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Mark Strong

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. […]

BLU-RAY REVIEW: Green Lantern

BLU-RAY REVIEW: Green Lantern

Martin Campbell’s Green Lantern was an undeniable failure both financially (domestic box office of $116 million on a $200 million production budget) and critically (27% approval on Rotten Tomatoes). But go elsewhere if you’re looking for another reviewer to pile on. I won’t—I can’t. The film is too much fun. It’s a mess, mind you. […]

John Carter Review

John Carter Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) It’s hard to believe a film so skillfully crafted and brimming with so many ideas could elicit such a blah reaction. But this is John Carter. Director Andrew Stanton‘s live-action debut is a hodgepodge of epic battles, clunky dialogue, interesting mythology, and trite romance. Much has been made of the film’s massive […]

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Review

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Review

RATING: (4 STARS) Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a superior thriller that accomplishes the unfathomable in condensing John le Carré’s masterful British espionage novel into an appropriately dense but followable two-hour film. And shockingly, not a ton of important detail is lost in the translation. Director Tomas Alfredson (following up the sensational Let the Right […]

The Guard Review

The Guard Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) The Guard is the better-looking, funnier, and more interesting younger brother of 2008’s In Bruges. Coincidently (or perhaps not), it’s written and directed by John Michael McDonagh, brother to In Bruges writer/director Martin McDonagh. That irony is funny in and of itself, but really, The Guard is quite a good little film. […]

The Eagle Review

The Eagle Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) If The Eagle reached a little higher, it could have been a very good film. As it stands, it’s a harmless, sporadically entertaining swords-and-sandals epic. But I didn’t get the sense that there was much passion behind the scenes. Character development feels half-assed, the acting is subpar, and Kevin MacDonald’s directorial style […]

Green Lantern Review

Green Lantern Review

RATING: (2 STARS) Of the four big superhero movies coming out this summer, Green Lantern caused me the most initial trepidation. Besides not being the biggest Ryan Reynolds fan, I was concerned about the story’s “out-there-ness,” and I wasn’t sure director Martin Campbell was up to the task of handling all the film’s CGI. Unfortunately, […]

The Way Back Review

The Way Back Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Though it’s certainly not the most exciting movie in recent memory, The Way Back represents accomplished filmmaking at its best. Made for just $30 million, the film looks like it cost three times that. The scenery is gorgeous, and the way the film is photographed helps you forgive some of its narrative […]

The Young Victoria Review

The Young Victoria Review

RATING: (3 STARS) European royalty dramas are a dime a dozen. The last decade has seen films about Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Elizabeth II, Marie Antoinette, among many others. The close of the decade brought another such film—Jean-Marc Vallée’s “The Young Victoria” about the early years of the reign of Britain’s longest serving monarch. The […]

Kick-Ass Review

Kick-Ass Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) “Kick-Ass,” the latest from director Matthew Vaughn, is a wild ride from start to finish. Simultaneously a superhero movie and a riff on superhero movies, the film is full of ribald humor, over-the-top violence, and a surprising amount of heart. It’s a tad long, but it doesn’t once wear out its welcome. […]

Sherlock Holmes Review

Sherlock Holmes Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) If Sherlock Holmes had a somewhat decent story to go along with its enjoyable characters and great technical work, I’m sure I would be more enthusiastic about it. As it is, however, I can’t quite recommend it. The story isn’t even derivative, it’s a mess. Despite the fact that we are spoon […]