September 4, 2012 A new documentary follows a modeling agent and his scout, former model Ashley Arbaugh, as they export young Russian girls to Tokyo to participate in a cutthroat, underpaid modeling industry.
August 30, 2012 Newest in a recent string of male-directed, female-written raunch comedies, For a Good Time, Call ... follows initially mismatched roommates who bond over a phone-sex business venture. Critic Ella Taylor says it presents a curious twist on how people express love.
August 23, 2012 The documentary Somewhere Between chronicles three years in the lives of four young American women, all adopted, all Chinese by birth. Critic Ella Taylor says the film is a warm-hearted vehicle that lets the teenagers speak for themselves.
August 21, 2012 Mads Matthiesen's Teddy Bear, starring real-life bodybuilder Kim Kold, mixes fairytale tropes and tender non-professional performances to tell the story of Dennis, a stunted mother's boy who flees home looking for love. He ventures to Thailand, where he finds kindred souls. (Recommended)
August 16, 2012 Phil Dorling and Ron Nyswaner's new dramedy, expanded from a Sundance short, introduces troubled characters but refuses to follow through and make them deal believably with their demons.
August 9, 2012 The Green Wave documents the protests that gripped Iran in 2009 and helped inspire the Arab Spring, only to fall victim to violent government crackdown. Critic Ella Taylor says the film overcomes a lack of traditional reporting to show Iran's brutal internal battle for democracy. (Recommended)
August 2, 2012 Fernando Meirelles brings together an international ensemble cast in a film that links the lives of malcontents in modern Europe. Critic Ella Taylor says that it is hard to relate with the movie's unrelentingly dour conceit, which also does not suit Meirelles' frenetic visual style.
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.