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Helen Mirren

Trumbo Review

Trumbo Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) Mistrust and fear overtook Hollywood during the 1940s and 1950s when many major players in the movie industry were shunned, blacklisted, and even jailed over their beliefs. It’s not hard to see why such a time would be appealing to a filmmaker, and in fact, Jay Roach’s Trumbo is hardly the first […]

Woman in Gold Review

Woman in Gold Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Kate Winslet famously said in the television show Extras that if you do a film about the Holocaust, you’re guaranteed an Oscar. It’s a joke born at least partially out of the truth. Her next line: “Schindler’s bloody List, The Pianist — Oscars coming out of their ass.” And Winslet’s own post-Extras […]

Monsters University Review

Monsters University Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) Three of Pixar‘s last four films have been “familiar” projects. Whether a sequel (Toy Story 3, Cars 2) or a prequel (Monsters University), the idea that the beloved animation studio was out of “original” ideas—or at least that the minds at Pixar were content falling back on the familiar—have permeated many a […]

Hitchcock Review

Hitchcock Review

RATING: (2 STARS) Hitchcock is a mostly harmless film, but it’s hard to believe there’s nothing exceptional about the film about one of the most exceptional films ever made. Cinema doesn’t get much better than Psycho, but its director’s making-of biopic is dull and lifeless. Its attempts at characterization are based largely around tall tales […]

Arthur (2011) Review

Arthur (2011) Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) I went into Arthur expecting the worst. The film’s trailers were universally awful, and my general antipathy toward sequels left me feeling nervous. The original Arthur, a 1981 romantic comedy starring Dudley Moore, is a relatively delightful romp. But Russell Brand just didn’t seem like he belonged in this world. And he […]

Red Review

Red Review

RATING: (3 STARS) It’s hard to watch Red and not smile at least a little. Of course, it’s absolutely ridiculous, but it never takes itself too seriously. Is it as funny as it could have been? Probably not (I think an R-rating would have done the film wonders), but you’ll almost certainly have a good […]

Gosford Park Review

Gosford Park Review

RATING: (3 STARS) It takes great skill to make a film like Gosford Park. Besides the obvious technical work needed to create the world of this film, director Robert Altman also must work hard to manage a group of nearly 25 important characters. And each actor needs to know his or her place in the […]

The Last Station Review

The Last Station Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) “The Last Station” sounded like it would be a fascinating experience. It tells the story of the final years of one of the greatest writers in history—Leo Tolstoy—while examining whether one can believe in an ideology while not following it religiously. It’s a relevant subject, and with Oscar-nominated performances from Helen Mirren […]

2010: The Year We Make Contact Review

2010: The Year We Make Contact Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) It was with great trepidation that I sat down to watch “2010: The Year We Make Contact.” It’s the sequel to my all-time favorite film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, but it’s generally regarded as a massive step back in quality from its predecessor. The argument essentially boils down to director Peter Hyams […]