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W. gets a B

Josh Brolin prevails over Oliver Stone’s shaky portrait
Josh Brolin prevails over Oliver Stone’s shaky portrait
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  October 15, 2008


What Just Happened

Half-baked insider parody
“There isn’t a film there,” Ben tells the screenwriter. Sounds like What Just Happened .  
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  October 28, 2008


A Thousand Years of Good Prayers

A slight but sometimes affecting trifle
The relationship between fathers and daughters is complicated enough without being further strained by Mao’s Cultural Revolution.  
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  October 15, 2008


Putting up W’s

Screen depictions beat around the Bush
How is it that the least popular and possibly worst chief executive in American history has inspired no lasting impersonations?  
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  October 15, 2008


Candide camera

Mike Leigh lightens up in Happy-Go-Lucky
There might be a dark side to Poppy (Sally Hawkins), the driving force behind Mike Leigh’s new film Happy-Go-Lucky , but damned if I could find it.  
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  January 12, 2009


Miracle at St. Anna

Has Spike Lee lost his way?
What is the Miracle at St. Anna? Maybe that a filmmaker capable of the eloquence of When the Levees Broke could make such an incoherent movie.  
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  October 01, 2008


How To Lose Friends & Alienate People

Lesson learned, but no laughs
British comics Rich Gervais and Simon Pegg have attempted the jump to Hollywood, opting to squeeze their eccentric personae into a standard romantic comedy.  
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  October 01, 2008


Flash of Genius

An unexciting, earnest homily
The title of Marc Abrahams’s first feature refers to the “eureka” moment that the US patent people insist must occur if an inventor is to prove that an idea is his own.  
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  October 01, 2008



A somewhat wishy-washy exposé
Instead of goading us with bits and pieces of the doom-and-gloom picture, some documentarian should come up with a unified theory of why we’re all screwed.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  September 24, 2008


Lakeview Terrace

Full of entrapping clichés
LaBute tries to engage issues of race, class, and gender in this potboiler, but his usual vitriol gives way to blood in the swimming pool.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  September 23, 2008



A trite rehash of second-rate Southern Gothic
Those undaunted or attracted by the hysteria will wonder what the fuss is about as they discover that Hounddog’s biggest offense is Fanning’s renditions of the Elvis tune.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  September 24, 2008



“Gag” might be a better title
Dotty old women, idiots in powder wigs, a fat guy beating off, and disgorged chunks of food — they aren’t as funny as you might think.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  September 23, 2008


Year of the Fish

Magical, yet sordid and melancholy
Setting Cinderella in a massage parlor in New York’s Chinatown certainly puts an edge on the old bedtime story.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  September 17, 2008


The Unknown Woman

Follows a manipulative formula that’s all too well known
Tornatore leaves behind the G-rated sentiment of Cinema Paradiso in this exploitative 2006 thriller.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  September 17, 2008

One sings, one doesn’t

The BFF has little to celebrate; the HFA has ‘Edward Yang’
This year, at least one element in “Boston Film Festival” is no longer true.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  September 10, 2008


Light Reading

The Coen Brothers have talent to Burn
Every now and then so-called independent filmmakers have to make money and prove to the studios that they have some traction at the box office.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  September 09, 2008


Trouble the Water

A raw and emotional look at Hurricane Katrina
The direct, artless footage conjures a real-world Cloverfield , except with people who are resourceful and worth caring about.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  September 11, 2008


Autumn peeves

Films with a full agenda
With pundits already reading political significance into summer blockbusters like The Dark Knight (“Is Batman a stand-in for George Bush? Discuss.”), the meatier movies of fall arrive not a moment too soon.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  September 11, 2008


A Girl Cut in Two

High-quality perversity
The title of Claude Chabrol’s 2007 black comic morality tale — La fille coupée en deux — serves as a playful reminder of the role women usually play on the screen.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  September 04, 2008


War correspondent

Paul Auster sheds light on Man in the Dark
So here he goes again, the writer known as Paul Auster, starting yet another novel, this time with the words “I am alone in the dark.”
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  September 02, 2008


Stealing America

Something to infuriate everyone
Watching Stealing America , you wonder whether even the election of 2008 isn’t a foregone conclusion.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  August 27, 2008

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