Cate Blanchett

Ocean’s 8 Review

Ocean’s 8 Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Ocean’s movies are tough to get wrong. It’s true that Ocean’s 8 is the first (at least this century) that’s been made by someone other than the incomparable Steven Soderbergh. But as good as his direction and sensibilities were for Ocean’s 11, 12 (especially), and 13, it wasn’t hard to imagine a […]

Carol Review

Carol Review

RATING: (4 STARS) You think you know what it is to want until you sit in stunned silence following two hours of Todd Haynes’ Carol. It’s a film about so many things, probably the least of which is the sexual orientation of its two lead (yes, lead) characters, star-crossed lovers played expertly by Cate Blanchett […]

Truth Review

Truth Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) Truth‘s biggest misstep might be its title. James Vanderbilt wrote and directed this absorbing journalism drama about the CBS News scandal that brought an end to Dan Rather’s time as the network’s lead anchor, and it’s about so, so many things, but I’m not sure truth is one of them. It’s an […]

Final 2014 Oscar Predictions

Final 2014 Oscar Predictions

We’re almost there. And thank God, because I can’t anymore. This will likely be the last year I spend time writing and talking about the Oscars regularly. Too much noise. I’ve been defeated. Anyway, it’s a hell of a good year to go out with some pretty brilliant titles leading the charge for gold. I […]

The 5 Best Leading Female Performances of 2013

The 5 Best Leading Female Performances of 2013

Click here to check out my 5 favorite leading male performances of 2013. On to the leading ladies! One could plausibly argue 2013 was as strong a year at the top for leading women as it was for leading men, and one couldn’t plausibly argue that most other years. It was a great year for […]

Predicting the 2014 Golden Globes Winners

Predicting the 2014 Golden Globes Winners

This Sunday, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will carve for itself a unique place in the 2013/2014 awards season. How do I know? Because it must. There still isn’t much consensus among this year’s major categories. The critics groups like 12 Years a Slave and Her. American Hustle and Gravity have loads of support—some from […]

2014 Oscar Predictions: Resetting the Board

2014 Oscar Predictions: Resetting the Board

Click on over to my 2014 Oscar Predictions page to see everything I’m forecasting in the major categories. And check out my 2014 Oscar Predictions: Technical Categories page for projections in Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, and more. I’d planned to dive a little deeper into Best Documentary Feature today, but I’ve got quite a […]

Blue Jasmine Review

Blue Jasmine Review

RATING: (3 STARS) In 1988, Pedro Almodóvar directed Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. In 2013, Woody Allen directed Blue Jasmine, a.k.a. “Woman on the Verge of Another Nervous Breakdown (or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Stoli Martinis with a Twist of Lemon)”. Blue Jasmine is a far cry from […]

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Review

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Review

RATING: (3 STARS) The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey could certainly afford to lose a few pounds, but it’s nonetheless an enjoyable reintroduction to Middle Earth. The world depicted here is different from that of director Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy—it’s fluffier, much more light-hearted—but certain characters, tropes, and Howard Shore’s sweeping score […]

Hanna Review

Hanna Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) Hanna isn’t quite the film you’d expect from director Joe Wright. The man who directed Pride and Prejudice and Atonement does an action-thriller? It’s an odd match on paper, but it works on film—at least as far as the story will allow. Wright’s film looks gorgeous. It sounds terrific. Yet, it’s totally […]

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 Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Review

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Review

RATING: (4 STARS) When New Line Cinema executives agreed to bankroll this massive project, to be filmed in New Zealand by a relatively unheralded director, they were risking their entire company. Sure, J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy is beloved by many around the world, but plenty of folks in the know at […]

The Aviator Review

The Aviator Review

RATING: (3 STARS) When you sit down for a Martin Scorsese film, it would be fair to expect some fast-talking Italians, profanity laced-tirades, extremely violent killings, and of course, The Rolling Stones. But in “The Aviator,” we get the glamorous stars of old Hollywood, some beautifully photographed flying sequences, a sweeping romance, and the music […]