Film Reviews

Film Review: 'Calvary'

Brendan Gleeson as Father James Lavelle and Chris O’Dowd as the butcher in “Calvary.” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Brendan Gleeson as Father James Lavelle and Chris O’Dowd as the butcher in “Calvary.” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Whenever we see a picturesque Irish village with a curmudgeonly priest, we are conditioned to automatically think quaint little comedy—the kind in which old people...

  • Colin Firth and Emma Stone in “Magic in the Moonlight.” (Sony Pictures Classics)

    ‘Magic in the Moonlight:’ Another Dose of Woody Allen’s Ongoing Existential Crisis

    It’s likely that Woody Allen’s latest movie, “Magic in the Moonlight,” was lifted straight from Harry Houdini’s book “A Magician Among the Spirits.” Back in... Read more

  • Momo Miyaura deals with the grief of losing her father in “A Letter to Momo,” a film by Hiroyuki Okiura. (Courtesy of GKids Films)

    ‘A Letter to Momo’: An Unfinished Letter From Dad

    They are the supernaturally incompetent: former gods demoted to mere goblins. It is not hard to see why. They certainly do not impress a young... Read more

  • Robin Wright as a CIA agent and Philip Seymour Hoffman as a German intelligence officer in “A Most Wanted Man.” (Roadside Attractions)

    ‘A Most Wanted Man’: A Spy Movie With All the Fun Stuff Deleted

    Not flashy James Bond, nor gritty Jason Bourne, “A Most Wanted Man” is about workaday, no-frills, spy work. War fighters and law enforcement personnel describe... Read more

  • Wallace Shawn as Halvard Solness in “A Master Builder,” directed by Jonathan Demme, created for the stage by André Gregory. (Declan Quinn/Courtesy of Abramorama)

    The Story of an Arrogant Architect, Restaged

    Critics generally rank “The Master Builder” not far below “Hedda Gabler” and “A Doll’s House” in Henrik Ibsen’s oeuvre, but it is revived far less... Read more

  • James Remar as runaway pastor John Luther in “Persecuted.” (Millennium Entertainment)

    ‘Persecuted’ Will Persecute Your Patience

    Have you watched “Dexter”? The HBO show about a serial killer, whose dead dad gives him advice on how to get away with murder? In... Read more

  • Irene (Margherita Buy) lives an isolated life as an inspector of hotels in the Italian film “A Five Star Life.” (Courtesy of Music Box Films)

    ‘A Five Star Life’: Life, Love, and Loneliness as a Hotel Critic

    Irene Lorenzi is used to ordering soup for one—and she expects it served at a very specific temperature. It is not that she is too... Read more

  • Diane Keaton and Michael Douglas in “And So It Goes.” (Clarius Entertainment)

    ‘And So It Goes’: We Expected More of Rob Reiner

    Boxers past their prime often don’t know when to quit. It happens to the greatest. It happened to Ali. It’s a good thing Rob Reiner’s... Read more

  • Victoire Bélézy as Fanny and Daniel Auteuil as César, her lover’s father, in “Fanny,” Daniel Auteuil’s remake of the 1932 film. (Kino Lorber Inc.)

    ‘Fanny’: A Lovely Remake of a 1932 Seafaring Romance

    For sailors, it is an age-old question: Which is stronger, the love of a woman or the call of the sea? It is an issue... Read more

  • Pierce Gagnon, Zach Braff, and Joey King in “Wish I Was Here.” (Focus Features)

    ‘Wish I Was Here’: Lost Without a Direction

    Let’s be honest: “Scrubs” alum Zach Braff fell off the radar since his work in “Garden State.” Now he’s tried his hand at directing a... Read more

  • Michael Pitt in “I Origins.” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

    ‘I Origins:’ Sci-Fi Reimagining of a Reincarnation Ritual

    Tibetan monks go on searches for reincarnated lamas. They have a method. They track them to remote villages, hauling lama accouterments of previous incarnations, and... Read more

  • Imogen Poots and Aaron Paul in “A Long Way Down.” (Magnolia Pictures)

    ‘A Long Way Down’ Is a Short Way to Forgettable

    You’re a successful TV personality. With a morning breakfast show. Then—sex scandal! She lied about her age. You do a little prison time, lose the... Read more

  • Earl Lynn Nelson and Paul Eenhoorn explore Iceland, and post-retirement life, in “Land Ho!” (Andrew Reed/Brigade Marketing)

    ‘Land Ho!’: Iceland Beckons

    Colin and Mitch are ex-brothers-in-law. Hallmark probably does not have a card for that, but Mitch is not a Hallmark kind of guy. Colin sort... Read more

  • Jason Momoa is Wolf in “Road to Paloma.” (Anchor Bay Films)

    ‘Road to Paloma’: Jason Momoa Rides Through the Mojave in Native American Drama

    It is like “Easy Rider,” except there is a reason for the angst and defiance. When Wolf’s mother suffered a brutal attack, the Feds declined... Read more

  • Ellar Coltrane in Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood.” (IFC Films)

    Film Review: ‘Boyhood’ Gives New Meaning to Coming-of-Age Genre

    “Boyhood” is to coming-of-age movies what “Act of Valor” is to war movies. The latter used active-duty Navy SEALs to portray SEALs, and “Boyhood” uses... Read more

  • Writer (director and actor Kambuzia Partovi) and Boy the dog discuss Partovi’s latest work in “Closed Curtain,” a film from Iran. (Courtesy of Celluloid Dreams)

    ‘Closed Curtain’: A Screenwriter in Hiding

    For most filmmakers of his stature, bringing two films to the international festival circuit over the last three years would be considered reasonably prolific. For... Read more

  • Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert in screening room for photo shoot for People Weekly, June 13, 1984; Chicago. (Kevin Horan/Magnolia Pictures)

    One Thumb Up For Roger Ebert Documentary ‘Life Itself’

    Roger Ebert wrote 6,000 movie reviews. Wrote them in a blazing half-hour. Had an ego but could back it up. When asked, “Who are you,... Read more

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