From comedy to crap
What's wrong with Steve Carrell?
Seeing choice, in shades of gray
We still have the right to choose, Kaye seems to say, but we should know what that choice looks like.
Racking up penalty yards
Long before the big game rolls around (the Toilet Bowl, I shit you not), and the film shows a touch of heart, the clock has run out.
A squad of sharply drawn outcast vets
Richard Pimentel has a lot put upon him: born to an interracial couple in the ’40s, he’s “the eighth miscarriage that lived."
Conventions take Control of Ian Curtis
Ian Curtis (Sam Riley) of the Manchester band Joy Division wrote songs that evoke, with incantatory inevitability, terror, delight, and ecstasy.
Buddy story meets History Channel remake
In its attempt to cover the 1948 war that kicked off modern Israel, Elie Chouraqui’s O Jerusalem forges a regrettable two-state solution.
Neighborhood themes, or cliches?
You know there’s going to be a big game somewhere in this, as well as reconciliations in the intensive-care unit.
Audience pleasing pabulum
Given all these stereotyped woes, what choice does she have but to transform them into even more-cliché’d stories, narrated in voiceover and dutifully illustrated by the filmmaker?
To see how a similar premise can actually touch the heart, check out Peter Cattaneo’s lovely, neglected 2005 film Opal Dream .
On a diabetic throne
We spend less money on food than any generation before us, but King Corn asks, at what price?
Michael Caine remaking Michael Caine
Think Carlton Fisk and Thurman Munson.
The Honda Accord of movies
Director Terry George redefines the word “thriller” by indulging in endless scenes of Ethan looking at Web sites.
Unintentional sports comedy
Sean Astin’s latest starring role finds him aiming to hit the emotional high he achieved in 1993’s Rudy .
Haunting agony and angst
Too bad the bigger melodrama doesn’t equal its piquant parts.
Hoary high-camp clichés
Poor Danny Huston leads them; his hissed Nietzschean ripostes are tiresome and laughable, leaving him about as scary as Count Chocula.
Another African-American life lesson
Janet Jackson as the staid academic “Perfect Patty” delivers a smoldering nugget that lingers on screen long after the moment has passed.
Wry desperation in Buenos Aires
Both actresses embody their roles with subtlety and subdued emotion — Aleandro especially, pride, humiliation, and desperation palpable in her regal face.
Ben is back with Gone Baby Gone
Films about Boston tend to be no better than their worst Boston accent.
A soapy plot tortures the truth
It’s ironic, and probably auspicious for its box office, that Rendition comes out a week after the Supreme Court refused to hear the case of Khaled el-Masri.
A layered art-world exploitation
Marla Olmstead, the subject of Amir Bar-Lev’s absorbing documentary, at once reveals an artist’s temperament: dark moods, fits of inspiration, a reticence to discuss her work.
Kitch, clichés, and neurosis — a fatal combination
Robert Cary is not up to even latter-day Woody standards.
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