David EdelsteinDavid Edelstein is a film critic for New York magazine and for NPR's Fresh Air, and an occasional commentator on film for CBS Sunday Morning.
Part creation epic and part family drama, The Tree of Life stars Jessica Chastain and Brad Pitt as the parents of three boys in the '50s. Critic David Edelstein says Terrence Malick's film is self-indulgent — but that some selves are better indulged than others.
Merie Wallace/Fox Searchlight Pictures
Owen Wilson, playing the time-traveling hero Gil, wants to write novels instead of movies, much to the horror of his fiancee Inez, played by Rachel McAdams.
Roger Arpajou/Sony Picture Classics
Melissa McCarthy (from left), Wendi McLendon-Covey, Rose Byrne, Ellie Kemper and Kristen Wiig play bridesmaids in Maya Rudolph's wedding. David Edelstein says the movie is a terrific vehicle for Wiig.
Suzanne Hanover/Universal Pictures
Anton Yelchin (left) and Mel Gibson each confront their own demons in Jodie Foster's dark comedy The Beaver. Yelchin, who plays Gibson's son, uses conventional psychotherapy, while Gibson — playing a despondent business owner — uses a hand puppet.
Ken Regan/Summit Entertainment
Melissa Desormeaux-Poulin plays Jeanne Marwan, a math instructor who goes on a grim scavenger hunt to piece together her mother's life, in director Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of the play Incendies by Quebec writer Wajdi Mouawad.
Sabrik Hakeem/Sony Pictures Classics
Robin Wright plays Mary Surratt with a sense of "essential decency," says movie critic David Edelstein. Wright stars in Robert Redford's movie about the real-life trial of the woman who ran the Washington boarding house where John Wilkes Booth regularly stayed.
Claudette Barius/Claudette Barius/Roadside Attractions
Rated X-tra-naughty: Natalie Portman, Danny McBride, James Franco and Zooey Deschanel star in a medieval sword-and-sorcery spoof that strays often into beyond-kinky territory — and plays it so resolutely straight that the profane seems downright divine.
Frank Connor/Universal Pictures
Win Win questions just how far small-town lawyer and high school wrestling coach Mike Flaherty (Paul Giamatti, left) will go to ensure a winning team. He has taken in a client's grandson (Alex Shaffer) — a talented but troubled teen.
Kimberly Wright/Fox Searchlight
In Abbas Kiarostami's Certified Copy, Juliette Binoche plays a gallery owner who pretends a British author, played by William Shimell, is her husband for an afternoon. "If you love the idea that our relationships are fluid, the movie will ping-pong around your mind for days," says David Edelstein.
The monks' decision to remain in Algeria leads to their eventual kidnapping and murder, but director Xavier Beauvois wisely focuses on what preceded their faith-based sacrifice.
Sony Pictures Classics
When Jason Sudeikis (left) and Owen Wilson get a free pass to cheat, they start by going to Applebee's — not exactly known as a watering hole for singles.
Peter Iovino/Warner Bros. Pictures
After Martin takes a cab driven by Gina (Diane Kruger), things go awry. Martin wakes up four days later — in a hospital — and finds no one has been looking for him.
Jay Maidment/Warner Bros. Pictures