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review of movie Pianomania

Review: Pianomania

You don't need to be knowledgeable about classical music to savor Pianomania any more than you need to know about Donkey Kong to enjoy The King of Kong. The Vienna-set documentary burrows into the professional life of Steinway & Sons' chief technician and master tuner Stephan Knüpfer.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  June 23, 2011

Jack Cardiff, in African Queen

A cinematographer and his masterpiece

Young Eyes
It's fitting that the last image of Cameraman: The Life & Work of Jack Cardiff — a film containing interviews with the great British cinematographer but not released until after his death — is of Cardiff.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  June 21, 2011

getting by list

Review: The Art of Getting By

Freddie Highmore plays the acutely self-conscious Manhattan prep schooler whose pivotal senior year is recounted in director-writer Gavin Wiesen's earnest, but weak, debut.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  June 17, 2011

shadow list

Review: These Amazing Shadows

Addictive movie-centric documentary
If movies are our kiss-kiss-bang-bang arenas of desire, then this addictive movie-centric documentary from Paul Mariano and Kurt Norton makes the Library of Congress sound like the Playboy Mansion.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  May 19, 2011

prom list

Review: Prom

Squeaky-clean group portrait
A teen pic aimed at the tween demographic, Prom turns what could have been a string of punch lines and lump-in-the-throat passages into an affecting group portrait.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  May 06, 2011

rubber list

Review: Rubber

 Quentin Dupieux has something more malevolent, and meta, in mind
When a tire lifts itself from the desert sand of the West and rolls down the road to the sound of recorder music, it feels like one of those old Film Board of Canada shorts about the triumph of the spirit.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  April 27, 2011

it list

Review: It (1927)

Silent-movie stardom gained a new dimension with Clara Bow in It, which was directed by Clarence G. Badger and an uncredited Josef von Sternberg.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  April 27, 2011


Review: Your Highness

Clever spoof of sword ’n’ sorcery clichés
The magnificent Danny McBride (HBO's Eastbound and Down ) co-wrote and stars in this clever spoof that reveals the human frailties beneath all those sword 'n' sorcery clichés.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  April 13, 2011

watch the movie trailer for hop

Review: Hop

Candy-colored, candy-pushing combo of animation and live action
This candy-colored, candy-pushing combo of animation and live action imagines an Easter Bunny who's a cross between Santa Claus and Willy Wonka and an Easter with no mention of the Passion of the You Know Who.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  March 31, 2011


Review: A Somewhat Gentle Man

Deadpan Scandinavian comedy, anyone?
Stellan Skarsgård and director Hans Petter Moland previously teamed on the terrific dramas Zero Kelvin and Aberdeen .
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  February 23, 2011


Review: No Strings Attached

A movie about fuck buddies that's squeamish about the term
It isn't only in the TV commercial that Ashton Kutcher says "sex friends" ...
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  January 26, 2011


Review: The Way Back

Peter Weir gets a lift out of prison
Peter Weir gets a lift out of prison
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  February 24, 2011


Review: Ahead of Time

Feeling the burn
The journalist as advocate and activist has rarely been contained in a more compelling package than Ruth Gruber.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  November 17, 2010

Review: Four Lions

Why not make a comedy about some bumbling terrorists?
In the biting satiric style of In the Loop comes this peek into homegrown Muslim terrorism, British style.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  November 02, 2010


Review: Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno

Reconstructing what could have been a classic. Or not.
This autopsy of an unfinished 1964 film by the great French director Henri-Georges Clouzot ( The Wages of Fear ) holds fascinations — and frustrations — for the avid franco-cinephile.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  September 16, 2010


Review: Mesrine: Public Enemy #1

Cassel fights the power once more
Vincent Cassel is bigger and badder in Public Enemy #1 , which covers the seven years leading to bank robber Jacques Mesrine’s gory death in 1979.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  September 01, 2010


Review: Mesrine: Killer Instinct

Criminal intense: Vincent Cassel triumphs
France's exemplar of the self-mythologizing, media-baiting criminal is Jacques Mesrine.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  August 26, 2010


Review: Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel

Rabbit run: Hef poses as a history maker
You might expect that a sycophantic documentary about Hugh Hefner would suggest that Hef invented tits and ass. Brigitte Berman's Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel goes farther.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  August 10, 2010


Review: Eat Pray Love

Blah, Blah, Blah
This film adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert's bestselling memoir is a superficial globetrot in which pretty people talk about Hard Truths in pretty locations.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  August 28, 2010


Review: Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky

Passion among the titans
"I want to breathe ," says Coco Chanel as she cuts off her corset.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  June 24, 2010


Review: The A-Team

We love it when a plan comes together
This fun big-screen reboot takes the quartet of fugitive vigilantes-for-hire into the digital era, and it succeeds because director Joe Carnahan doesn't let technology overpower personality.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  June 18, 2010

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