November 1, 2012 Director Robert Zameckis returns to live action with Flight, about an alcoholic pilot who faces disaster of every kind. Critic Scott Tobias says the film situates its audience in a gray area, making it hard to point the finger of blame at any character. (Recommended)
November 1, 2012 Italian director Paolo Sorrentino's first English-language film, This Must Be the Place, stars Sean Penn as a Goth rocker trying to settle his dead father's scores. Critic Mark Jenkins says the film is an eccentric showcase for the idea that even adults have a lot of growing up to do.
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.
November 1, 2012 Wreck-It Ralph, from the creative forces at Disney-Pixar, constructs a multidimensional behind-the-scenes world of arcade games. Critic Scott Tobias says the misfit characters are the perfect vehicles for the message that even the biggest of "wrecks" can find a place to fit in. (Recommended)
October 26, 2012 A combined effort from the Wachowski siblings and Tom Tykwer, Cloud Atlas adapts David Mitchell's seemingly unfilmable novel. NPR critic Bob Mondello explains that despite its all-star cast, which includes Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, the film highlights the downside to making the literary literal.
October 26, 2012 David Mitchell's exquisite novel Cloud Atlas has been adapted for the screen by the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer. The film is never dull, but critic David Edelstein found that unlike the book, the film fails in its attempt to tie six distinct stories together.
October 25, 2012 Unlike his [REC] films, Jaume Balaguero's Sleep Tight is designed as a sophisticated thriller rather than a jolting found-footage horror. Critic Jeannette Catsoulis describes a film whose villain's twisted need for control comes directly from the nightmares of every modern urbanite. (Recommended)
October 25, 2012 Pusher, Luis Prieto's remake of a 1996 Danish film, is a typical crime drama about a drug deal gone bad in almost every way. Joel Arnold believes the film's passive hero embodies the title literally but not metaphorically, getting pushed through his life of crime instead of forging his own path.
October 25, 2012 The first directing credit for Josh Schwartz, creator of The O.C., is not a typical 'tween comedy. Critic Stephanie Zacharek says the film and its charming cast have just enough fun and good nature to be enjoyed by kids and their parents alike.
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 25, 2012 The Loneliest Planet explores the line between romantic playfulness and the maturity fostered by shared crisis. As Mark Jenkins explains, the film's subtle approach to themes of trust and masculinity lend it ambiguity and quiet power.
October 25, 2012 Josh Aronson's exhaustive documentary Orchestra of Exiles follows a violinist in the 1930s who moved more than 1,000 Jews to Palestine to start an orchestra. However, as Mark Jenkins explains, the film favors the stodgy over the colorful, dragging the audience through an ossified history lesson.
October 25, 2012 Sassy Pants follows a teenager's fight to establish her identity when she leaves her overbearing mother to live with her father and his boyfriend. Critic Ian Buckwalter says the characters make the film hard to dislike, but it tells her coming-of-age story with a heavy hand.
October 19, 2012 Writer Mark O'Brien spent most of his life in an iron lung. He was the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary, and now his story is told again in the semi-fictionalized feature The Sessions. Critic David Edelstein reviews the story of how one man lost his virginity — and found out how to love.