the script by Abi Morgan. I’m all in favor of new approaches to the biopic, but if you’re going to throw away the obvious (chronological) path, you need to provide something more interesting in its place.

 

   

Contraband (Universal Pictures, R)

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Written by Matthew Newlin Friday, 13 January 2012 13:14

film contraband_smGiovanni Ribisi, the most colorful of the bunch, is at his over-the-top best and is fun to watch every second. 

 

 

Beauty and the Beast 3D (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, G)

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Written by Matthew Newlin Friday, 13 January 2012 13:05

 

film beauty_smWithout question, the most memorable aspect of Beauty and the Beast is the Academy Award-winning music from Alan Menken and Howard Ashman.

   

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Focus Features, R)

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Written by Sean Lass Thursday, 22 December 2011 18:16

film tinker_75Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a slow, moody spy film that focuses on character and atmosphere rather than explosions and gunfights.

 

War Horse (Touchstone Pictures/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, PG-13)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 22 December 2011 10:42

film war-horse_smWar Horse is manipulative, dumb, obvious, and cloying.

   

The Artist (The Weinstein Company, PG-13)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 22 December 2011 10:37

film the-artist_75I, for one, want to see The Artist succeed; it is as good as you’ve heard.

 

We Bought a Zoo (20th Century Fox, PG)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 22 December 2011 10:31

film we-bought-a-zoo_75The specific talents of Cameron Crowe and Scarlett Johansson are a good match for one another.

   

The Adventures of Tintin (Paramount Pictures, PG)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Wednesday, 21 December 2011 12:18

tin-tin 75While Jamie Bell and Daniel Craig are just fine, most of the pleasures of the film come from bit parts from great British comedians such as Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Mackenzie Crook.

 

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Sony Pictures, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Monday, 19 December 2011 11:18

film dragon-tattoo_75There is what I feel is a glaring holdover from his debatably misogynistic days here that deeply hurts the overall power of the movie.

   

Young Adult (Paramount Pictures, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 15 December 2011 12:58

 

film young-adult_75Theron’s character Mavis Gary, a narcissistic writer of a popular series of young adult books, is one of the most intentionally dislikeable main characters in film in recent years.

 

 

 

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Warner Bros. Pictures, PG-13)

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Written by Sean Lass Thursday, 15 December 2011 12:54

 

film sherlock-holmes-2_75Robert Downey Jr. is phoning in his performance, and is dangerously close to becoming a parody of himself.

   

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (PG-13, Paramount)

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Written by Adrienne Jones Thursday, 15 December 2011 12:49

 

film migp_75The movie has all the right ingredients to be a thrilling, intense, fun-filled spy adventure, but still somehow left me feeling like I hadn’t actually watched anything.

 

Outrage (Magnet Releasing, R)

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Written by Sean Lass Thursday, 15 December 2011 12:43

 

film outrage_75We squirm because it is horrible, and then laugh because we can’t believe what we are seeing.

 

 

   

Passione: A Musical Adventure (Beta Cinema, NR)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Wednesday, 07 December 2011 12:02

film Passione_75Passione may be best regarded as the film equivalent of a mix tape that appreciates equally well a mega-cheesy booty-shaking rap number and a heartfelt performance by a jazz musician.

 

Into the Abyss: A Tale of Death, A Tale of Life (Sundance Selects, NR)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Wednesday, 23 November 2011 11:47

abyss 75Werner Herzog doesn’t seem terribly interested in making this anything like a mystery, despite the fact that most of the people in the film can’t seem to agree on what actually happened.

   

The Descendants (Fox Searchlight Pictures, R)

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Written by Sean Lass Wednesday, 23 November 2011 00:00

descendents 75The cast is uniformly good. Just about everything in the movie is good. Not much is great.

 

My Week with Marilyn (The Weinstein Company, R)

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Written by Matthew Newlin Tuesday, 22 November 2011 13:36

marilyn 75Many actresses have portrayed Marilyn Monroe on TV and in film, but none has come close to the absolutely fantastic performance Michelle Williams has crafted.

   

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