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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

Short Take: Janie Jones

Review: Janie Jones

A generic riff on the Crazy Heart template
Borrowing the name of a Clash song with which it has nothing in common, this generic riff on the Crazy Heart template by writer/director David M. Rosenthal ( Falling Up ) also cribs from Sofia Coppola's Somewhere .
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  November 08, 2011


Review: The Way

Martin Sheen embarks on a treacly sweet emotional hike
Charlie Sheen finally drops dead in The Way . Oh, my mistake — that might be the subject of a future documentary, and not of this treacly inspirational drama starring his 70-year-old dad, Martin.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  October 04, 2011

Review: Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame

Exhilarating action
The latest action epic from Hong Kong new wave director Tsui Hark ( Once Upon a Time in China ) is a fact-based historical drama set in 689 AD, a period when "all hell was about to break loose," according to the dense narration that opens the film.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  September 20, 2011


Review: Creature

Don't go swimmin' in the swamp at night, kids.
Why this dreck isn't debuting on SyFy is a mystery, but if Creature were made for the cable channel it might at least have an interesting title.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  September 13, 2011

contagion 3

Review: Contagion

The Traffic of viral outbreak movies
For all the death and panic, this is a relatively quiet film.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  September 13, 2011


Review: Warrior

Two brothers face off
It's brother against brother in this latest inspirational sports drama.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  September 16, 2011

bellflower sidebar 4

On the road with the director of Bellflower

Big wheels
If you didn't think it was possible to get some stares from jaded onlookers here in the streets of Boston, you haven't been strapped into Medusa, a heavily modified '72 Buick Skylark equipped with a massive silver engine sprouting through its hood, a PA system, external surveillance cameras and, oh, twin exhaust pipes that shoot diesel-burning flame 30 feet into the air.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  September 06, 2011

attack the block 3

Review: Attack the Block

London crawling
As a group of teenage thugs approach their intended victim (only their eyes are visible as they glare at the trainee nurse who's walking the cold south London streets alone on the way home from her shift), you'll be forgiven if you recall the recent wave of rioting in the UK.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  August 23, 2011

backtalk miranda july 3

Miranda July takes a cookie break

July had just nabbed a chocolate-chip cookie from a table set up for a conference of visiting doctors. She was surprised — not only by the fact that one of the physicians had recognized her — but that the woman had also already seen July's latest, which is set to open in the Boston area next Friday.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  July 27, 2011

short takes - the smurfs

Review: The Smurfs

An uninspired rip-off
It may be a 3D movie set in a world populated by computer-animated blue-skinned natives, but this isn't Avatar .
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  July 26, 2011

Winnie the Pooh review

Review: Winnie the Pooh

Disney dusts off the bear of little brain
If you don't mind paying full price for something so brief, you'll be delighted to find a musically driven film the whole family can enjoy.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  July 19, 2011

bosses list

Review: Horrible Bosses

Overplayed quirks
After two comedies, it's clear Seth Gordon is good at making . . . documentaries.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  July 12, 2011

betterlife list

Review: A Better Life

The illegal immigrants keeping LA afloat
A Better Life  tells a tale of a father's love and his struggles to give his son the opportunities he never had.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  July 12, 2011

lc list

Review: Larry Crowne

A lighter-than-air trifle
Coming 15 years after That Thing You Do!, Tom Hanks's second, confident outing as a feature director finds him co-writing a lighter-than-air trifle with old family friend Nia Vardalos, who's made nothing but awful films since initially charming audiences with My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  July 05, 2011

just like us list

Review: Just Like Us

Leave the directing to someone else
This brainchild of Egyptian-American comedian Ahmed Ahmed is basically a collection of his home movies as he travels from the US alongside comics like Maz Jobrani and Whitney Cummings to perform stand-up in Dubai, Beirut, Cairo, Riyadh, and back.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  July 05, 2011

rossi list

Andrew Rossi gets the story on Page One

Good Times, bad Times
Despite the Gray Lady's disdain for his own effort, Rossi nonetheless had only good things to say about the paper's media editor, Bruce Headlam, reporter Brian Stelter, former reporter Tim Arango, and, especially, media columnist David Carr.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  June 29, 2011

bt list

Review: Bad Teacher

All talk and no action
Both Bad Santa and the Bad Lieutenants (Keitel and Cage) were really bad, but they were entertaining. Cameron Diaz's Bad Teacher, Elizabeth, is neither.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  June 29, 2011

bride flight list

Review: Bride Flight

Sombogaart contrives to place the would-be couple in front of a mirror on the plane, her in a wedding gown, him standing behind her, reflecting a life that cannot be.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  June 16, 2011

bigelow list

Kathryn Bigelow introduces her retrospective at MoMA

Bin there, done that
For the first woman ever to be awarded the Best Director Oscar, and who most recently has set out to make a film about the biggest triumph in the war against terror, the killing of Osama bin Laden, Kathryn Bigelow certainly is humble.  
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  June 09, 2011

super 8 movie review by brett michel

Review: Super 8

8 and a half
Arriving on a wave of secrecy that the projects of J.J. Abrams have become known for, Super 8 turns out to contain hardly any secrets at all.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  June 13, 2011

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