Slavery is rightfully considered the darkest mark on America’s 237-year history. It was the issue that defined 19th Century America, and one of many examples in humanity’s narrative of the oppression of one people at the hands of another. “12 Years a Slave” is a brutal but necessary reminder of that evil. It is a […]
Nothing the Coen Brothers ever do is really a change of pace, but “Inside Llewyn Davis” is about as close to one as you’re likely to get from the filmmaking duo that has rolled out nothing but critically acclaimed hits since 2008 Best Picture winner “No Country for Old Men.” Even with a three-year break […]
Tales of 20-somethings in New York City epitomize the independent film scene, as does the star and co-writer of “Frances Ha,” Greta Gerwig, the indisputable indie queen. Together with writer and director Noah Baumbach, “Frances” is practically the comfort food of independent film, a genre label usually reserved for something edgy and different. However, despite […]
It’s not as hard to imagine artificial intelligence becoming a reality as it was 10 or 20 years ago. So even though “Her” is just a riff on the “robot who learns to love” plot from movies as far back as arguable “Pinocchio,” writer/director Spike Jonze makes this futuristic concept much more accessible and capable […]
A little before 2000, Disney began to phase out its animated movie musicals. It wasn’t that people stopped wanting enchantment at the movie theater, but rather a cold, hard fiscal decision: the films continued to gross less and less and newer ideas for family entertainment were capturing audience attention and dollars.
Aardman Animations has probably been more consistent than Pixar, especially of late, yet the stop-motion powerhouse doesn’t get half the attention. “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” didn’t buck the box-office trend, but it proves that even with the most generic of premises, Aardman knows how to appeal to a diverse audience.
For those not easily smitten by J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy tales, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” was a substantial letdown from “The Lord of the Rings” films, and the thought of enduring another immensely long trilogy too much to bear. But even they’ll agree with the biggest fans of “An Unexpected Journey” that part two, “The […]
Aging is hard, as it accepting your lot in life. “Nebraska” adds another poignant story about life’s tragic beauty to Alexander Payne’s filmography and it’s likely the most universally accessible of all his previous efforts.
You’ve probably already seen “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” and if not, you’re still in luck. Thanks to awards season, plenty else is coming your way for the next five weeks to close out 2013 at the movies. Below I’ve listed the 10 films I’m most excited for that I believe will deliver, and six films […]
In telling chapters of history, films have the benefit of hindsight. As obvious as that statement sounds, Oscar-winning screenwriter Brian Helgeland takes advantage of almost 70 years of history in writing/directing “42,” to the point where he can set the stage with the perfect emotional tone for telling the story of Jackie Robinson, one of […]
Chips falling as they did, the odds of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” equaling its predecessor were not exactly ever in its favor. Director and adaptor Gary Ross left the burgeoning film franchise, Suzanne Collins’ series undoubtedly lost a little luster with its increased exposure and “Catching Fire” takes on a much larger scope than […]
Most moviegoers probably didn’t realize Thor was a comic book character in the Marvel universe before his big-screen debut in 2011. Flash forward just two and a half years later and Chris Hemsworth has portrayed the Norse god of thunder three times already. “Thor: The Dark World” looks to continue riding the post-“Avengers” wave, but […]
It’s been nearly 30 years since “Ender’s Game” etched itself into the canon of important science-fiction novels, and like so many important science-fiction novels, a film adaptation has toiled in movie development hell, with the “unfilmable” label frequently cast upon it. Gavin Hood (“X-Men Origins: Wolverine”) has taken a stab at adapting and directing Orson […]
We waited long enough to see what Alfonso Cuarón had in store for us next, but no one expected a visual effects game-changer. “Gravity” is an experience, something you might expect to see at a science museum in IMAX but with an intense plot. And even though its minuscule cast and real-time feel expose it to […]
Who says all “based on a true story” movies have to take themselves seriously? Regardless of how true-to-life the events of “Pain and Gain” are, the film offers a ballsy take on a crime thriller, namely in being unafraid of comic territory.