July 26, 2013 Blue Jasmine finds the filmmaker stuck in old ruts; though his technique is as sound as ever, his worldview seems to have congealed decades ago. Cate Blanchett, Sally Hawkins and Alec Baldwin star in a story inspired by Bernie Madoff and Blanche DuBois.
July 19, 2013 Two new documentaries are making headlines. Gabriela Cowperthwaite's Blackfish centers on the whale that killed a trainer before an Orlando SeaWorld audience in 2010. The Act of Killing by human rights researcher Josh Oppenheimer, looks at the mass executions of communists in Indonesia in the 1960s.
June 27, 2013 Pedro Almodovar's ensemble comedy I'm So Excited is set on an airplane with mechanical problems; Neil Jordan's Byzantium centers on a pair of itinerant English vampires. The two films couldn't be more different, but the two filmmakers are very much in command of their craft.
June 14, 2013 Sandwiched into Joss Whedon's busy schedule of TV series and big-screen features was an unexpected low-budget adaptation of Shakespeare's comedy Much Ado About Nothing — shot in black and white. Film critic David Edelstein says it's a delight. (Recommended)
May 31, 2013 The East is a romantic activist outlaw fantasy in which Brit Marling plays an agent who poses as a radical activist to catch an eco-terrorist group. It's one of those melodramas in which someone on the morally wrong side has a spasm of conscience and maybe crosses over. Maybe.
May 24, 2013 The Truffaut borrowings are explicit in Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha, while Richard Linklater's Before Midnight takes its cues from Eric Rohmer's gentle but expansive talkfests. In both films, conversation is a centerpiece as characters navigate relationships.
May 3, 2013 Director and co-writer Shane Black kicks Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr., out of his comfort zone — a choice that has Stark functioning as a lone gumshoe, thinking like a garage mechanic and, when necessary, straight-up MacGyvering a fix.
May 1, 2013 Jeff Nichols and Ramin Bahrani made names with small, low-budget movies: Nichols with Take Shelter and Bahrani with Man Push Cart. Both have now directed big-budget films with big stars: Nichols' Mud features Matthew McConaughey, and Bahrani's At Any Price stars Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron.
April 12, 2013 The director's latest cinematic meditation on the meaning of life stars Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Olga Kurylenko and Javier Bardem and revolves around the question of how we might locate the presence of God in the everyday and how we can accommodate ourselves to our expulsion from the Garden.
April 9, 2013 P.J. Hogan's new movie is madder than madcap, a zany, nonconformist boundary-pusher whose offbeat manner makes for a rich and grounded film. Toni Collette plays the part of a modern-day Maria von Trapp as if she has nothing to lose — and Anthony LaPaglia shows his true Aussie accent.