December 6, 2012 In Playing for Keeps, Gerard Butler plays a soccer star who begins coaching his young son's team, only to reconnect with his ex-wife and other soccer moms. Critic Mark Jenkins says the supporting cast is relegated to the realm of caricature while the film's tone is dated at best.
December 6, 2012 Donald Rice's Cheerful Weather for the Wedding calls upon the style and period — and even an actress — from the popular TV drama Downton Abbey. Critic Ian Buckwalter says an unbalanced script makes the central romance seem as inconsequential as the weather.
December 6, 2012 Academy Award-winning director Stefan Ruzowitzky's Deadfall follows criminal siblings as they flee to the Canadian border. Critic Mark Jenkins says it's a survival parable about a gaggle of eccentrics with serious daddy issues.
December 6, 2012 Written by an American and directed by a Brit, Hyde Park on Hudson reflects the relationship between the two countries in both plot and production. Critic Ella Taylor says Bill Murray makes a fine FDR, and the film does justice to history's little details. (Recommended)
December 6, 2012 Stephen Frears' Lay the Favorite explores the world of Las Vegas gambling operations through the eyes of a wide-eyed newcomer. Critic Scott Tobias says leading lady Rebecca Hall is a live wire unable to spark her dull surroundings and a wan supporting cast.
December 6, 2012 In The Fitzgerald Family Christmas, actor-director Edward Burns revisits the well-worn holiday trope that has someone unexpected showing up for the feast. Critic Stephanie Zacharek says that with its mounting complications, the film tries to cram too much into its 99 minutes.
December 6, 2012 Actor Stephen Fry explores the life of his favorite composer, Richard Wagner, in Wagner & Me. While Fry doesn't shy away from Wagner's anti-Semitism or the Nazis' appropriation of his music, critic Stephanie Zacharek says a wider perspective on the man's life is the heart of the film. (Recommended)
December 4, 2012 Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut centers on a retirement community for aging opera musicians and the relationships that have carried into their golden years. Critic Ella Taylor says a prestige cast of British actors and actual retired opera stars calls forth the sense of nostalgia the movie aims for.
November 29, 2012 The South African film Otelo Burning tells the story of black teenagers who escape the world of apartheid by learning to surf. Critic Joel Arnold says the film presents its characters with a choice between hoping for the impossible and accepting the unfortunate.
November 29, 2012 As a wiseguy charged with enforcing the rules after a couple of two-bit hoods knock over a mob-run card game, the actor wears his character's back story on the inside — which is where it belongs.
November 29, 2012 Robert Carlyle (Heroes, Once Upon a Time) plays a past-his-prime guitarist whose dissolution deepens when a DUI arrest raises the possibility of deportation. Critic Ella Taylor says it's a modest but satisfying story of self-destruction and redemption.
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.