2008

Revolutionary Road Review

Revolutionary Road Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) Revolutionary Road is one of the most literary adaptations I’ve seen in some time. By that, I mean the film looks, sounds, and is structured as if it was directed by the source’s author Richard Yates, rather than Sam Mendes. That’s not a bad thing, per se. In fact, I think it […]

Burn After Reading Review

Burn After Reading Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) There are two types of Coen Brothers films—ones that examine human nature and consequence and others that are just utterly absurd. Burn After Reading, like The Big Lebowski and Raising Arizona, falls squarely into the latter category. It’s a film about incomprehensibly dumb people doing incomprehensibly dumb things. None of it makes […]

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Review

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Review

RATING: (4 STARS) Until 2008, David Fincher was primarily a genre director—a damn good one, for sure, but a genre director nonetheless. With Se7en and Zodiac, many would argue that his specialty was serial killer films. So I think it surprised a lot of people that he was taking on a project as complex and […]

The Dark Knight Review

The Dark Knight Review

RATING: (4 STARS) The sequel to the excellent “Batman Begins,” “The Dark Knight” is only the best superhero movie of all time. And the contest isn’t even close. Director Christopher Nolan creates such a dark world, it’s hard to believe this is the same character as played by George Clooney (remember the bat-nipples?). For something […]

Rachel Getting Married Review

Rachel Getting Married Review

RATING: (4 STARS) “Rachel Getting Married” is a marvel of modern cinema. Perhaps more than any other film I’ve seen, this one draws you to its characters and makes you feel like part of the family. And while this isn’t necessarily a family you want to join, it’s astounding how much director Jonathan Demme makes […]

WALL-E Review

WALL-E Review

RATING: (4 STARS) Besides being one of my favorite animated films of all time, Pixar’s “WALL-E” also holds the distinction of being one of the best love stories in years. This sublime motion picture has it all—action, humor, emotion, great writing, beautiful animation, and a handful of scenes I’ll never forget. It’s just a joy […]

Slumdog Millionaire Review

Slumdog Millionaire Review

RATING: (4 STARS) There was little doubt going into the 2009 Academy Awards what film was going to win Best Picture. Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire” had captured the hearts of the critics, the guilds, and the public—and understandably. The film is the ultimate underdog story and is capable of giving joy to just about anyone. […]

Milk Review

Milk Review

RATING: (4 STARS) When “Milk” came out, Proposition 8 had just passed in California, outlawing gay marriage. It was a sad time among gay-rights supporters, and then a film like this comes along about the assassination of one of its heroes to remind us all that as far as we’ve come, we still have a […]

Doubt Review

Doubt Review

RATING: (4 STARS) “Doubt” is a film of uncommon depth and intelligence, and it tackles some very interesting philosophical issues. What is certainty? How much doubt is necessary to prevent oneself from doing something hurtful? And what in the world is it going to take to get Meryl Streep another damn Oscar? She seems to […]

Happy-Go-Lucky Review

Happy-Go-Lucky Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) “Happy-Go-Lucky” is one of the best pure character studies in recent memory. This is essentially a film with no plot–not a flimsy plot; I mean no plot to speak of. Director Mike Leigh just throws this wacky individual at us and asks us to care about her. And thanks to the brilliant […]

Frost/Nixon Review

Frost/Nixon Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) In my review of All the President’s Men, I said I think I’m inclined to love pretty much any film about Nixon and the Watergate scandal. It’s a larger-than-life moment in American history that’s ripe for dramatization. Such is what happened with Ron Howard’s “Frost/Nixon,” an adaptation of the Tony Award-winning play […]

Tell No One Review

Tell No One Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) “Tell No One” is an uncommonly thoughtful and emotional thriller. The plot provides enough twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat, but the film’s real strength lies in our ability to feel the characters’ pain. Guillaume Canet’s story of a husband on the run from the police […]

Iron Man Review

Iron Man Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) I remember when I first heard that Robert Downey Jr. would be playing the title character in Jon Favreau’s “Iron Man.” The project itself just sounded like another superhero movie (a genre I thought was growing tired), but the casting choice was inspired. It was shortly after I discovered “Kiss Kiss, Bang […]

Appaloosa Review

Appaloosa Review

RATING: (3 STARS) The western is one of my favorite genres of film. They take you to a time that’s alien to us—a time when laws and morals were different, almost incomprehensible to what we know today. It’s also a time that’s been captured many times on film, but not so much recently. Every year, […]

Quantum of Solace Review

Quantum of Solace Review

RATING: (3 STARS) When James Bond returned in 2006’s “Casino Royale,” the franchise was given new life. The film was a smashing success both critically and financially. Daniel Craig had made everyone forget about Pierce Brosnan. So production began almost immediately on a sequel. And in 2008, with the highest of expectations, “Quantum of Solace” […]

Wendy and Lucy Review

Wendy and Lucy Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Featuring an eye-opening performance from Michelle Williams, Wendy and Lucy is one of 2008’s underseen gems. With minimal plot, the film manages to touch on a number of personal issues such as isolation, desperation, and companionship. And unlike many films, it doesn’t outstay it’s welcome. At a slim 75 minutes, director Kelly […]