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Viola Davis

Prisoners Review

Prisoners Review

RATING: (4 STARS) Prisoners is the most tightly plotted 153-minute movie you’ll ever see. It’s a masterpiece of the crime genre that covers a lot of ground, but every crumb, clue, and detail dropped by director Denis Villeneuve and screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski is essential to its (murky-ish) resolution. Comparisons to films like Se7en and Zodiac […]

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Review

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Review

RATING: (1 STAR) Stephen Daldry’s latest film, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, tries to make sense of one of the worst days—perhaps the “Worst Day”—in American history. It does so through the eyes of a pre-teen boy, who appears to suffer from Asperger’s Disease. And what does it ultimately tell us? That New Yorkers are […]

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 […]

Trust Review

Trust Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) David Schwimmer is probably the last person you’d expect to direct a hard-hitting drama about rape, but with Trust, he’s done just that, and he does a solid job. He certainly deserves a great deal of credit for the extraordinary performances he coaxes out of all four of the main actors involved. […]

It’s Kind of a Funny Story Review

It’s Kind of a Funny Story Review

RATING: (3 STARS) It’s Kind of a Funny Story might be the most aptly titled film of 2010. It’s sweet, breezy, and kind of funny. It’s not remotely challenging, and I was a little bummed to see writing/directing duo Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck abandon the hard-hitting realism that made their previous features, Half Nelson […]

Doubt Review

Doubt Review

RATING: (4 STARS) “Doubt” is a film of uncommon depth and intelligence, and it tackles some very interesting philosophical issues. What is certainty? How much doubt is necessary to prevent oneself from doing something hurtful? And what in the world is it going to take to get Meryl Streep another damn Oscar? She seems to […]

Knight and Day Review

Knight and Day Review

RATING: (2 STARS) Well, summer blockbusters this year are improving, albeit at a snail’s pace. The best thing I can say about “Knight and Day” is that it’s a step above most of what I’ve seen this summer. Coming fresh off the heels of The A-Team, it was good. But judged objectively, this is just […]

Far from Heaven Review

Far from Heaven Review

RATING: (4 STARS) Todd Haynes’ “Far From Heaven” transports us to a time that is often lampooned in film (1950s suburbia), but rarely taken seriously. It confronts some difficult social issues (racism, sexism, homophobia), while also finding time to develop some involving, non-manipulative melodrama. It’s also visually stunning and features one of the finest performances […]