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short takes - a little help

Review: A Little Help

Jenna Fischer plays a long-suffering mom
Playing one of the few "normal" people on The Office , Jenna Fischer evinces a quiet sweetness with a tart edge that sustains her amongst the misfits; she's long-suffering, but her rueful irony spares her from victimization.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  July 26, 2011

Friends with Benefits review

Review: Friends with Benefits

Chemistry and comic timing
FWB is a well-crafted comedy of the sex-first, romance-later genre that — bonus! — isn't blatantly nonsensical.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  July 26, 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

A Tribe Called Quest

Review: Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest

The most boring movie imaginable
First of all, Michael Rapaport's feature-length doc on A Tribe Called Quest should have been called People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm .
By: CHRIS FARAONE  |  July 19, 2011

the tree - movie review

Review: The Tree

Adjusting to loss
In a less drastic take on grief than her role in Lars von Trier's Antichrist, Charlotte Gainsbourg plays Dawn, a wife and mother of four children whose idyllic life on a farm in the Australian outback shatters when her husband drops dead.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  July 19, 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

La Rafle - Short take film review

Review: La Rafle

The psyche of Hitler
In La Rafle , director Rose Bosch boldly tackles the psyche of Hitler, showing the Führer enjoying the high life with Eva Braun as he instructs his minions to pressure France to hand over its Jews so he can sate his genocidal bloodlust before the Allies fully catch on to his heinous mission.
By: TOM MEEK  |  July 19, 2011

Snow Flower -- short take

Review: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Chinese women of the past and present
Two intense friendships intertwine in Wayne Wang's elegant and engrossing adaptation of Lisa See's novel. Actresses Li Bingbing and Gianna Jun play dual roles: modern Chinese women Nina and Sophia and their 19th-century counterparts, Lily and Snow Flower.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  July 19, 2011

The Arbor - short take review

Review: The Arbor

Clio Barnard tells Andrea Dunbar's cursed story
Andrea Dunbar turned her smothering, abused, and abusive life in a West Yorkshire housing project into a series of raw autobiographical dramas, and, as a teen playwright in the '80s, she became a star in London with acclaimed productions of The Arbor and Rita, Sue and Bob Too — the latter an excellent film, as well.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  July 19, 2011

Tabloid - new movie

Review: Tabloid

Errol Morris pokes fun at tabloid journalism
After taking on former Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara in The Fog of War (2003), and probing the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Standard Operating Procedure (2008), Errol Morris deserves to have fun.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  July 13, 2011

review - zookeeper

Review: Zookeeper

Slapdash comedy
Local viewers might be amused by director Frank Coraci's Boston geography in this slapdash comedy; for example, taking a right turn on Queensberry onto Storrow Drive and then over the Zakim Bridge en route to the airport. Makes as much sense as the plot, I suppose.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  July 12, 2011

review - Vincent Wants to Sea

Review: Vincent Wants to Sea

A quirky German road movie
Frustration and isolation are part of daily life for 27-year-old Tourette's sufferer Vincent (Florian David Fitz, who also wrote the screenplay), the sympathetic hero of this German road movie.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  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

hp list

Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

The final chapter
"It's complicated," says Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) early on in this last installment of his epic as he tries to explain some obscure plot element.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  July 18, 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

phase list

Review: Phase 7 [Fase 7]

Nicolás Goldbart's thriller
Phase 7 distinguishes itself by its suffocating setting, its low-affect tone, and its cast of flaky characters.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  July 12, 2011

Septien; short take

Review: Septien

A magnificent exorcism
What can be done with this unhappy home? Enter a self-appointed minister with messianic impulses.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  July 12, 2011

Terri - movie review

Review: Terri

Subtle, sweet, and eccentric
Credit indie director Azazel Jacobs for building a case for Terri, so that — without manipulation or sentimentality — we begin to appreciate the clumsy lad at the same time that he starts to shed his self-loathing.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  July 12, 2011

project list

Review: Project Nim

Absurd and sad
Once regarded as cuddly, chimpanzees seem downright demonic following the incident in Connecticut in which a pet ape destroyed somebody's face.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  July 12, 2011

carlo list

Review: Monte Carlo

Awkward limitations
The latest tween pabulum features Selena Gomez in two roles, which is awkward because she only has one and a half expressions.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  July 05, 2011

riva viva list

Review: Viva Riva!

A gritty get-down
One thing about Djo Tunda Wa Munga's plucky Third World noir: it never slows down.
By: TOM MEEK  |  July 05, 2011

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