November 29, 2012 The Collection, a sequel to 2009's The Collector, dives back into the world of a serial killer and his growing body count. Critic Ian Buckwalter says it's self-aware of the genre's indulgences — and unlike in most horror franchises, the open ending is its strongest feature.
November 29, 2012 Director Peter Ho-Sun Chan is better known for romantic comedies than for action movies. Critic Mark Jenkins says his film Dragon reflects multiple influences — from classic kung fu to Guy Richie's Sherlock Holmes — that come together to create an eye-catching mood piece.
November 22, 2012 Rise of the Guardians is based on the William Joyce book series The Guardians of Childhood. Critic Stephanie Zacharek says that on the big screen, the story of Santa Claus and other mythical figures saving the world's children is too cluttered and manic to be truly enjoyed.
November 22, 2012 Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon document the wrongful 1989 rape conviction of a group of teens in The Central Park Five. Critic Mark Jenkins says the directors' careful consideration of the topic sheds light on racism and the state of the criminal-justice system. (Recommended)
November 22, 2012 Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts star in a richly romantic adaptation of Rust and Bone, about an underemployed single father and a marine-mammals trainer who has suffered a tragedy. (Recommended)
November 22, 2012 Sacha Gervasi's Hitchcock contemplates the relationship between Alfred Hitchcock and his wife, Alma Reville, during the making of Psycho. Critic Ella Taylor says Anthony Hopkins' turn as the famous director falls flat, while the film adds little new insight into the story.
November 20, 2012 Rose Bosch's docudrama, La Rafle, recounts the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup in Paris, in which 13,000 Jews were sent to detention camps. Critic Joel Arnold says that although the film is compelling, it stretches the docudrama format nearly to the breaking point.
November 20, 2012 Dan Bradley's remake of 1984's Red Dawn retells a story of high schoolers fighting off communist invaders. Critic Mark Jenkins says the new version suffers the same fate as many reboots, lacking weight and coming off as an inadvertently comic misfire.
November 16, 2012 Cinematic adaptations of beloved literary tales are nothing new. Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina is no stranger to the adaptation process, and newcomer Silver Linings Playbook enters the romantic comedy game. NPR critic Bob Mondello has his review of both.
November 16, 2012 David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook stars Bradley Cooper as a bipolar high school teacher trying to put his life back together. But critic David Edelstein says it's the performance of co-star Jennifer Lawrence that makes the film a hot ticket.
November 15, 2012 Todd Kellstein's documentary follows two 8-year-old Muay Thai boxers, providing insight into the lives of Thailand's 30,000 child fighters. Critic Mark Jenkins says the adults surrounding them — and the film itself — take an apathetic view of the issue.
November 15, 2012 David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook refuses to pretty up the topic of mental illness. The film, which stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, follows a teacher on the upside of a breakdown. Critic Stephanie Zacharek says the cast makes an extraordinary plot entirely believable.
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.