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Review: Brave

Merely good
Disappointing on a story level, this fable in the feminist Disney Princess mold (unremarkably so) signals problems from the start.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  June 21, 2012

ShortTake:For Greater Glory

Review: For Greater Glory

Never-ending war
Bring coffee, because director Dean Wright's dramatization of the 3-year-long Cristero War (1926-9) seems to last longer than the Mexican conflict itself.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  May 29, 2012

Film Review: Girl in Progress

Review: Girl in Progress

Patricia Riggen's adolescent dramedy
As rites of passage go, Girl in Progress is a step backward for the genre.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  May 15, 2012


Review: First Position

Bess Kargman's documentary
While not the most probing look at rising stars, Bess Kargman's documentary focuses on six aspiring contestants preparing for the prestigious Youth America Grand Prix competition (a proven entry point into the world of professional ballet) who demonstrate dazzling talent.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  May 10, 2012


Review: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

A pleasant diversion
Filled with Indian (and British) clichés, it is nonetheless a pleasant diversion that doesn't involve special effects or 3D glasses.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  May 03, 2012


Review: Blue Like Jazz

Out of tune
A faith-based film directed by Christian recording artist Steve Taylor, adapted by Taylor and Donald Miller from the latter's 2003 memoir, this micro-budgeted indie tries to appeal to everyone by not offending anyone . . . except those who like movies.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  April 12, 2012

JiroDreams ofSushi

Review: Jiro Dreams of Sushi

A quest to sushi chefdom
Eighty-five-year-old Jiro, with his unchanging expression and bald pate, resembles a wizened turtle. Leaving home at age 9 and forced to fend for himself, he would become the world's greatest sushi chef.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  April 04, 2012


Review: Life Without Principle

Johnnie To's latest film
Johnnie To's latest opens as Chinese police arrive at a crime scene, portending his usual slice of bloody action.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  March 13, 2012

Thousand Words

Review: A Thousand Words

The latest opus from auteur Brian Robbins
"What happens when all the leaves fall off?" celebrity guru Dr. Sinja (Cliff Curtis) asks Jack McCall (Eddie Murphy) after a Bodhi tree has magically sprouted in Jack's backyard.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  March 14, 2012

shorttake tim and eric

Review: Tim & Eric's Billion Dollar Movie

Adult Swim 's cult comedy duo
It's standard sitcom stuff, and if homeopathic remedies by way of coprophilia aren't your idea of comedy, you'd best steer clear of this shit.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  February 28, 2012

shorttakes TylerPerry

Review: Tyler Perry's Good Deeds

Perry's latest melodrama
Tyler Perry is no Douglas Sirk. In his latest melodrama, his uptight exec, San Francisco software company CEO Wesley Deeds, is no Madea, either. Hell, Deeds doesn't even know who he is himself.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  February 28, 2012

Review: Bullhead

Review: Bullhead

Michael R. Roskam's debut feature
What this cattle farmer at the center of talented writer/director Michael R. Roskam's debut feature – Belgium's foreign-language Oscar nominee – lacks, he tries to make up for with steroids.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  February 22, 2012


Review: This Means War

Spy vs. Spy territory
What promises to be a modern Jules and Jim (until you realize it's directed by a 43-year-old who calls himself "McG") quickly devolves into Spy vs. Spy territory, only with incompetently staged and edited action and little of that ol' Mad magazine zing.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  February 16, 2012

Viral Factor

Review: The Viral Factor

Run and gun
Made for a modest budget of $17 million — and feeling like it (who needs convincing explosions in an action movie?), Dante Lam's latest still gets the job done from a run-and-gun standpoint.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  January 17, 2012

ExLoud 3

Review: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

An extremely exploitative and incredibly bad tale
Too soon? For Stephen Daldry's 9/11 drama, the right time is "never."
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  January 17, 2012

The Divide review

Review: The Divide

The horrors of human nature
Many a teleplay for The Twilight Zone threatened atomic Armageddon, and though Frontier(s) director Xavier Gens nukes New York in the opening shots of his latest thriller, he finds more inspiration in the horrors of human nature as seen in the old TV show's episode "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street."
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  January 10, 2012

Short Takes: Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol

Review: Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

Worthy of an IMAX screen
Impossible Missions Force agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) returns to the screen in dramatic fashion as new teammate Jane (Paula Patton) and the returning Benji (Simon Pegg) break him out of a Russian prison.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  December 20, 2011

Movies: We Bought A Zoo

Review: We Bought A Zoo

Cameron Crowe's film version of Benjamin Mee's memoir
Matt Damon plays Mee, a journalist who decides that he and his daughter (a precocious Maggie Elizabeth Jones) and sullen teenage son (Colin Ford) need a new start after the death of his wife, so he spends his life savings on a house in the country.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  December 20, 2011


Review: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Guy Ritchie's return to the world of Sherlock Holmes
A new game is afoot in director Guy Ritchie's return to the world of Sherlock Holmes, but Robert Downey Jr.'s first outing as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famed sleuth puts Shadows in the shade.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  December 13, 2011


Review: The Sitter

Tale of a Robitussin-addicted man-child
David Gordon Green's latest finds him working in the scruffy comic realm that's shrouded his past couple of pictures in a pot-smoke haze.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  December 13, 2011

Jack and Jill: Short Take

Review: Jack and Jill

Easily Sandler's worst film
Director Dennis Dugan's second Adam Sandler vehicle of the year turns out to be even worse than Just Go with It.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  November 15, 2011

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