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Thomas Newman

Finding Dory Review

Finding Dory Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) The last time Pixar produced a sequel that was a decade in the making, they gave us Toy Story 3, the best Pixar film. It relied heavily on nostalgia to hit its marks — something its latest mega-sequel, Finding Dory, curiously eschews. Yes, the forgetful Dory, the nervous Marlin, and the loving […]

Spectre Review

Spectre Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Spectre is Daniel Craig’s fourth James Bond film, and for the fourth time, he’s carrying the franchise through an origin story. Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace combined to share with us the beginnings of Bond as 007. Skyfall represented the start of M, Q, and Moneypenny as we know them. Now […]

Bridge of Spies Review

Bridge of Spies Review

RATING: (3 STARS) In Steven Spielberg’s Cold War drama Bridge of Spies, Mark Rylance plays a man named Rudolf Abel. Accused of spying on the United States for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Abel is potentially looking at the electric chair if convicted. Legal representation is offered by James Donovan (Tom Hanks), who’s utterly […]

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Review

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) If there’s ever been a movie title more truthful than The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, I don’t know what it is. This movie is the definition of fine. It goes down really easily because it doesn’t try to do too much. Because it can dispose of things like character introductions and […]

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 […]

Side Effects Review

Side Effects Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) The auteur theory is a frequently debated and discussed topic within the film world. Behind the theory is the idea that an “auteur” is a prolific director whose work is easily identifiable based on just a few characteristics—themes, camerawork, music, regular collaborations with specific actors, and other things of this nature. Opponents […]

Skyfall Review

Skyfall Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) Sumptuous and splendid, Skyfall takes James Bond in a whole new direction for his 23rd official big-screen adventure. Looking exclusively at the way the film concludes, one might think we’d gone back in time to the Bond of the 1960s, but what precedes it is very much a Sam Mendes character piece. […]

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Review

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) This is the true story of seven people, who choose to live in a foreign land, retire together, and have their lives taped to find out what happens when India stops being polite and starts getting real. OK, it’s not a true story, but the rest is accurate. The Best Exotic Marigold […]

The Iron Lady Review

The Iron Lady Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) The Iron Lady lacks focus, plain and simple. It strives to be this grand biopic that encompasses the whole of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s life. But for such a big, polarizing figure, it feels as if her messier, more complicated moments are glossed over in favor of spending time with a dementia-riddled […]

Revolutionary Road Review

Revolutionary Road Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) Revolutionary Road is one of the most literary adaptations I’ve seen in some time. By that, I mean the film looks, sounds, and is structured as if it was directed by the source’s author Richard Yates, rather than Sam Mendes. That’s not a bad thing, per se. In fact, I think it […]

The Help Review

The Help Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Though relatively lightweight and somewhat manipulative, The Help is nonetheless affecting. It’s the acting that sets it apart from most films of its kind, and with no less than four excellent performances, it’s easy to forgive a film its missteps. I thought some of the characters were frustratingly one-dimensional, but the performances […]

The Adjustment Bureau Review

The Adjustment Bureau Review

RATING: (3 STARS) There was plenty of reason to worry about George Nolfi’s The Adjustment Bureau. The film was originally slated for a late summer 2010 release. It was then bumped back to the fall, and again to this March. But besides the delays, the film’s trailers hinted at a slightly off-putting mixture of heady […]