July 26, 2012 Searching for Sugar Man tracks down Rodriguez, a '60s folk singer who unknowingly became an anti-apartheid icon in South Africa. Critic Ella Taylor says Rodriguez's fairy-tale resurgence is only part of the film's charm. The movie's biggest payoff comes from the mystery of his fame. (Recommended)
July 24, 2012 The directors of Little Miss Sunshine return with Ruby Sparks, the story of a stalled novelist (Paul Dano) who writes his dream woman (Zoe Kazan) into existence. Critic Ella Taylor says the script, written by Kazan, follows all expected tropes except one: the male fantasy of a pliant girl.
July 19, 2012 In The Well-Digger's Daughter, an irascible peasant is forced to confront changing times when his daughter unexpectedly becomes pregnant. Critic Ella Taylor says the film offers beautiful images of southern France — and a simple but wonderful tale of fall and redemption. (Recommended)
June 28, 2012 In People Like Us, Sam (Chris Pine) tracks down a sister he never knew existed (Elizabeth Banks) to deliver an inheritance from their late father. Critic Ella Taylor says the movie plays better than what one could expect from its premise, because of its appeal to our common hurts and fantasies.
June 26, 2012 Beasts of the Southern Wild tells the story of a young girl and her father in the wake of a catastrophic Louisiana storm. Critic Ella Taylor says mesmerizing visuals and an exhilarating performance by the film's young star propel this magic-realist allegory for Katrina. (Recommended)
June 21, 2012 Woody Allen assembles a variety of characters — American and Italian, young and old — to amble around Rome in his latest European film. Critic Ella Taylor says that, apart from a few goofy highlights, the movie is listless and predictably Allen-like in its heady preoccupations.
June 14, 2012 The Woman in the Fifth follows Tom (Ethan Hawke) as he travels to Paris to seek partial custody of his daughter and is drawn into the shadier corners of the City of Lights. Critic Ella Taylor finds little to recommend besides the movie's visual flair.
May 17, 2012 Two families united by marriage but divided by class are the focus of an intensely compelling slice of noir about moral rot and class warfare in post-Soviet Russia. Critic Ella Taylor says the film by director Andrey Zvyagintsev (The Return) smolders with existential unease.
May 10, 2012 In a black comedy taking aim at American popular culture, a middle-aged man with terminal cancer (Joel Murray) decides to kill lowlifes — including texting moviegoers and reality TV stars. Critic Ella Taylor says God Bless America is a one-trick pony, but delivers venomous cultural criticism.
May 3, 2012 A pack of cash-poor British elders ships out for India in hopes of one last stab at self-renewal in a supposedly glam hotel. Critic Ella Taylor says the ensemble comedy is likable enough, even when it wears its latent colonial instincts on its sleeve.
April 26, 2012 This documentary tracks the rise, fall and rebirth of the kibbutz movement that helped shape the fledgling state of Israel. Critic Ella Taylor says the film is a sympathetic but probing account of the collective communities. (Recommended)
April 19, 2012 Lawrence Kasdan (The Big Chill) directs another exploration of boomer-generation anxiety — this time centered on a family whose dog has gone missing. Critic Ella Taylor says the film is genially terrible, and its characters — while played by a cast of fine actors — are mostly one-dimensional.
April 12, 2012 Luc Besson directs a biopic of Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi (Michelle Yeoh), the pro-democracy dissident held under house arrest for many years by the government. Critic Ella Taylor says the film's glowing appraisal of Suu Kyi too often overlooks her flaws.
April 6, 2012 Known for tongue-in-cheek takes on the bourgeoisie in Metropolitan and Barcelona, the writer-director hasn't made a film in 13 years. Stillman talks about his new film Damsels in Distress, representing WASPs and the eccentric, and what he calls being "pointfully absurd."
March 15, 2012 A substitute teacher (Adrien Brody) drifting from classroom to classroom connects with students and teachers at an inner-city public high school. Critic Ella Taylor says director Tony Kaye's (American History X) passionately made drama unites lyrical beauty with an almost despairing realism.