Film Reviews

‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ Is Second-Best

L - R: Celia Imrie as "Madge Hardcastle," Ronald Pickup as "Norman Cousins," Diana Hardcastle as "Carol," Judi Dench as "Evelyn Greenslade," Maggie Smith as "Muriel Donnely" and Bill Nighy as "Douglas Ainslie" in THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL
L - R: Celia Imrie as "Madge Hardcastle," Ronald Pickup as "Norman Cousins," Diana Hardcastle as "Carol," Judi Dench as "Evelyn Greenslade," Maggie Smith as "Muriel Donnely" and Bill Nighy as "Douglas Ainslie" in THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL

“This is Route 66! And we are most assuredly getting our kicks!!” brays the perennially hyperactive Sonny (Dev Patel) as he floors the accelerator on...

  • A scene from “What We Do in the Shadows,” a vampire spoof. (Unison Films)

    Vampires Share an Apartment in ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ (Film Review)

    Viago definitely needs a laundry detergent that gets out bloodstains. Even though his housemates are just as apt to cause them, he is the only... Read more

  • Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter. (Smithsonian Channel)

    Americana Legend Lead Belly, A Documentary

    Eventually, Alan Lomax’s defenders and detractors have to deal with Huddie Ledbetter, better known as Lead Belly. Yes, it was Lomax who plucked Ledbetter from... Read more

  • Viviane (Ronit Elkabetz), her divorce attorney Carmel (Menashe Noy), and her clinging-on husband Elisha (Simon Abkarian) in “Gett.” (Courtesy of Music Box Films)

    ‘Gett:’ A Divorce in Israel

    There is one area where Israel should find common ground with its radical neighbors: its rabbinical system of divorce that applies to all, regardless of... Read more

  • Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick in a scene from “The Last Five Years.” (Radius-TWC)

    ‘The Last Five Years': Off-Broadway Goes Big Screen

    The title of Jamie Wellerstein’s best-selling debut novel sounds nauseatingly pretentious, but “Light Out of Darkness” happens to be a hat tip to Sondheim’s “Merrily... Read more

  • Colin Firth (L) and Taron Egerton exit an underground shuttle to the Kingsmen headquarters. (Twentieth Century Fox/Matthew Vaughn Casting)

    ‘Kingsman': Old-School Brit Spies Not Exactly Old-School Gentlemen

    “Kingsman: The Secret Service” is the new, old Bond. Yay! We’d all grown tired of the twittier aspects of old Bond: the sclerotic formula, sclerotic... Read more

  • Billionaire entrepreneur Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and curious college student Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) in "Fifty Shades of Grey." ( Chuck Zlotnick/Universal Studios/Focus Features)

    Fifty Shades of Foolishness

    “Fifty Shades of Grey!” It’s a cultural event! Here’s how you know: three teenage girls sitting next to the reviewer at the screening had memorized... Read more

  • Julianne Moore is the witch queen Mother Malkin in “Seventh Son.” (Legendary Pictures/Universal Pictures)

    ‘Seventh Son': Definitely Not the Eighth Wonder

    Marlon Brando tested film directors the first day of a film shoot. First, he’d give a fully invested, high-quality performance. On take 2, he’d ever... Read more

  • A baroque-styled spaceship inside the Death Star-like battlestation in "Jupiter Ascending." (Warner Bros.)

    ‘Jupiter Ascending’ Never Ascends to Level of ‘The Matrix’

    You clean toilets for a living. Imagine getting suddenly transported to a distant planet, shown ancient halls glowing with a thousand candles, and a stone... Read more

  • Ryan Reynolds is Jerry, who’s gone off his meds and hears his pets talking, in “The Voices.” (Lionsgate)

    Film Review: ‘The Voices’

    Do you think talking cats are cute, like Garfield? Well, think again. Anthropomorphism can be a sinister business; but don’t worry, talking dogs are still... Read more

  • 'Free China: The Courage to Believe'

    ‘The Interview’ Film You Haven’t Heard Of, But Should

    There’s a recent film produced stateside by an American director that has angered a communist nation to the nth degree across the seas. It underscores... Read more

  • Jason Statham stars as Nick Wild in “Wild Card,” an updated version of 1986’s “Heat.” (Lionsgate)

    ‘Wild Card': Jason Statham Happens in Vegas

    It is not exactly a critic’s dream come true, but it rises to one of our frequent challenges. We often lament studios’ remaking of classic... Read more

  • Aryan Brotherhood leader Sobecki (Anson Mount) being interrogated in prison. (Well Go USA)

    Film Review: ‘Supremacy’ Is a ‘Clockwork Orange’ Therapy for Death Row White Supremacists

    White supremacy is breathing its last. Yes, the Aryan Brotherhood is a cancer in the U.S. prison system, and some folks in the Deep South... Read more

  • Manny Pacquiao (L) vs. Juan Marquez in the documentary “Manny.” (Gravitas Ventures)

    ‘Manny': A Boxer’s Hero’s Journey

    Former heavyweight boxer-turned-actor Liam Neeson narrates “Manny,” a powerful, if superficial, documentary about legend-in-his-own-time Filipino boxer Manuel “Pacman” Pacquiao. Pacquiao is the only boxer in... Read more

  • Ryan Guzman plays an unlikely high schooler who has an affair-turned-stalking relationship with an unlikely English teacher played by Jennifer Lopez in “The Boy Next Door.” (Universal Pictures)

    Film Review: ‘The Boy Next Door,’ A Softcore Howler

    There’s “so bad it’s good.” It’s an interesting movie category. Like “Showgirls.” Such movies tend to become cult classics. There’s also “so bad it’s ridiculous.”... Read more

  • Niccolò Paganini (David Garrett) rises to fame with some supernatural intervention in “The Devil’s Violinist.” (Freestyle Releasing)

    Film Review: ‘The Devil’s Violinist’

    Niccolò Paganini was the Robert Johnson of classical music. His ferocious technique and unparalleled popular success were seriously considered the fruits of a Faustian bargain... Read more

  • Pilots Lou Lenart, Gideon Lichtman, and Modi Alon in “Above And Beyond,” which documents the formation of the Israeli Air Force. (International Film Circuit)

    Film Review: ‘Above and Beyond’

    Twice they answered the call to protect democracy, prevailing against the odds each time. In 1948, a number of former American World War II military... Read more

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