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Michael Stuhlbarg

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 […]

Steve Jobs Review

Steve Jobs Review

RATING: (3 STARS) End-to-end control. It’s a personal computing philosophy that drove Steve Jobs and comes up regularly as a point of confrontation in the movie Steve Jobs. Many of his contemporaries and colleagues felt end-to-end control, which restricts a device’s compatibility with other devices, would significantly narrow a user’s possibilities. And that’s exactly what […]

Blue Jasmine Review

Blue Jasmine Review

RATING: (3 STARS) In 1988, Pedro Almodóvar directed Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. In 2013, Woody Allen directed Blue Jasmine, a.k.a. “Woman on the Verge of Another Nervous Breakdown (or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Stoli Martinis with a Twist of Lemon)”. Blue Jasmine is a far cry from […]

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 […]

Lincoln Review

Lincoln Review

RATING: (3 STARS) The way Daniel Day-Lewis towers over Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln is almost a shame. His performance is one of such immersion that you’ll occasionally lose sight of what’s going on around him—even the words he’s speaking. Or maybe that has to do with Tony Kushner’s drier-than-desert-sand screenplay. Abraham Lincoln’s life and presidency are […]

Seven Psychopaths Review

Seven Psychopaths Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) In what’s turning out to be a banner year for uber-clever, original scripts, Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths has one of the very best. McDonagh’s In Bruges was merely a warm-up act for the violent zaniness that is his sophomore directorial effort. If you were a fan of that film, you’ll love this […]

Hugo Review

Hugo Review

RATING: (4 STARS) Martin Scorsese’s Hugo is this joyful love letter to youth, discovery, and the magic of movies. It’s also a visual feast for the eyes like we haven’t seen in years. Though a complete departure on so many levels for Scorsese, Hugo is just as good as some of his best works, both […]

The Ten Best Performances of 2009

The Ten Best Performances of 2009

Below are my ten favorite performances of the year. I wouldn’t dare say they were the ten best, but for one reason or another, I preferred these above any others in 2009. Some will be nominated for Oscars; others won’t be. But these actors and their outstanding work helped make 2009 such a strong year […]

A Serious Man Review

A Serious Man Review

RATING: (4 STARS) A Serious Man is the latest film from the masters of the unconventional—Joel and Ethan Coen—and it certainly lives up to expectations (if there are such things as expectations from these two). Here, they take a turn toward more personal filmmaking and tackle questions that relate to God, fate, and consequence. Of […]