Latest Articles


Review: The Conquest

Xavier Durringer's dramatized recreation of the rise of France's Nicolas Sarkozy to the presidency is generally fair-minded and ambiguous.
Xavier Durringer's recreation of the rise of Sarkozy
By GERALD PEARY  |  December 16, 2011

Review: The Perfect Game

Hokum and maudlin manipulation abound in William Dear’s real-life drama about a team from Monterrey (here depicted as an impoverished Mexican shantytown) that goes on to win the 1957 Little League World Series.
Knocking it out of the park
By TOM MEEK  |  April 16, 2010

Review: The Runaways

The mid 1970s was a time of tight pants and even tighter radio playlists.
Doesn't quite take them back home
By PETER KEOUGH  |  April 09, 2010

Extremist Fail

A political story could literally not contain more irony than the story of the USA PATRIOT Act and its effect on the modern extremist right-wing movement.
Letters to the Portland Editor, April 2, 2010

Review: Sweetgrass

One of the most enigmatic close-ups I’ve seen on screen this year is of a sheep. It stares into the camera at the beginning of Ilisa Barbash & Lucien Castaing-Taylor’s documentary about a round-up of the critters in Montana’s Beartooth Mountains, rum
Triumph of the wool
By PETER KEOUGH  |  April 02, 2010

Flashback: Art After Hours

There’s no shortage of nightclubs and bars in Boston, but the sheer magnitude of offerings has been no guarantee of quality. Between the scruffy rock clubs, gay discos, and often pretentious singles bars, there hasn’t been much of a middle ground.
A review of Man Ray nightclub
By ROBIN VAUGHN  |  March 26, 2010


Flashback: Art After Hours

There’s no shortage of nightclubs and bars in Boston, but the sheer magnitude of offerings has been no guarantee of quality. Between the scruffy rock clubs, gay discos, and often pretentious singles bars, there hasn’t been much of a middle ground.
A review of Man Ray nightclub
By ROBIN VAUGHN  |  March 26, 2010

Hope against Hollywood

Mr. Keough’s “Is There Any ‘Hope’ in Hollywood” article makes my own point. Precious , The Blind Side , and The Princess and the Frog were strategically released to detract from the positive image of President Barack Obama.
Letters to the Boston editor, March 26, 2010
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  March 26, 2010

Review: Coco Before Chanel

Based on the book by Edmonde Charles-Roux, Anne Fontaine's soaper of a bio-pic traces the fashion icon's life before the perfume and the bouclé suits.
Bio-pic doesn't quite wear well enough
By ALICIA POTTER  |  October 02, 2009

Interview: Jamie Foxx

"Until you get a chance to define another side of your career, people will always say, 'You're doing it as a hobby.' "
Jamie Foxx on acting, singing, comedy, and controversy
By BEN WESTHOFF  |  August 14, 2009

Review: Séraphine

The old chestnut about suffering for one's art finds new life in Martin Provost's wrenching bio-pic of Séraphine Louis, the "Modern Primitive," as critic Wilhelm Uhde insisted on calling her.
Provost paints a true tortured artist
By PETER KEOUGH  |  July 31, 2009


Review: Pedro

There's no other reason to see the film.
An inspiring life reduced to sound bites, clichés, and hugs
By PETER KEOUGH  |  May 01, 2009

Review: Bronson

From Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn comes a fantasy bio-pic of Britain's notorious Charlie Bronson, a larger-than-life character who, after swiping his identity from Charles Bronson transformed from bare-knuckle prizefighter into "Britain's most
Tom Hardy is mesmerizing
By SHAULA CLARK  |  April 17, 2009

Review: Notorious

To its fault and its credit, George Tillman Jr.'s bio-pic offers a life story that fans of late MC extraordinaire Chris Wallace, a/k/a Biggie Smalls, a/k/a the Notorious B.I.G., have known for years.
Romanticized, but well executed
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  January 13, 2009

Review: Che

An ambitious, whole-hog, four-hour-plus bio-pic of Che Guevara, c'mon.
History lesson
By MICHAEL ATKINSON  |  January 13, 2009

Breakfast With Scot

Laurie Lind’s fuses Three Men and a Baby, La Vie en Rose , and every other gay rom-com ever made.  
Chaste, and lacking wit
By PETER KEOUGH  |  October 21, 2008


What We Do Is Secret

That staple of the musical bio-pic — a close-up of dope bubbling on a spoon — punctuates Rodger Grossman’s account of the short life of Darby Crash.
Exposition trumps atmosphere
By BETSY SHERMAN  |  August 20, 2008

Jill Aigrot

There’s no CD booklet, and in her acknowledgments, Aigrot thanks Olivier Gahan . Tant pis .
Words of Love | LML Music
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  March 04, 2008

The Boston Phoenix–Alumni Film Critics’ Poll

It’s true, the Boston Phoenix has never won an Oscar.
Our first-ever round-up of the past year’s best movies, with a little help from our friends
By PHOENIX STAFF  |  February 13, 2008

Are we grading on a curve?

It’s a solid B, which isn’t bad considering the vagaries of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences.
Peter Keough’s Oscar Scorecard
By PHOENIX STAFF  |  January 23, 2008

The Oscars go to Hell

Maybe it’s just as well if the writers’ strike forces a cancellation of the Oscars show.
The Devil knows what the nominations will be for this year’s Oscars
By PETER KEOUGH  |  January 18, 2008


Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

Stupid? Sure, but laced with a strange sense of logic.
Easy jokes? Absolutely
By BRETT MICHEL  |  December 19, 2007

Silver linings on a dark screen

The best films of 2007 hold their own when it comes to despair, evil, and treachery.
Film: 2007 in review
By PETER KEOUGH  |  December 18, 2007

Auteur land?

Granted, Sweeney Todd is a grim, violent, misanthropic musical.
‘Film Culture’ in 2007
By GERALD PEARY  |  December 17, 2007

Covering Dylan

Dylan is his own cover band.
From Newport to I’m Not There
By CHARLES TAYLOR  |  November 20, 2007

The unnamable

If Bob Dylan were a real movie director, I’m Not There is probably the movie he’d make about his own life
Todd Haynes’s not-Dylan movie
By JON GARELICK  |  November 20, 2007


He’s here!

I’m Not There is an apt name for a bio-pic with six Bob Dylans, none of them the real one.
Todd Haynes talks about his Dylan movie
By ROB NELSON  |  November 20, 2007

War zones

The party’s over. Time for the lessons to begin.
Fall films face terror at home and abroad
By PETER KEOUGH  |  September 12, 2007

Con but not forgotten

The traditional Hollywood bio-pic reduces a famous life to a couple of platitudes, a two-hour narrative, a big-name star, and a few Oscars.
The Hoax pushes Hughes goods
By PETER KEOUGH  |  April 03, 2007

Amazing Grace

Michael Apted’s stirring if conventional bio-pic of 18th-century British abolitionist William Wilberforce offers rum, funneled into anti-slavery PM William Pitt the Younger, and sugar, in the form of the hero’s adoring wife, Barbara.
Polite under fire
By JUSTINE ELIAS  |  February 21, 2007