October 4, 2012 Julian Farino's dramedy The Oranges is another riff on the cataclysmic holiday weekend — but critic Ella Taylor says the film's ensemble cast and its lack of cynicism bring freshness to a genre that can feel as stale as a fruitcake. (Recommended)
September 26, 2012 Writer-director Daniel Barnz aims to convey the idealism of a community fighting for its children's education. Critic Ella Taylor believes that the film is better described as a propaganda piece focused more on pointing fingers than offering believable solutions.
September 20, 2012 David France's meticulous documentary chronicles the anti-AIDS movement ACT UP, profiling the activists who forced the government and the medical establishment to respond. (Recommended)
September 20, 2012 Inspired by a real-life "pregnancy pact" story, writer-directors Delphine and Muriel Coulin explore the idea that all teens share a desire for control, but have trouble imagining outcomes and consequences.
September 13, 2012 Paul Thomas Anderson's film offers a study of the American psyche and the search for meaning after World War II. NPR critic Ella Taylor says the film, which draws inspiration in part from the life of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, will not be easily forgotten by its audience. (Recommended)
September 6, 2012 In the directorial debut of screenwriters Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal, sensitive author Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper) stumbles upon a manuscript and passes it off as his own. The success that follows is tempered by an encounter with the real author.
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.