December 6, 2012 In The Fitzgerald Family Christmas, actor-director Edward Burns revisits the well-worn holiday trope that has someone unexpected showing up for the feast. Critic Stephanie Zacharek says that with its mounting complications, the film tries to cram too much into its 99 minutes.
December 6, 2012 Stephen Frears' Lay the Favorite explores the world of Las Vegas gambling operations through the eyes of a wide-eyed newcomer. Critic Scott Tobias says leading lady Rebecca Hall is a live wire unable to spark her dull surroundings and a wan supporting cast.
December 6, 2012 Donald Rice's Cheerful Weather for the Wedding calls upon the style and period — and even an actress — from the popular TV drama Downton Abbey. Critic Ian Buckwalter says an unbalanced script makes the central romance seem as inconsequential as the weather.
December 6, 2012 In Playing for Keeps, Gerard Butler plays a soccer star who begins coaching his young son's team, only to reconnect with his ex-wife and other soccer moms. Critic Mark Jenkins says the supporting cast is relegated to the realm of caricature while the film's tone is dated at best.
December 6, 2012 Academy Award-winning director Stefan Ruzowitzky's Deadfall follows criminal siblings as they flee to the Canadian border. Critic Mark Jenkins says it's a survival parable about a gaggle of eccentrics with serious daddy issues.
December 6, 2012 Listener Laurie Pavlos tried re-creating her great-grandmother's "jumble" cookie recipe — transcribed by her great-grandfather in 1914 — with little success. So she turned to the Lost Recipe project, and got some help re-creating the molasses-rich cookie from cookbook author Nancy Baggett.
December 6, 2012 Judd Apatow draws on his own experiences as a husband and father in a new comedy that explores the ups and downs of family life. The film stays close to home, literally and figuratively. It stars his wife, Leslie Mann, as well as their two daughters, and was filmed a few doors down from his house.
December 6, 2012 To bring the past to life and make it matter, historical fiction must do more than conjure up an exotic backdrop for a conventional story. These six books challenge our preconceptions and help show how the past shaped the world we live in today.
December 5, 2012 The Pritzker Prize-winning architect was known for some of the world's most famous modernist buildings, including Brasilia's crown-shaped cathedral. He was 104.
December 5, 2012 Television has made enormous strides toward respectability and seriousness in the last 15 years or so, but it's gotten addicted to bloody violence.
December 5, 2012 Reformers of the 19th century warned that taking a tea break would steer Irish peasant women to thoughts of revolution. The warnings largely went unheeded. Still, it gives us pause to think about our modern-day food obsessions and how they might look to others in the future.
December 5, 2012 When it was released 32 years ago, Michael Cimino's revisionist Western was considered one of the most colossal flops in Hollywood history. Critic John Powers takes a second look at the film and concludes that it's clearly "the work of one man and ... he wanted you to remember it forever."
December 5, 2012 The new album It's Okay To Do Stuff pays tribute — sort of — to the 40-year-old Free To Be ... You And Me.
December 5, 2012 Jimmy Fallon, The Roots, and Mariah Carey perform a stripped-down holiday standard.
December 5, 2012 Lois Duncan's 1979 novel, Daughters of Eve, takes revenge to a whole new level. Author Mary Stewart Atwell explains why this classic novel is still relevant. Do you have a favorite story of revenge that goes too far? Tell us in the comments.