Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gahan Wilson: Born Dead, Still Weird

Steven-Charles Jaffe’s documentary “Gahan Wilson: Born Dead, Still Weird” lifts the veil on the 83-year-old cartoonist for The New Yorker and Playboy magazines, known for his lovingly rendered monsters and child’s-eye view of the world.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Approved for Adoption

"Approved for Adoption," a childhood remembrance by director Jung Henin, is a stylistic mishmash composed mostly of animation, with a few archival newsreels and a bit of newly-shot video footage of Henin today.

Geography Club

Half a dozen years ago, Lifetime ran a reality show called "Gay, Straight or Taken?" in which a bachelorette spent a day with three men and had to determine who was gay, who was straight and available, and who already had a girlfriend.

Monday, November 25, 2013


Having set the bar for least screen time in an Oscar-winning performance in "Shakespeare in Love," Dame Judi Dench occupies almost every scene of the new tearjerker "Philomena," about an English nurse's search for the boy she was forced to give up for adoption fifty years earlier.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Alexander Payne is the director of "Citizen Ruth," "Sideways," and "The Descendants." And now he's made a good movie.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Motel Life

Brothers Alan and Gabe Polsky make their directorial debut with an adaptation of the fraternally themed Willy Vlautin novel "The Motel Life," about the peripatetic Flanagan boys, Frank (Emile Hirsch) and Jerry Lee (Stephen Dorff).

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Broken Circle Breakdown

The better the movie, the harder it can be to put into words. Such is the case with Belgium’s entry for foreign-language Oscar consideration, the bluegrass-and-cancer uniquity “The Broken Circle Breakdown.” 

The Book Thief

"The Book Thief," based on Markus Zusak's bestseller, takes us to Germany before and during WWII, where Rosa (Emily Watson) and Hans (Geoffrey Rush) await their two new foster children.

The Armstrong Lie

Alex Gibney is the preeminent, and perhaps the most prolific, documentarian in the current cinema.

The Wind Rises

The legendary Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki has avowed that "The Wind Rises" will be his last film, and what a strange swan song it is.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Square

It pains me to hear "The Square" talked about as a documentary Oscar front-runner, because to me "Blackfish" is the most important and moving documentary in years.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

"Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa" is the kind of movie that, even if you like, you wouldn't want to see more than once a year.

The New Black

Director Yoruba Richen brings solid production values and a commendable sense of fairness to the documentary "The New Black," about the black community's views on LGBTs and their rights, as seen through the prism of Maryland's Question 6, the first statewide marriage-equality voter referendum to prevail at the polls.

Monday, November 4, 2013


Costa-Gavras has come out from under some rock to make "Capital," a corporate thriller that clearly establishes he's never spent in a minute in a boardroom.

Last Vegas

There are a few laughs in the sexagenarian WHIVSIV comedy "Last Vegas," flashes of wit among the warmed-over sentiment and tiresome plot machinations.

About Time

I was surprised how much antipathy I'd mustered by the end of "About Time," Richard Curtis' stupid and sexist British romcom.

Dallas Buyers Club

Matthew McConaughey continues to reaffirm his status as the best working actor in Hollywood, filling in the gaps in Craig Borten's and Melisa Wallack's fairly thin script for "Dallas Buyers Club," about Ron Woodroof, a homophobic electrician diagnosed with HIV after blacking out on the job.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Blood Brother

In the documentary “Blood Brother,” American Steve Hoover trains the camera on his best friend, Rocky Braat, who visited an AIDS hostel while on vacation in India and found his purpose, staying and making his life with the women and children of the village.