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Review: Gangster Squad

Not-so-mod Squad
In the history of Hollywood violence, Gangster Squad scored a footnote when it was pulled from a September release, after the Aurora shooting for a scene in which gangsters machine-gunned their way through the Grauman's Chinese Theatre screen.
By: ANN LEWINSON  |  January 10, 2013


Review: Red Dawn

High-school football players trade Friday-night lights for AK-47s when North Korea invades Spokane in this remake of John Milius's 1984 hit, whose rallying cry is no longer "freedom" but "family."
By: ANN LEWINSON  |  November 21, 2012


Review: Chasing Mavericks

Directed by Curtis Hanson and Michael Apted, who took over after the former suffered complications from heart surgery, Chasing Mavericks is fair family fare.
By: ANN LEWINSON  |  October 31, 2012


Review: The Loneliest Planet

Nica (Hani Furstenberg) and Alex (Gael García Bernal) are fit and fearless adventurers backpacking through Georgia's Caucasus Mountains until a split-second lapse of judgment calls everything they took for granted into question.
By: ANN LEWINSON  |  October 31, 2012


Review: The Bay

Fourth of July festivities in a quaint small town on the Chesapeake Bay are spoiled by the mass ingestion of tongue-eating isopods, all fortuitously recorded by never-before-seen news footage and consumer-grade cameras, in this, Barry Levinson's collaboration with the Paranormal Activity boys.
By: ANN LEWINSON  |  October 31, 2012


Review: Beauty Is Embarrassing

This is a rare documentary in which the camerawork and editing (and lively animation) are as dynamic as its subject.
By: ANN LEWINSON  |  October 18, 2012


Review: The Paperboy

A Russ Meyer roughie meets The Help in Lee Daniels's lurid follow-up to Precious , in which a paperboy (Zac Efron) gets promoted to driver when his brother Wade (Matthew McConaughey), a Miami Times investigative reporter, returns home to exonerate a convicted killer (John Cusack).
By: ANN LEWINSON  |  October 11, 2012


Review: Kumaré

Duping yoga-mad Americans
Kumaré, an Indian guru who walks barefoot and carries a staff and a small rattan suitcase, preaches that he is an illusion, and he is.
By: ANN LEWINSON  |  August 28, 2012

Review: Bourne Legacy

Review: The Bourne Legacy

Tony Gilroy's Bourne spinoff
In this Bourne spinoff, The Hurt Locker 's Jeremy Renner continues his unlikely bid for action-franchise stardom as Aaron Cross, a next-generation Special Op boosted with bionics.
By: ANN LEWINSON  |  August 09, 2012


Review: To Rome With Love

Woody Allen's slight stories
Woody Allen's European vacation winds down with four tales that indulge his usual preoccupations: hookers, sell-outs, fame, mortality, and hot bi chicks.
By: ANN LEWINSON  |  July 05, 2012


Review: Ted

Dumbing down Family Guy 's Brian for the big screen
Seth MacFarlane is making his big-screen debut with yet another dope and his talking teddy bear.
By: ANN LEWINSON  |  June 29, 2012


Review: Your Sister's Sister

Mumbled recriminations
Seattle slacker Jack (Mark Duplass) has been beating himself up over his brother's death for a year, so his brother's ex-girlfriend (Emily Blunt) — who is also Jack's best friend— offers him her father's cabin in the San Juan Islands for the weekend to clear his head.
By: ANN LEWINSON  |  June 21, 2012


Review: Safety Not Guaranteed

An act of nostalgia
For a generation weary of Zooey Deschanel's manic pixie and of staring down a future of student loans and dreary internships, Aubrey Plaza, the deadpan alt-comic who could have stepped out of the pages of Ghost World, may be the next dream girl.
By: ANN LEWINSON  |  June 14, 2012

Short Take: Hysteria

Review: Hysteria

Tanya Wexler's enjoyable, fictionalized period piece
Struggling physician Mortimer Granville (Hugh Dancy) has struck pay dirt assisting Dr. Robert Dalrymple (Jonathan Pryce), whose London waiting room is packed with bourgeois housewives suffering from "hysteria."
By: ANN LEWINSON  |  June 05, 2012

Short Take: Peace, Love and Misunderstanding

Review: Peace, Love & Misunderstanding

Summer of free love
When her husband (Kyle MacLachlan) asks for a divorce, New York corporate lawyer Diane (Catherine Keener) takes her teenage children, brainy vegan Zoe (Elizabeth Olsen) and Werner Herzog-wannabe Jake (Nat Wolff), up to Woodstock to meet her estranged mother (Jane Fonda), an unreconstructed hippie who lets chickens roam the house, grows pot in her basement, and still practices free love.
By: ANN LEWINSON  |  June 07, 2012

ShortTake: The Intouchables

Review: The Intouchables

Traveling well
French comedies rarely travel well, but The Intouchables , the first film from the writer-director team of Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache to be commercially released here, has earned its status as an international blockbuster.
By: ANN LEWINSON  |  August 29, 2012

Short Takes: Bernie

Review: Bernie

Everybody loves Bernie
So beloved was Bernie that when he shot his elderly companion Marjorie Nugent, the meanest — and richest — woman in town, district attorney Danny Buck Davidson had to move the trial nearly 50 miles away.
By: ANN LEWINSON  |  May 15, 2012

Review: Battleship

Review: Battleship

Why not?
Hasbro's Transformers have made a mint; why not make a movie out of Battleship ?
By: ANN LEWINSON  |  May 18, 2012


Review: Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day

Wound tight
Kari Ames (Sharon Leal) has it all: a handsome professor husband (Blair Underwood), an adorable six-year-old (Zoe Carter), and a sweet home in New Orleans' Garden District.
By: ANN LEWINSON  |  April 11, 2012


Review: Footnote

One-sided rivalry
As one-sided rivalries go, Eliezer Shkolnik (Shlomo Bar Aba) has it bad.
By: ANN LEWINSON  |  March 20, 2012
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