James Gandolfini

The Drop Review

The Drop Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) Anyone going into The Drop should know not to expect much in the way of plot surprises. It’s a thriller, yes, but it’s very straightforward, and it treads territory covered in films all too regularly. That said, there’s something very surprising about how fresh the material seems. Lowlife criminals find themselves in […]

Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me Review

Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) There are a lot of obvious and superficial similarities between Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me and, from a few years ago, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work. Both follow older women with years of experience in show business as they struggle to keep up with what the demands of their careers. They both […]

2014 Oscar Nominations Wish List

2014 Oscar Nominations Wish List

I say this every year, but it deserves repeating: quality has got nothing to do with the Oscars. Sure, the Academy is a large voting body, but each member has his or her own biases—just like film critics do—and for every member who thinks The Wolf of Wall Street is the best movie of 2013 […]

Enough Said Review

Enough Said Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Considering my only taste of writer/director Nicole Holofcener‘s cinema was the icy cold Please Give, it’s hard for me—even in its wake—to think of her as the heart and soul behind Enough Said. Maybe that’s because the true heart and soul of the film is the late James Gandolfini, who gives one […]

2013 TIFF Movies to Watch: #20-#11

2013 TIFF Movies to Watch: #20-#11

Today’s TIFF preview (the penultimate!) features films directed by the likes of Nicole Holofcener, Hirokazu Kore-Eda, and David Gordon Green. 20.) Enough Said Program: Special Presentation Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures Directed by: Nicole Holofcener Written by: Nicole Holofcener Starring: Catherine Keener, James Gandolfini, Toni Collette, Julia Louis-Dreyfus Synopsis: This smart and decidedly modern romantic comedy […]

Killing Them Softly Review

Killing Them Softly Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) It took five years following The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford for Andrew Dominik to return to the director’s chair. Five years is a long time to build anticipation for an obviously skilled filmmaker, and his skill is what gets Killing Me Softly through some narrative rough patches. […]

Not Fade Away Review

Not Fade Away Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) David Chase—creator of HBO’s The Sopranos—makes his debut as a feature filmmaker with Not Fade Away. Though not a far cry from his mafia series geographically (this film is more Jersey than Mike “The Situation”), Not Fade Away‘s subject matter couldn’t be more different. Focusing on a young man determined to be […]

Zero Dark Thirty Review

Zero Dark Thirty Review

RATING: (4 STARS) There’s a moment in Kathryn Bigelow’s dense but lightning-quick procedural, Zero Dark Thirty, when Jessica Chastain’s Maya is actually laughed at for trying to pursue Osama bin Laden. “Protect the homeland” is the motto her superiors pound into her like she’s a canine undergoing obedience training. But she’s a real pit bull. […]

The Man Who Wasn’t There Review

The Man Who Wasn’t There Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) The Man Who Wasn’t There is a deliciously offbeat, darkly comic noir that could only come from the minds of Joel and Ethan Coen. The story’s twists are painfully clever, and its performances are nearly perfect. It’s a little long-winded, which prevents it from being among Fargo and No Country for Old […]

In the Loop Review

In the Loop Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) Fuck! In the Loop is a fucking funny movie! Never has a movie used profanity in such large fuckin’ amounts or in such a great fucking way, but it makes this movie. A satire about the ineptitudes of government, In the Loop doesn’t make any thought-provoking points (except that members of government […]