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Christian Bale

The Big Short Review

The Big Short Review

RATING: (4 STARS) Adam McKay is a tightrope walker. His latest film, The Big Short, is one of 2015’s funniest offerings. Its subject matter? The 2008 collapse of the American economy. McKay cut his teeth with Will Ferrell vehicles like Anchorman and Talladega Nights, which are both absurdist comedies with their own internal logics born […]

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 […]

American Hustle Review

American Hustle Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) Of many great pleasures found in David O. Russell’s latest, American Hustle, the greatest is watching not one, not two, not three, not four, but FIVE talented actors give truly exceptional performances. Jeremy Renner is the only Russell newcomer, as the Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter helmer has brought together an […]

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 […]

The Dark Knight Rises Review

The Dark Knight Rises Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) With The Dark Knight Rises, the stirring finale to the wildly successful post-millennial Batman trilogy, director and cowriter Christopher Nolan laughs in the face of staggeringly high expectations and gives us perhaps the grandest of all superhero movies. The movie itself is this big, hulking monster—not unlike its main villain—but its flaws […]

The New World Review

The New World Review

RATING: (4 STARS) The first two hours of The New World represents director Terrence Malick’s greatest achievement to date. For those two hours, The New World is nearly perfect. It’s a tragic story of unobtainable love that brilliantly parallels the early American pioneers’ quest for utopia. It’s exquisitely composed and features some fantastic acting, yet […]

The Fighter Review

The Fighter Review

RATING: (3 STARS) In this corner, weighing in at approximately 700 pounds—the dynamic acting foursome of Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Melissa Leo, and Mark Wahlberg. And in this corner, weighing in at a whopping 2,000 pounds—a ton of dysfunctional family- and boxing-movie clichés. David O. Russell’s The Fighter was a real slugfest between these two […]

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 […]