November 15, 2012 Joe Wright's adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's classic novel Anna Karenina is both visually stunning and lacquered with a thick coat of theatricality. Critic Ella Taylor says a lackluster performance by Keira Knightley is balanced by a fully committed performance by Jude Law as Anna's husband.
November 8, 2012 This year's foreign-film Oscar entry from Denmark is visually stunning and thematically timely; as critic Ella Taylor explains, the film shows that the road to autocracy is often paved with betrayal, scandal and gamesmanship. (Recommended)
November 1, 2012 Yaron Zilberman's A Late Quartet, which follows the internal collapse of a string quartet, goes down the all-too-familiar path of a work-family drama. But critic Ella Taylor praises the quiet performances from the film's seasoned stars, including Christopher Walken and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
October 25, 2012 In The Other Son, two families — one Jewish, the other Palestinian — discover that their sons were switched at birth, raising questions of identity and familial bonds. As Ella Taylor explains, the film evokes the burden and intensity of its sometimes violent, always strained surroundings.
October 18, 2012 The Sessions is based on the story of Mark O'Brien, a disabled man who used a sex surrogate to achieve intimacy for the first time. Director Ben Lewin's own experience with a disabling disease informs a sensitive look at the issues at hand. (Recommended)
October 11, 2012 Simon and the Oaks is a Swedish drama with the Holocaust lurking in the background. Christophe Barratier's family film War of the Buttons plays out in Vichy France. Critic Ella Taylor considers two stories that acknowledge Nazi complicity but don't quite come to terms with it.
October 9, 2012 Filmmaker Andrea Arnold has seen no lack of accolades for her previous work, especially her 2006 directorial debut, Red Road. She discussed the challenges and rewards of her latest undertaking, a new adaptation of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights.
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.