John C. Reilly

10 Performances to Watch This Fall

10 Performances to Watch This Fall

I’ve already written a bit about the movies that have my attention as the calendar turns toward autumn, but what about the performances? Too often, I overlook actors in favor of their directors and screenwriters (both when I write about films and when I anticipate them), but this fall’s crop of titles has the potential […]

The Lobster Review

The Lobster Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) The Lobster is an utterly transfixing and bewildering high-concept comedy about what the world would look like if everything we knew and liked about love was gone. In Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos’ English-language debut, coupling off is an obligation; We never find out why, but those without a partner are forced to […]

Guardians of the Galaxy Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) “What was it about?” It’s often the first question someone asks me when I tell them about a movie I saw, and it ought to be the easiest one to answer. The first cinematic adaptation of Marvel’s deep-space-set saga Guardians of the Galaxy challenges that notion. Here, a studio has neutered down […]

Gangs of New York Review

Gangs of New York Review

RATING: (4 STARS) “My father told me we was all born of blood and tribulation, and so then too was our great city.” This beautiful quote just about closes Martin Scorsese’s impossibly epic Gangs of New York. And it’s a fitting one to sum up both the film’s plot and biggest themes. The Amsterdam Vallon […]

Wreck-It Ralph Review

Wreck-It Ralph Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) Though Disney owns Pixar, the two animation studios work autonomously, and the latter has simply dominated the former over the last decade or so. Wreck-It Ralph—Disney’s latest—represents a giant, candy-colored momentum swing back toward Mickey Mouse and company. Disney still isn’t winning the battle; Pixar’s track record is just too strong. But […]

Terri Review

Terri Review

RATING: (3 STARS) I’m not sure “insightful” is the right word to describe Azazel Jacobs’ Terri, but I’d absolutely call it authentic, believable. Little happens in the film that sheds new light on high school students or the difficulties of growing up obese, and that’s fine when these subjects are tackled with such a delicate […]

Carnage Review

Carnage Review

RATING: (2 STARS) With names like Roman Polanski, Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, Christoph Waltz, and Kate Winslet front and center, Carnage has no right being such a wet blanket of a movie. Its premise is golden—two sets of parents meet to discuss a physical altercation between their children. Chaos, of course, ensues, but it’s […]

We Need to Talk About Kevin Review

We Need to Talk About Kevin Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) We Need to Talk About Kevin is the best horror movie in years. It’s the antithesis of a Saw or a Paranormal Activity film in that it’s based in the real world rather than one full of ghosts or, you know, murderous puppets. It depicts a parent’s worst nightmare: That his or […]

Cedar Rapids Review

Cedar Rapids Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Cedar Rapids is a comedy anomaly. It sits somewhere between the fish-out-of-water and arrested development comedy genres, and it earns its laughs through character growth and interaction. Its naturally funny, but even more so, it’s charming. In fact, the harder it tries to be funny, the less successful it is. Thankfully, those […]

9 Review

9 Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) 9, not to be confused with Nine, the Rob Marshall musical which also came out in 2009, is another in a long line of post-apocalyptic films from the past few years. Two things separate it from films like Children of Men, The Road, and The Book of Eli. The first is obvious—9 […]

Cyrus Review

Cyrus Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) Few films received as much positive buzz out of Sundance as “Cyrus,” the latest from the Duplass Brothers, Jay and Mark. Many hailed it as a film of rare emotional honesty. Festival-goers in Austin for South by Southwest responded in kind, but I couldn’t help but think the film didn’t live up […]

SXSW 2010: Day 2

SXSW 2010: Day 2

SXSW Day 2, the first full day of the film festival (and sadly my last) began early for me with a panel discussion featuring acclaimed horror directors Neil Marshall (“The Descent”), Ruben Fleischer (“Zombieland”), Matt Reeves (“Cloverfield”), Ti West (“The House of the Dead”), and Robert Rodriguez (“Desperado”). The participation of Marshall and Rodriguez was […]

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 […]

Magnolia Review

Magnolia Review

RATING: (4 STARS) After the critical and financial success he had with “Boogie Nights,” New Line essentially gave P.T. Anderson the freedom to do anything he wanted. The result is “Magnolia,” a picture that wouldn’t have been made, couldn’t have been made, without such freedom. This is a bold motion picture, a 3-hour tale about […]