Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Run & Jump

In Steph Green's Irish import "Run & Jump," Vanetia Casey (Maxine Peake) brings her husband Conor (Edward Macliam - now there's a UK name) home from the hospital after an unexpected stroke from which he will never fully recover.

If You Build It

"Wordplay" director Patrick Creadon's new documentary "If You Build It" concerns business and life partners Emily Pilloton and Matt Miller, who bring their community-based design ethic to the high school in Windsor, the seat of rural Bertie County, North Carolina's poorest.

Like Father, Like Son

Director Hirokazu Koreeda, who bored us with "After Life" (1998) and "I Wish" (2012), returns with "Like Father, Like Son," which is if nothing else at least twice as good as the 1987 Dudley Moore-Kirk Cameron comedy of the same name.


Sebastián Lelio's "Gloria" takes place in Santiago, where Gloria (Paulina Garcia in a great performance), a divorcee of 58, looks for new love through her endearingly oversized glasses.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Ride Along

Two stars is overly generous for the Kevin Hart-Ice Cube cop comedy “Ride Along,” but it’s so much more enjoyable than “G.B.F.” or “The Rocket,” I can’t squeeze them into the same star rating.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Rocket

I’m floored by the 100% fresh Rotten Tomatoes score for Kim Mordaunt's “The Rocket,” an egregious example of the critical bias in favor of foreign films.


Three high-school social queens compete for what magazines tell them is the hottest new accessory – a gay best friend – in the aggressively unfunny comedy “G.B.F.”

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

The unintentional laughs come early and often in the ersatz CIA thriller “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.”

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


The less said, the better about an excruciatingly unfunny T&A comedy called "Dumbbells," about Chris (Brian Drolet), a former college basketball jock whose NBA dreams ended with a knee injury.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Best Offer

Giuseppe Tornatore, who wrote and directed the affectionate tribute to moviegoing “Cinema Paradiso” in 1990 and also made my top-ten list with “Malena” in 2000, returns with a film I enjoyed thoroughly and admire more the more I think of it.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Cold Comes the Night

The English actress Alice Eve plays Chloe, a cash-strapped single mother who runs a roadside motel (frequented by druggies and prostitutes) in upstate New York and, to the consternation of social services, lives there with her young daughter Sophia (Ursula Parker) in “Cold Comes the Night.”

The Truth About Emanuel

The gentleman at the end of our row laughed so hard during Francesca Gregorini’s “The Truth About Emanuel” that I feared he might choke on his popcorn. Unfortunately, the film is not a comedy. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Complete List of Star Ratings to 2013 Films

Below, my complete list of star ratings for each of the 303 new releases I saw in theaters in 2013.
Documentaries are indicated with the notation (D).

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Top Ten Films of 2013: #1


The Top Ten Films of 2013: #2


The Top Ten Films of 2013: #3


The Top Ten Films of 2013: #4


The Top Ten Films of 2013: #5


The Top Ten Films of 2013: #6


The Top Ten Films of 2013: #7


The Top Ten Films of 2013: #8


The Top Ten Films of 2013: #9


The Top Ten Films of 2013: #10


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Honorable Mentions of 2013

I awarded three stars to each of 35 films this year, and I could envision almost any of them on my honorable mention list. I’ll confine myself, though, to the three films this year that earned 3.5 stars but just missed my top-ten list. In alphabetical order, they are…

Wednesday, January 1, 2014