The Perfect Imperfect Couple: Love Is Strange, Reviewed

Leo Tolstoy's line "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way" could be applied to romantic relationships as well—especially if you're not in a good one. From the outside, a happy marriage can look like an aberration, a fluke, or just dumb luck. Because so much of fiction is… » 8/19/14 2:33pm Tuesday 2:33pm

Perfectly Imperfect: Saying Goodbye To Robin Williams

One of the dumbest things the public does is think it "knows" celebrities. Those people we see on our TV or on a movie screen, because they come into our lives and make us laugh and cry—we believe we have some sort of special connection, not to the characters they play, but to the actors themselves. This is what… » 8/12/14 10:43am 8/12/14 10:43am

Nothing Up Woody Allen's Sleeve: Magic In The Moonlight, Reviewed

Magic in the Moonlight is the sort of Woody Allen movie that longtime fans have trouble defending, not because it's terrible or lazy—it's neither—but because it's so painfully familiar. Likeable and completely disposable, his new comedy has its chuckles, but as he gets closer to the 50-feature mark, this joins his… » 7/23/14 10:55am 7/23/14 10:55am

Big, Dumb, Unsexy: Sex Tape, Reviewed

Sex Tape is such a dumb movie that it's hard to know where to start. So let's try this: Its premise is total nonsense. Married-with-kids couple Jay (Jason Segel) and Annie (Cameron Diaz) decide to spice up their inert love life by filming themselves with Jay's iPad doing every position mentioned in The Joy of Sex.… » 7/16/14 1:19pm 7/16/14 1:19pm

Great Ape: Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, Reviewed

Three years ago, expectations for Rise of the Planet of the Apes were understandably low. The director (Rupert Wyatt) wasn't well-known, a lot of people despised the film's star (James Franco) for his Renaissance Man routine, and we all remembered how terrible Tim Burton's 2001 Planet of the Apes reboot was. Plus,… » 7/10/14 12:31pm 7/10/14 12:31pm

Saying Goodbye To Roger Ebert: Life Itself, Reviewed

When Roger Ebert died on April 4, 2013, it felt like a death in the family, not only because I'm a film critic, but because he and Gene Siskel are a huge part of the reason why. The different incarnations of their Siskel & Ebert show were instrumental in my upbringing, driving home the idea that movies weren't just… » 6/30/14 4:03pm 6/30/14 4:03pm

Auto-Chaotic. Transformers: Age of Extinction, Reviewed.

Age of Extinction is the best of the Transformers movies. That's not saying much: The other films in the series were all pretty bad, and this one is no good, either. But for an hour or so, director Michael Bay does what he does as well as he's done it for quite some time. Perpetually juvenile he may be, but god… » 6/27/14 10:10am 6/27/14 10:10am

Double Dragon: How To Train Your Dragon 2, Reviewed

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, DreamWorks Animation has enjoyed plenty of commercial and critical success, winning two animation Oscars and earning almost $11.6 billion worldwide. And yet, the company remains in the shadow of Pixar, which in about the same amount of time has won seven animation Oscars… » 6/10/14 1:03pm 6/10/14 1:03pm

Emotional Assault: The Fault In Our Stars, Reviewed.

The Fault in Our Stars is designed as counterprogramming for audiences who don't care about big summer action movies, but in its own way, this tear-jerking YA romantic drama is as epic and overstuffed as any CGI blockbuster. Instead of explosions and chase sequences, you get emotional epiphanies and… » 6/04/14 2:48pm 6/04/14 2:48pm

Night Moves and Personal Apocalypses: The Films Of Kelly Reichardt

None of director Kelly Reichardt's films has made over $1 million at the box office. That seems about right. It's not that her superb dramas don't deserve a bigger audience. But because they're so intimate, so understated, they feel like secrets: the cinematic equivalent of the bootlegs die-hard Dylan or Dead fans… » 5/29/14 2:50pm 5/29/14 2:50pm

The Sleeping Beauty Reboot You Never Wanted: Maleficent, Reviewed.

Back in 2006, Patton Oswalt had a standup bit where he fantasized about going back in time and killing George Lucas so he'd never make the Star Wars prequels. In the imaginary conversation, Lucas tries to sell Oswalt on those reviled films by assuring the comedian that all the things he digs about the series—Darth… » 5/28/14 1:51pm 5/28/14 1:51pm

A Tolerable Adam Sandler Movie! Blended, Reviewed.

In the late '90s, when Adam Sandler decided to transition from imbecile par excellence to romantic lead, he teamed up with Drew Barrymore to make The Wedding Singer, a very silly and very lovable '80s comedy that brought a softer, more human side to his Happy Gilmore/Billy Madison persona. That film, easily his… » 5/22/14 1:04pm 5/22/14 1:04pm

In Praise Of Sugar, The Anti-Million Dollar Arm

Hoop Dreams has haunted me ever since I saw it 20 years ago. The story of two black Chicago high school basketball players hoping to make the NBA and escape their inner-city lives, the film ends with their pro dreams very much in doubt. Decades later, I still remember the last thing William Gates, one of the two… » 5/15/14 3:22pm 5/15/14 3:22pm

Cannes Film Festival 2014: 10 Movies We Can't Wait To See

The Cannes Film Festival kicks off today, setting in motion 10 days of premieres of some of the most heavily anticipated movies of the year. Inside Llewyn Davis and Blue Is the Warmest Color got their start there last year—not to mention Best Foreign Language Oscar winner The Great Beauty—and certainly some… » 5/14/14 12:26pm 5/14/14 12:26pm

An Appreciation of Seth Rogen, the Stoner Schlub Next Door

Seth Rogen's new comedy Neighbors casts him in what seems like a new light. His character Mac is married with a kid, works a 9-to-5 job and lives in the suburbs. Mac ought to be happy, but he can read the writing on the wall: He's no longer cool, and he's turning into just another boring old square. Only amplifying… » 5/07/14 10:00am 5/07/14 10:00am

Skip the Blockbusters: Your Alternative Summer Movie Viewing Guide

Summer movie season kicks off Friday with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, opening the floodgates for four months of lame dialogue, overdone CGI and eardrum-shattering explosions. There are plenty of aspiring tent-poles out there, but in case they turn out to be terrible, it would be nice to have a backup plan for all the… » 4/30/14 2:00pm 4/30/14 2:00pm