May 10, 2012 In the second feature by Lebanese writer-director-star Nadine Labaki (Caramel), Christian and Muslim women in a Lebanese village try to keep the more impulsive and belligerent men from conflict. Critic Mark Jenkins says the well-meaning fable is ultimately more admirable than persuasive.
May 3, 2012 A documentary following water activists including Erin Brockovich focuses on industrial and agricultural pollution and the drying of the Southwest. Critic Mark Jenkins says the film has a weakness for cutesy touches, but serves as a decent introduction to water issues in the United States.
April 26, 2012 A journalist (Juliette Binoche) has an eye-opening experience when she profiles two university students who moonlight as prostitutes. Critic Mark Jenkins says the film's fragmented and revealing comparisons of the women's relative freedoms has contemporary relevance.
April 26, 2012 Filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal adapts a Margaret Atwood essay on the themes of debt — and revenge — on a global scale. Critic Mark Jenkins says the intriguing but scattershot film explores the incompatibility of two worldviews: corporate-financial vs. environmental-spiritual.
April 19, 2012 A lighthearted Disneynature documentary aimed at kids follows an orphaned chimp who is adopted by an older male. Critic Mark Jenkins says the Tim Allen-narrated film, even as a kids' movie, anthropomorphizes its animal subjects too much.
April 19, 2012 A documentary profiles the lives of prostitutes in Thailand, Bangladesh and Mexico, exploring how each culture shapes its sex industry. Critic Mark Jenkins says the movie aspires to an observational style, but the filmmakers' tactics may undermine the film's neutrality and the audience's trust.
April 12, 2012 A couple grows apart as they take different approaches to getting older — the husband (William Hurt) in denial and the wife (Isabella Rossellini) overeagerly adapting to their imminent 60s. Critic Mark Jenkins says the film seems muddled at times, but still earns some laughs and gentle smiles.
April 12, 2012 Set during the 1973 military coup that ousted Chile's president and installed Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship, the film follows a loner working in a hospital morgue. Critic Mark Jenkins says the dark drama about political and romantic desperation gains its strength from understatement.
April 5, 2012 When a newly elected pope insists he can't take the job, the Vatican scrambles to keep up appearances while reassuring its wavering pontiff. Critic Mark Jenkins says Italian director Nanni Moretti's film is a half-sweet, half-rueful existential drama in which satire is secondary. (Recommended)
April 5, 2012 Citing experts in ecology, economics and astrophysics, this documentary on environmental degradation delves into the question, "When does human advancement become more harmful than helpful?" Critic Mark Jenkins says the film's answers are unfocused — but provocative.
March 29, 2012 In a near future where human cloning is possible, a woman grieving the loss of her soul mate gives birth to his clone and raises him — with complications — as her son. Critic Mark Jenkins says despite the movie's provocative premise, the film is more melancholy than erotic.
March 22, 2012 An Indonesian SWAT team fights its way through a tenement to bust a drug lab. Critic Mark Jenkins says Gareth Evans' balletic choreography and masterful storytelling make this the most dynamic Asian action film since the '90s films of John Woo. (Recommended)
March 16, 2012 A documentary filmed by an American living in Japan chronicles the immediate aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Critic Mark Jenkins says the film doesn't reach for emotional complexity, but its well-meaning, sentimental approach fits its subject matter.
March 8, 2012 A new documentary follows Jiro Ono, regarded by many as the world's greatest sushi chef, and his three-star Michelin-rated restaurant in Tokyo. Critic Mark Jenkins says the meticulous film about work, family and ritual is a treat for sushi lovers.
March 8, 2012 The lives of two Talmudic scholars — one an embittered philologist, the other his more affable son — are changed when the father wins the prestigious Israel Prize. Critic Mark Jenkins says the academic drama carries the weight and pathos of an epic. (Recommended)