Sequel Fatigue: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, Reviewed

I've now seen three Hunger Games films, and I feel confident saying that eventually, something is finally going to happen in one of them. There's been no shortage of incidents—action scenes, plot twists, emotional moments—but what's strange about this series is that everything always seems to be a precursor to… » 11/19/14 5:11pm Wednesday 5:11pm

So Stupid It Just Might Work: Dumb And Dumber To, Reviewed

1. Before you get too wrapped up in the negative early reaction to Dumb and Dumber To, the 20-years-later sequel to the 1994 mega-hit, remember that critics hated the first one. Critics are notoriously bad at predicting what comedies are going to stand the test of time; the target is always moving on them. (Here's a … » 11/16/14 11:35am 11/16/14 11:35am

Despicable Us: Foxcatcher, Reviewed

Foxcatcher is a movie about America, but what makes it so compelling is that you don't realize it at first. Directed by Bennett Miller (Capote, Moneyball), the film is too subtle—and, frankly, too strange—to explicitly make some simple, overarching, grandiose statement. And yet, when you replay it in your head later,… » 11/13/14 10:58am 11/13/14 10:58am

The Superhero Starter Kit: Big Hero 6, Reviewed

If you were trying to turn a kid onto action films for life, you could do a lot worse than starting him or her off with Big Hero 6. So fundamentally familiar that its alternate title might as well be My First Marvel Superhero Movie, it does just about everything you'd expect from an animated adventure designed for… » 11/07/14 11:02am 11/07/14 11:02am

Christopher Nolan's Interstellar Is Half-Unwieldy And Half-Amazing

Two years ago, just as I was about to see The Dark Knight Rises, I wrote a glowing overview of its director's career. A huge fan of Christopher Nolan since his second feature, 2000's Memento, I explained how he had almost single-handedly restored my faith in blockbusters thanks to his Batman films and 2010's Inception » 11/04/14 5:31pm 11/04/14 5:31pm

2015 Oscar Watch: Yes, It's Time To Start Arguing About This Already

As of this second, we are 122 days away from the 2015 Academy Awards, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris as Billy Crystal growls angrily in the corner and everyone tries real hard not to make a Renee Zellweger joke. That's a ludicrously long time from now, but there won't be a single moment between now and then in the… » 10/25/14 10:57am 10/25/14 10:57am

Michael Keaton Forever: Birdman, Reviewed

Birdman doesn't have any right being as fantastic as it is. Structured around a gimmick—the whole movie is meant to look like one continuous shot—and featuring a potentially eye-rolling plot device (a has-been actor's personal and professional life comes crashing down on him in the days before his theoretical big… » 10/15/14 4:54pm 10/15/14 4:54pm

Bill Murray's Memes Now Outshine His Movies, And St. Vincent Won't Help

What was the last great Bill Murray performance? Maybe Broken Flowers from 2005? Lost in Translation from 2003? Nowadays, some of his best work—or at least the work that gets the most attention—is nowhere near the big screen. He shows up at bachelor parties. He crashes regular folks' engagement photos. He whips out » 10/14/14 10:37am 10/14/14 10:37am

Love, Actually: David Fincher's Dark, Thrilling Gone Girl, Reviewed

In early 2011, when David Fincher was getting ready to shoot The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo while in the midst of Oscars promotion for The Social Network, the director made a revealing comment about how he separates his work into two categories: "movies" and "films." To his mind, Fight Club and Zodiac were… » 10/01/14 2:43am 10/01/14 2:43am

André 3000 Channels Hendrix, Finds Himself In Jimi: All Is By My Side

In the early 2000s, OutKast seemed poised for world-conquering superstardom. But flush with the success of 1998's Aquemini and 2000's Stankonia (and hit singles like "Rosa Parks" and "Ms. Jackson"), the Atlanta hip-hop duo of André 3000 and Big Boi fractured instead. When the double-solo-album package … » 9/25/14 11:37am 9/25/14 11:37am

Denzel Washington Will Kick Your Ass Now: The Equalizer, Reviewed

1. I know we just talked about Liam Neeson around here, but I feel obliged to bring him back up, because suffice it to say, if Liam Neeson doesn't have the aforementioned late-career action-movie rebirth, there is no way The Equalizer exists. Ostensibly a big-screen reboot of the CBS crime procedural with Edward… » 9/23/14 4:31pm 9/23/14 4:31pm

The Badass-Action-Hero Rebirth Of Liam Neeson

Does anybody else remember when Liam Neeson was kind of a wimp? It might seem strange, now that he spends every movie beating up everyone in sight (and inspiring a particularly wonderful Key & Peele sketch: "He straight jacked up them wolves!"), but when Neeson was younger—and presumably stronger and better at… » 9/19/14 7:25pm 9/19/14 7:25pm

Family Futile: This Is Where I Leave You, Reviewed

This Is Where I Leave You feels like a social experiment in how much slack we're willing to cut a movie filled with actors we like. There's nothing particularly new or interesting in this umpteenth story about a family coming together after the death of one of their own, and yet the collective goodwill accrued by… » 9/17/14 2:00pm 9/17/14 2:00pm

Toronto Film Festival 2014: 10 Movies We Can't Wait To See

The Toronto Film Festival, which starts Thursday, is always excellent one-stop shopping for many of the major films hoping to crash the Oscar and best-of-the-year conversations. Beyond the world premieres, it also features the best of what played at Cannes, as well as plenty of films that already screened at the… » 9/03/14 7:57pm 9/03/14 7:57pm

The Best And Worst 2014 Summer Movies: A Grierson And Leitch Report

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If you ask the bean-counters, this was a disappointing summer: Almost every major sequel underperformed (Transformers: Age of Extinction, The Expendables 3, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 were all the lowest-grossing entries in their respective series), and there were some truly ugly flops, most notably for Seth… » 8/28/14 11:37am 8/28/14 11:37am

Stay Home: Four Great New Indie Movies, Available On Demand

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As we've mentioned in the past, Labor Day weekend is one of the worst on the Hollywood calendar. It's when studios dump their duds, knowing full well that everyone is too busy doing one last barbecue before summer ends. So rather than suffering through The November Man or As Above, So Below, why not treat yourself to… » 8/27/14 9:50am 8/27/14 9:50am

Film Noir For Dummies—Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Reviewed

1. The original Sin City movie felt so inventive and revolutionary in 2005 that it's not really fair to make fun of it for how poorly it holds up now ... but you can't help it. For all the loveliness of Frank Miller's compositions—and considering how lousy his co-director Robert Rodriguez's movies usually look, it's… » 8/22/14 2:37pm 8/22/14 2:37pm