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.
October 18, 2012 The French dramedy focuses on the challenges of aging in uncertain times. Critic Joel Arnold says warm performances from Jane Fonda and Pierre Richard imbue the film with both playfulness and rue.
October 18, 2012 In the latest outing for James Patterson's detective hero, Alex Cross reintroduces the titular character in the body of Tyler Perry. Critic Mark Jenkins says it's an odd hybrid of the goofy and the gruesome.
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 18, 2012 Ry Russo-Young and Girls creator Lena Dunham paint a mortifying picture of infidelity and emotional impulse control; Olivia Thirlby and John Krasinski anchor a cast of perfectly imperfect characters who show that the awkwardness of desire can linger long into adulthood.
October 18, 2012 Stephen Fung's steampunk kung fu action film Tai Chi Zero is every bit as playful as it is stylized. The plot, involving a fight against industrial expansion, is nothing new, but critic Mark Jenkins says it's a story purposefully told.
October 18, 2012 Carrie Preston's comedy That's What She Said, which stars Anne Heche, Marcia DeBonis and Alia Shawkat, aims to depict friendship between women. Critic Stephanie Zacharek says the film's stab at Sex and the City-style candor comes off as absurdity instead.
October 18, 2012 Denis Cote's quiet nature documentary does a lot of looking, with long, deliberate shots of animals and humans in a Canadian zoo. Sam Stander says the film's placid approach serves to explore the anxieties of spectatorship.
October 16, 2012 French director Leos Carax's first full-length feature in 10 years proclaims its love for the movies by dismantling the very elements that make them familiar. As critic Stephanie Zacharek explains, the less you know about conventional narrative cinema, the better the film is. (Recommended)