December 13, 2012 A documentary from Liz Garbus, Love, Marilyn is a love letter to the legacy of Marilyn Monroe. Critic Stephanie Zacharek says the film's heartfelt message and the performers reading the icon's words take a back seat to her ever-present specter.
December 13, 2012 Any Day Now, set against the backdrop of the 1970s, tells the story of a gay couple's fight to adopt a neglected boy with Down syndrome. Director Travis Fine's film lacks technical polish, but critic Ella Taylor says the story's heart makes up for most of its faults.
December 13, 2012 In The Girl, a troubled single mother must care for a young Mexican girl — despite her inability to care for her own child. Critic Jeannette Catsoulis says the lead performances from Abbie Cornish and newcomer Maritza Santiago Hernandez carry a rare and touching emotional weight. (Recommended)
December 13, 2012 Lizzy Caplan stars in the romantic comedy Save the Date, which despite a solid supporting performance from Alison Brie, is too dull to be a star vehicle for an outstanding actress whose body of work hasn't brought her the limelight she deserves.
December 13, 2012 Peter Jackson takes his audience back to Middle-earth in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, set in a time before the Lord of the Rings films. NPR's Bob Mondello says that where the Rings films struggled with what to omit, The Hobbit labors to justify its three-hour running time.
December 11, 2012 Chris Sullivan's debut animated feature, Consuming Spirits, deploys multiple styles to convey a surreal, semi-autobiographical portrait of life in a small Appalachian town. Critic Ian Buckwalter praises the film's emotional rawness as a labor of love on the part of the filmmaker. (Recommended)
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 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 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)