Film reviews

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Rian Johnson's mind-bending Looper

It takes some concentration to follow a plot where flashbacks are flash-forwards and vice versa. Or both. And sometimes flash-sideways.
By PETER KEOUGH  |  September 28, 2012

Review: Cosmopolis

In a scene in David Cronenberg's adaptation of Don DeLillo's novella, as Robert Pattinson grimaces while having a proctological exam, you realize that throughout the whole movie he's been acting like he has a finger up his butt.
Cronenberg's adaptation of Don DeLillo's novella
By PETER KEOUGH  |  August 24, 2012

Review: Robot & Frank

Frank Langella adds to his string of understated, riveting performances in this gentle, incisive comedy.
A gentle, incisive comedy
By BETSY SHERMAN  |  August 24, 2012

Review: The Expendables 2

Old action heroes never die, they take steroids, become governor of California, and end up in Simon West's The Expendables 2 .
Phony machismo
By PETER KEOUGH  |  August 24, 2012


Filmmaker Craig Zobel ( Great World of Sound ) takes the infamous Stanley Milgram psychology experiments — showing how decent Americans will do the most vile, Nazi-like things if they are following orders — and uses these as a basis of a thoroughly dis

By GERALD PEARY  |  August 24, 2012

The LGBT film festival ranges from farce to fierce

For many filmgoers, their exposure to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender cinema might be limited to a midnight screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Camping out
By PETER KEOUGH  |  April 27, 2012


Review: Anita

The young protagonist of Anita may grapple with Down syndrome, but Argentine director Marcos Carnevale wisely avoids advocacy melodrama territory.
The aftermath of a 1994 anti-Semitic terrorist bombing in Buenos Aires
By MILES HOWARD  |  April 20, 2012

Review: Lockout

Every once in a while, an actor can single-handedly hoist a film to near greatness, despite a banal script and subpar direction.
Guy Pearce rises above the rest
By MICHAEL C. WALSH  |  April 20, 2012

Review: Sleepwalk With Me

What compels people to perform comedy?
Comedy and sleep disorders
By PETER KEOUGH  |  April 20, 2012

Review: Kid-Thing

If Spirit of the Beehive took place in Napoleon Dynamite country, it might turn out like David Zellner's absurd and wrenching coming-of-age tale.
Absurd and gut-wrenching
By PETER KEOUGH  |  April 20, 2012

Review: Wuthering Heights

Unlike in her harsh romances set in Britain's urban wastelands, it's nature that rules in British director Andrea Arnold's audacious adaptation of Emily Brönte's Wuthering Heights .
Back to the moors
By PETER KEOUGH  |  April 20, 2012


Review: The Revisionaries

Here's a scary thought: Texas and its massive purchasing power set the standard for which school textbooks are used across the country.
Setting the bar
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  April 20, 2012

Review: OK, Good

Daniel Martinico's minimal, elliptical style and his use of repetitions and variations almost overcome the predictability of this case study in repression and alienation.
Ridiculous commercial auditions
By PETER KEOUGH  |  April 20, 2012

Review: 2011 Art House Project Shorts Program

Short films are the art of omission, and those in this outstanding Sundance program transform non-sequiturs into surreal poetry.
Surreal poetry
By PETER KEOUGH  |  January 20, 2012

The Oscars look back in languor in 2011

This year, perhaps in hopes of diverting audiences with a different format, the Motion Picture Academy has again changed the number of Best Picture nominees.
Golden oldies
By PETER KEOUGH  |  January 20, 2012

The director of Immortals could be Hollywood's most misunderstood blockbuster auteur

When I first saw the trailer for Immortals, I wondered how Tarsem's newest film would be misinterpreted.
Tarsem revealed
By S.I. ROSENBAUM  |  December 02, 2011

betterlife list

Review: A Better Life

A Better Life  tells a tale of a father's love and his struggles to give his son the opportunities he never had.
The illegal immigrants keeping LA afloat
By BRETT MICHEL  |  July 15, 2011
phase list

Review: Phase 7 [Fase 7]

Phase 7 distinguishes itself by its suffocating setting, its low-affect tone, and its cast of flaky characters.
Nicolás Goldbart's thriller
By PETER KEOUGH  |  July 15, 2011
carlo list

Review: Monte Carlo

The latest tween pabulum features Selena Gomez in two roles, which is awkward because she only has one and a half expressions.
Awkward limitations
By BETSY SHERMAN  |  July 08, 2011
riva viva list

Review: Viva Riva!

One thing about Djo Tunda Wa Munga's plucky Third World noir: it never slows down.
A gritty get-down
By TOM MEEK  |  July 08, 2011
just like us list

Review: Just Like Us

This brainchild of Egyptian-American comedian Ahmed Ahmed is basically a collection of his home movies as he travels from the US alongside comics like Maz Jobrani and Whitney Cummings to perform stand-up in Dubai, Beirut, Cairo, Riyadh, and back.
Leave the directing to someone else
By BRETT MICHEL  |  July 08, 2011

sixth floor list

Review: The Women On the Sixth Floor

Philippe Le Guay's '60s-set Gallic Upstairs/Downstairs has all the requisite elements: easygoing political correctness, staid platitudes, saucy comedy, and a romance between a middle-aged bourgeois and a life-affirming babe 30 years his junior.
A comforting charmer
By PETER KEOUGH  |  July 01, 2011
troll hunter list

Review: Troll Hunter

André Øvredal's mythical mockumentary takes place among the ravines and forests of Norway, where a troll problem exists that the public is largely unaware of.
Mythical mockumentary
By TOM MEEK  |  July 01, 2011
twins list

Review: The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls

Leanne Pooley's portrait gives us performance footage of twins Lynda and Jools Topp that ranges from the '80s, when they were mulleted farm girls busking in the city; to their '90s sketch-comedy TV show; to a recent return to the stage after one twin fa
Feel-good variety
By BETSY SHERMAN  |  July 01, 2011
mountain list

Review: The Last Mountain

As Bill Haney's infuriating, straightforward documentary argues, the coal industry is not only poisoning our air and water but our democracy as well.

By PETER KEOUGH  |  June 24, 2011
jig list

Review: Jig

Sue Bourne's documentary about Irish stepdancing in general and the 2010 Irish Dance World Championships in particular treads a formulaic path.

By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  June 17, 2011

getting by list

Review: The Art of Getting By

Freddie Highmore plays the acutely self-conscious Manhattan prep schooler whose pivotal senior year is recounted in director-writer Gavin Wiesen's earnest, but weak, debut.

By BETSY SHERMAN  |  June 17, 2011
beautiful boy list

Review: Beautiful Boy

Is there an audience for this finely acted, sensitively directed film of unhappiness and sorrow?

By GERALD PEARY  |  June 17, 2011
the trip list

Review: The Trip

In his brilliant "adaptation" of Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy , Michael Winterbottom created a self-reflexive parodic movie of the quintessential self-reflexive parodic novel .

By PETER KEOUGH  |  June 17, 2011
submarine list

Review: Submarine

Here the eloquent misfit is Oliver Tate, a cynical wise guy whose inept horniness competes with his existential anxiety. .

By PETER KEOUGH  |  June 17, 2011