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.
March 22, 2013 This macho action film starring Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman is a vigilante fantasy about terrorists and turncoats invading the United States. It's a popular genre, but critic David Edelstein says he's tired of the American addiction to these tropes.
March 15, 2013 Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers, Sally Potter's Ginger & Rosa and Cristian Mungiu's Beyond the Hills are wildly different films, yet they share a common impulse: to demonstrate indelibly how for girls, behaving outrageously is still a political act.
March 8, 2013 There are three reasons to see this prequel to the classic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz: the trio of witches played by Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams. But James Franco, who stars as the wizard-in-the-making, disappoints — and the film as a whole is a bit snoozy.
March 1, 2013 The film is ripe with a creepy-crawly feel that would be affecting if the tone weren't so arch. Directed by Park Chan-wook, written by Wentworth Miller and starring Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska and Matthew Goode, Stoker is a vile little chamber horror, says critic David Edelstein.
February 1, 2013 The Oscar-nominated documentary directed by Dror Moreh is not a defense of Israeli security policy, but a critique. The six Shin Bet heads Moreh interviews may believe in the tactics they devised, but it's the overall strategy they think is flawed.
December 14, 2012 Kathryn Bigelow's film tells the story of the U.S. hunt for the mastermind behind the Sept. 11 attacks. Critic David Edelstein says the film presents itself as a work of journalism, but that that there's no doubting its perspective: It's the story of America's "brilliant, righteous revenge."
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.