March 21, 2013 There was a time when foreign invasion was a huge American concern. Now is not that time — but you could have fooled the makers of the crass, jingoistic Olympus Has Fallen, a sharp retreat to an era of military-fueled paranoia.
March 21, 2013 As chipper and breezy as the summer term its students long to escape, the indie musical Hunky Dory cheerfully ignores the consequences of its plot holes. A spirited performance from Minnie Driver holds interest, though, as does a David Bowie-focused Shakespearean musical.
March 21, 2013 The Bronx and its graffiti artists get a cheery, charming portrait in writer-director Adam Leon's debut feature, Gimme the Loot. Echoing the films of Richard Linklater in its vibrant authenticity, the film captivates in an agreeable 81 minutes. (Recommended)
March 21, 2013 The authentic grit of modern London is a plus in Sally El Hosaini's debut feature, My Brother the Devil. What's less successful is her attempt to break storytelling conventions; a intriguing concept and a smart setup subside into familiar sibling-rival storytelling by the film's end.
March 21, 2013 A new comedy starring Tina Fey and Lily Tomlin levies barbs at overactive parents in the college application process. It's a lively satire until it careens into typical rom-com territory: Can't modern women have a successful work-life balance without going insane?
March 21, 2013 Harmony Korine's splashy crime comedy Spring Breakers has made headlines for its surprising, sexualized use of Disney-certified starlets. It packs a few surprises, but the violent, bloody film ultimately tries a little too hard to be truly avant-garde.
March 21, 2013 Director Janet Tobias frames an indelible story of two families living in Eastern European caves early in World War II; spelunker Christopher Nicola discovered the hideout more than two decades ago.
March 15, 2013 Cold War tensions and the sexual revolution artfully frame Sally Potter's thoughtful historical drama Ginger & Rosa. With plenty of room for its two young leads to stretch, the film takes a careful look at coming-of-age crises in a time of epic change.
March 15, 2013 Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers, Sally Potter's Ginger & Rosa and Cristian Mungiu's Beyond the Hills are wildly different films, yet they share a common impulse: to demonstrate indelibly how for girls, behaving outrageously is still a political act.
March 14, 2013 A bizarre mashup of different types of cinematic excess, The Call largely wastes its taut and tensely paced middle section with its stuffed and overtly explicit bookends. Already stretching disbelief, this film's sloppy storytelling wears thin long before the end.
March 14, 2013 The thoughtful, simple From Up on Poppy Hill is an ode to a quieter past in the midst of a rapidly developing Tokyo. Though it doesn't necessarily appeal to a youthful audience, the warm and quiet beauty of this animated import saves it from its overtly explicit thematic concerns.
March 14, 2013 There's a clever premise and some promising performances buried in this comedy-magic misfire. But those winning aspects are ultimately ruined by a mean-spirited movie that's too cruel for kids and too dull for most adults.
March 14, 2013 There's not much by way of new material in the PBS Masters documentary Phillip Roth: Unmasked. Still, the clever, controversial novelist proves to be a worthy subject for nearly 90 minutes of unfussy commentary. (Recommended)