April 5, 2012 Documentarian Morgan Spurlock profiles the San Diego Comic-Con through the eyes of a comics illustrator, designer, dealer and fan. Critic Scott Tobias says the usually snarky Spurlock delivers a brisk and cheery overview — sweet but superfluous.
March 29, 2012 A small-town bouncer is recruited as a minor league hockey enforcer in a sweet and bloody comedy throwback to sports movies of the 1970s. Critic Scott Tobias says star Sean William Scott (Role Models) has found his Hamlet with a masterful comic performance as the affable, dimwitted goon.
March 23, 2012 Writer-director Abel Ferrara rejects the trend of grand apocalyptic visions by showing the end of the world from the vantage of a Manhattan loft. Critic Scott Tobias says focusing on the personal drama of a couple awaiting the end is a smart choice — but one wasted on this film's dysfunctional characters.
March 15, 2012 A high school English teacher (Nicholas Cage) makes a shady deal with a vigilante organization to assassinate his wife's rapist. Critic Scott Tobias says the ludicrous and wildly implausible plot that follows is barely rescued by action set pieces evocative of '70s paranoia thrillers.
March 13, 2012 Based on a best-selling novel, and starring Francois Damiens and Amelie's Audrey Tautou, this French romance blends whimsy and heartache in the story of a bereaved woman finding her way toward love again.
February 16, 2012 Belgium's Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language Film is a noir thriller exploring the brutal underbelly of the cattle industry — and an intense character study of an aggressive, troubled farmer who is shooting up for his own reasons.
February 2, 2012 A hotheaded ex-soldier with a troubled family life gets embroiled in a series of mysterious events when he accepts contracts to assassinate three strangers. Critic Scott Tobias says the unnerving film shows considerable brilliance — before it goes roaring off the rails.
January 19, 2012 Documentarian Frederick Wiseman trains his cinema-verite lens on Paris' famous cabaret. Critic Scott Tobias says the film is more than mere surveillance; it's art.
January 12, 2012 Director Baltasar Kormakur (101 Reykjavik) delivers a heist movie that's largely underwhelming — though its plot can be diverting once it finally ambles into motion.
December 28, 2011 It's been a great year for documentary films — and the best of the bunch succeeded because they challenged the norms of the form.
December 8, 2011 Filmed over the course of 12 years, Ian Palmer's documentary looks at the bare-knuckle boxing tradition of Ireland's Traveller minority, with particular attention to one longstanding family feud.
December 1, 2011 Takeshi Kitano returns to the gangster genre with this elaborately plotted tale about a gruesome grudge match among rival clans.
November 16, 2011 After a move to a new neighborhood, a short-haired 10-year-old decides on impulse to introduce herself as Michael — and thereby charts a surprising summer for herself and her new friends. (Recommended)
November 10, 2011 Like a Francophone version of The West Wing — but centered on real-life figures — this Gallic drama tracks President Nicolas Sarkozy as he maneuvers and manipulates his way to the top.
November 3, 2011 In a little-guys-get-theirs-back caper, Eddie Murphy's fast-talking crook recalls the rough-edged '80s performances that made him a star.