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Paul Giamatti

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Review

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Review

RATING: (2 STARS) The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is many things—a good film not being one of them. But in between non-sensical, neon-soaked action sequences and cliche-ridden superhero movie romance are some surprisingly acceptable moments. Electro’s transformation from bullied to bully is hardly inspired. Ditto Peter Parker’s exploration of his parents’ past. But these oddly (if […]

Saving Mr. Banks Review

Saving Mr. Banks Review

RATING: (3 STARS) The most cynical viewers will no doubt find John Lee Hancock’s Saving Mr. Banks unbearable. It’s narrative trajectory—stern woman’s icy exterior melts away—is hardly new territory, and the “Disneyfication” of the storyline makes this a film content to merely please, not challenge, its viewers. Mission accomplished, then. I found Saving Mr. Banks […]

Cosmopolis Review

Cosmopolis Review

RATING: (1 STARS) David Cronenberg is known for pushing the boundaries of cinema, and his latest effort—Cosmopolis—is no different. If you think you’ve seen a boring movie, watch this one and reconsider your definition of the word. It makes Meet Joe Black feel like a Jason Bourne adventure. What’s arguably worse than the film’s excruciating […]

Rock of Ages Review

Rock of Ages Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) “I wanna rock!” exclaimed Twisted Sister in its famous 1984 song. It’s safe to assume most men and women attending Adam Shankman’s Rock of Ages would feel the same way. Well, hopefully they don’t mind Glee-style bastardizations of their beloved rock anthems because that’s Rock of Ages‘ modus operandi. Its numbers are […]

The Ides of March Review

The Ides of March Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) The Ides of March is a slick thriller with a clear message: Idealism and hope have no place politics. Succumb to these feelings and you’re finished. Yes, it’s not a new thesis, but it’s one that director George Clooney presents unflinchingly. There are moments in this film that I felt real despair, […]

Win Win Review

Win Win Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) As a drama, Win Win is exceptional—not unlike director Tom McCarthy’s last feature, The Visitor. Unfortunately, it occasionally gets its feet wet with comedy, which slightly derails the film. But on the whole, the good moments far outweigh the bad. This is definitely one of the year’s best independent efforts so far. […]

Barney’s Version Review

Barney’s Version Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Barney’s Version is probably one of the most problematic films you’ll ever see me fully recommend. Narratively, it’s a bit of a mess. It’s a biopic about a fictional man, which allows it to essentially do whatever it wants (within the framework, of course, of the novel upon which it’s based). Screenwriter […]

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 […]

Duplicity Review

Duplicity Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Tony Gilroy knows the spy genre. He’s written the Bourne movies and “Michael Clayton” in addition to directing the latter (although Clayton isn’t a spy film per se, it follows many of the same conventions). The tone of those features was deadly serious. In “Duplicity,” Gilroy switches things up. He takes what […]