October 4, 2012 Ursula Meier's film about Swiss siblings trying to make ends meet explores themes seen in her earlier work. As critic Mark Jenkins explains, the performances in the film help deliver a portrait of the challenges facing those in poverty, struggling to survive while others live in excess.
October 4, 2012 Eugene Jarecki's The House I Live In paints a contemporary portrait of the "war on drugs." Critic Mark Jenkins says the film excels at portraying the personal through firsthand accounts and commentary but leaves some questions untouched.
September 27, 2012 Hong Kong cinema's wild man, director Pang Ho-Cheung, brings his eye for the unconventional to his movie-biz satire. Critic Mark Jenkins explains that while some of the Cantonese slang may be lost on an American audience, bawdy jokes share a universal language.
September 20, 2012 Writer-director Stephen Chbosky adapts his 1999 novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, into a film about loss, friendship and sexuality. Critic Mark Jenkins says that the film conveys the realization that being an outcast doesn't mean being alone.
September 20, 2012 Robert Lorenz's directorial debut, Trouble with the Curve, pits new against old on the most American of battlegrounds: the baseball field. Critic Mark Jenkins says the film's unfussy sensibility does justice to its exploration of family, purpose and love of the game.
September 13, 2012 The second acting-directing-writing effort from How I Met Your Mother's Josh Radnor explores the relationship between an aimless 35-year-old and an artsy college student (Elizabeth Olsen). Critic Mark Jenkins says the relationship is vexing and mildly painful at best.
September 6, 2012 So Yong Kim's film follows a misanthropic rocker (Paul Dano) going through a divorce and encountering his 6-year-old daughter. Improvised dialogue and on-location shootings provide a bleak realism, but the film doesn't do much with character, says critic Mark Jenkins.
August 28, 2012 Filmmaker Mads Brugger went to the Central African Republic to document rampant corruption in the capital, flourishing the credentials of a Liberian diplomat to connect with government officials and angling to buy "blood diamonds" to smuggle out of the country.
August 23, 2012 In Little White Lies, Guillaume Canet's follow-up to his arthouse thriller Tell No One, a group of romantically beleaguered friends takes its annual retreat together. Unsubtly indebted to The Big Chill, the movie leans heavily on cliche and nostalgia.
August 16, 2012 Beloved, Christophe Honore's second movie-musical venture, spans decades and encompasses the lives of a mother and daughter and their various paramours. The plot touches on serious issues, while the soundtrack co-opts British pop music, and the whole affair is enormous fun.
August 16, 2012 The creators of Persepolis return with a live-action fable about an Iranian violinist who wills himself to die — and the heartbreaks that drive him to it. (Recommended)
August 9, 2012 The Bourne Legacy, the fourth film in the action franchise, connects back to previous installments but introduces a new hero, Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner). Critic Mark Jenkins says surface changes don't alter the consistency between the films when it comes to style and plotting.
August 2, 2012 Total Recall, a remake of the 1990 sci-fi film, stars Colin Farrell as a man who learns of a past life when he begins to have recurring dreams of an alternate existence. Critic Mark Jenkins says the film empties the scenario of any intelligent thoughts in favor of continuous, mindless action.
July 26, 2012 Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry covers the noted Chinese artist's battle against the authorities in Beijing. The film is not a comprehensive study of Ai's art, says critic Mark Jenkins, but it is undoubtedly a portrait of a brave eccentric who knows the power of looking larger than life on screen. (Recommended)
July 19, 2012 In a remake of a 1960s Japanese classic, a samurai asks permission to perform suicide at the estate of a wealthy man — though in fact he's planning to avenge the death of another samurai. Critic Mark Jenkins says the film doesn't outdo the original, but holds its own at second place.