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Review: I Am

The "new" Shadyac is still a Hollywood hack
Tom Shadyac found a perfect nest for his low-watt-lightbulb sensibility in today's Hollywood, where he helmed a series of blockbuster comedies that ranged in quality from the passably silly ( Ace Ventura: Pet Detective ) to the unforgivably execrable ( Patch Adams ).
By: GERALD PEARY  |  March 31, 2011


Review: Orgasm Inc.: The Strange Science of Female Pleasure

Is "female sexual dysfuction" real?
For nine years, Vermont-based filmmaker Liz Canner raced around the country with her camera doing research and interviews for this exemplary, absorbing, muckraking documentary.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  March 25, 2011


Review: Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune

Powerful rock doc about America's seminal protest rocker
Ken Bowser's film biography of a seminal American protest singer of the '60s and '70s is conventionally told but also informative and moving.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  March 10, 2011


Review: Even the Rain

Movie-within-a-movie is almost a first-rate political drama
The first hour of Icíar Bollaín's film, which was written by Ken Loach's perennial screenwriter, Paul Laverty, is a first-rate political drama.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  March 02, 2011


Review: The Housemaid

Korean remake fuses art and soft-core thrills in steamy class drama
In Kim Ki-young's 1960 original, one of the all-time South Korean classics, the title housemaid was a psychopathic femme fatale wrecking the lives of her employers, a composer and his hard-working wife
By: GERALD PEARY  |  February 16, 2011


Among the Oscar shorts, documentaries take the prize

Truth is better than fiction.
The winter blahs are over. The first great cinema treat of 2011: the five surprisingly superb documentary shorts vying for an Academy Award, opening this Friday as "2011 Documentary Oscar Shorts" at the Coolidge Corner Theatre.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  February 24, 2011


Review: Williams S. Burroughs: A Man Within

Prime footage
Fairly disorganized in the telling and rather impersonally told by filmmaker Yony Leyser, this documentary biography of the stone-faced Beat author of The Naked Lunch is still worth seeing.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  February 02, 2011


Review: Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today

A 35mm restoration of a historic artifact
For those whose knowledge comes filtered through Judgment at Nuremberg , the packed-with-stars 1961 Hollywood extravaganza, here is the somber actuality.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  January 27, 2011


Review: Blue Valentine

Valentine daze: Tough love gets explored in the time-hopping Blue Valentine
Look to the sky above Scranton, Pennsylvania. There's a rainbow nestling among the downtown buildings as, below, a city bus crosses in traffic. Can we assume it's conferring a benediction on the young man and woman who, moments later, meet adorably on that very bus and, despite her suspicions, embark on a torrid romance?
By: GERALD PEARY  |  February 24, 2011


Review: The Legend of Pale Male

Strictly for the birdwatchers
Strictly for the birdwatchers
By: GERALD PEARY  |  December 22, 2010


Review: Bhutto

The story of an extraordinarily compelling leader — who just might have been behind the assassination of her brother.
The story of an extraordinarily compelling leader — who just might have been behind the assassination of her brother.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  December 15, 2010


Review: Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench

The little Boston movie that could
The little Boston movie that could
By: GERALD PEARY  |  December 15, 2010


Review: Queen of the Lot

Tanna Frederick not so irritating this time
Josef von Sternberg had Marlene Dietrich. George Cukor had Katharine Hepburn. Henry Jaglom has, uh, Tanna Frederick.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  December 08, 2010


Review: Budrus

A direct doc on the Palestine/Israel conflict
Simply shot and straightforward in its argument, this film from Brazilian documentarian Julia Bacha is an agitprop rallying cry for Palestinians living in the West Bank's Occupied Territories.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  December 01, 2010


Review: Waste Land

A socially-conscious humanizing of trash collectors
Vik Muniz, a well-regarded Brazilian artist living in New York, is a socially conscious individual, and his photography-based œuvre celebrates the forgotten poor of Central and South America, with much of the profits being returned to the impoverished subjects of his artistry.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  February 24, 2011


Review: Tibet in Song

A musical travelogue with some teeth
A musical travelogue with some teeth
By: GERALD PEARY  |  November 11, 2010


Review: Ne Change Rien

Jeanne Balibar is a formidable talent
The shadowy, low-key lighting is Wellesian, the fetishist close-ups are Sternbergian.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  November 03, 2010


Review: Monsters

Gareth Edwards' low-budget allegory feels familiar
Aliens have crashed in Mexico, and the US government builds a wall to stop them, and the Mexican police are out to destroy them.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  November 03, 2010


Review: Kuroneko

Poe meets Oedipus Rex, in glorious Nippon
In Kaneto Shindô's 1968 baroque Japanese period piece, samurai run wild as ignoble marauders.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  October 26, 2010


Review: White Wedding

Will black and white be allowed to kiss?
Jann Turner, an NYU film grad and a well-regarded novelist, co-wrote and directed this pleasant, intentionally lightweight, South African road-movie romance with a sly integrationist political agenda.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  October 06, 2010


Review: Freakonomics

Freakishly mediocre is more like it
Aided by journalist Stephen J. Dubner, economist Steven Levitt put his pop theories of surprise causality into book form in 2005's Freakonomics , an unexpected bestseller.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  September 29, 2010

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