You don’t need to go back to prehistoric times to find some of the familiar narrative devices in The Good Dinosaur, an animated coming-of-age adventure that theorizes a friendly coexistence between dinos and humans. It’s the latest from the Pixar juggernaut, a heartfelt story of friendship and courage aimed primarily at children whose more discerning […]Read More
Dallas has no shortage of outlandish characters, big personalities, and wild storylines — This city was full of reality TV shows waiting to happen long before Real Housewives swooped in. With that in mind, here are elevator pitches for five North Texas-based programs we’d rather see on air.Read More
It’s Seth Rogen who carries this dick-jokes-and-pot-heavy movie about three buddies marking the final year of their tradition of spending Christmas Eve together.
In the hands of an actor whose specialty doesn’t reside in the understated tossing off of funny throwaway lines, his role as an expectant father whose wife gives him a box of assorted drugs to enjoy with his pals might have veered into the obnoxious. Instead it was a pleasure to watch Rogen’s Isaac contend with his own magic-mushroom-addled brain as he, Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), and Chris (Anthony Mackie) attempt to find their way to the legendary and mysterious Nutcracker Ball.Read More
Those who didn’t see its predecessor shouldn’t bother with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 — not that they’d be tempted, anyway. There are no formal introductions or background explainers for confused newcomers. Rather, this is a franchise finale made specifically for the legions of devoted fans of prior films and the Suzanne Collins novels […]Read More
Brooklyn is about as unadorned and straightforward a story as I can remember. It’s exactly what it sets out to be — no more or less. It puts on no airs, traffics in no irony, and as such is a fitting portrait of the mainstream 1950s in which it takes place.
We meet Eilis (Saorise Ronan) just before she departs Ireland for a new life in the United States. She’s reluctantly leaving behind her mother and older sister. She goes only because the job opportunities in her hometown are limited.Read More
Based on a film that probably didn’t merit an American remake in the first place, Secret in Their Eyes nevertheless doesn’t improve upon the original. The source material is an Oscar-winning 2009 Argentinian thriller that had some nice surprises within its far-fetched premise. This star-studded version isn’t as taut or suspenseful by comparison. The story […]Read More
As a European travelogue, By the Sea has its merits. But as an intimate look into middle-aged marital strife, it comes up emotionally empty. The third directorial effort for Angelina Jolie Pitt (Unbroken) is a self-indulgent vehicle for Jolie Pitt and her real-life husband, Brad, which features some powerful character-driven moments within the framework of […]Read More
Imagine watching a movie made up entirely of the sort of clips that play during the Oscar telecast as lists of nominees are read, and you’ve got some sense of Trumbo. This should tell you something both about the quality of the performances and the film’s self-regard.
Bryan Cranston disappears into the starring role of writer Dalton Trumbo, whose best-known works are the screenplays for Roman Holiday and Spartacus. Trumbo was one of the “Hollywood 10,” a group of screenwriters and directors who were cited with contempt of Congress in 1947 for refusing to answer questions from the House Un-American Activities Committee about their involvement with the Communist Party. He was an unabashed member of the party and a champion of workers, according to this biopic anyway, and he was willing to go to jail in defense of his First Amendment rights.Read More
The perilous entrapment and subsequent rescue of 33 workers in a Chilean mine drew worldwide media attention in 2010, and so perhaps a movie was inevitable. However, The 33 isn’t the cinematic tribute they deserve. This well-intentioned salute to courage and resilience generates some tension within the claustrophobic depths of the mine, where its occupants […]Read More
Traditional print journalism has become marginalized amid the contemporary blogosphere, but films like Spotlight offer a reminder that good reporting should always have its place in the sensationalistic modern media landscape. This taut and well acted ensemble drama is based on some true-life muckraking in 2002, when a team of journalists from the Boston Globe […]Read More