Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Blogroll

Thompson on Hollywood

Review Roundup: Dustin Hoffman's 'Quartet' is Genial Escapist Fun

Dustin Hoffman's genteel directorial debut "Quartet," starring Maggie Smith and a legion of other notable Brit actors as members of a musicans' retirement community, will play best for music-loving Anglophiles who enjoy the company of wily and entertaining British seniors. Yet again, Dame Smith steals the show as a proud aging diva who arrives with no idea how much she wounded the husband she once jilted during her more playful days at the top of the opera world. Tom Courtenay is her courtly swain, while Billy Connolly and Pauline Collins chew up the scenery as the remaining members of a once-famous quartet.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
  • |
  • December 5, 2012 3:26 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Now and Then: In Harmony, 'Life of Pi' and 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' Are the Best Films of the Year

One is a grand, sea-borne spectacle, a master's first glorious foray into 3-D. The other, like its breakout star, is a furious miniature whose impact far outweighs its size. But both "Life of Pi" and "Beasts of the Southern Wild" are fervently alive to the world of nature, of spirit — two halves of the same double helix.
  • By Matt Brennan
  • |
  • December 4, 2012 4:25 PM
  • |
  • 4 Comments

DVD Review: 'Dark Crimes' from Chandler, Hammett & Woolrich in Tantalizing TCM Noir Box Set

On December 3, the TCM Vault Collection released a tantalizing box set of three film noirs, “The Glass Key,” “Phantom Lady” and “The Blue Dahlia,” all previously unavailable on Region 1 DVD. The connecting thread is crime fiction -- the first two films are based on novels by Dashiell Hammett and Cornell Woolrich, respectively, and the third is from an original screenplay by Raymond Chandler.
  • By Beth Hanna
  • |
  • December 4, 2012 12:04 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment

Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit': Review and Reaction Roundup UPDATED

Finally, the last films of the year are being screened, just in time for early critics voting. While early reactions to this weekend's "Django Unchained" were upbeat, reviews so far are mixed on Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." Reactions came in from both the New Zealand premiere, held on Wednesday, and a slew of Los Angeles screenings. Complaints from the premiere took the form of dizziness and even motion sickness from watching the controversial 48 fps, while L.A. critics found the film padded, overlong and shockingly lacking in women.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • December 3, 2012 8:58 PM
  • |
  • 9 Comments

Film Critics Start to Weigh In

As we await the final New York Film Critics Circle results and anticipate the National Board of Review December 5 and LA Film Critics Association December 9, a few top ten lists are coming out. These votes will start to push momentum toward certain winners.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • December 3, 2012 12:57 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment

'This is 40' Review and Round-Up: Judd Apatow and Crew Deliver Pain and Laughs

With "This is 40," Judd Apatow's fourth feature film as a writer-director, the prolific producer ("Girls," "Pineapple Express," "Freaks and Geeks") has never been more in control of his medium. This relationship comedy returns to Pete and Debbie, the Los Angeles married couple introduced in "Knocked Up" (Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd). It's tight, concise, hilarious, painful and spot-on accurate.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • December 1, 2012 3:59 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Review: 'Killing Them Softly' Has Bold Style, Skips Heartbeat

Andrew Dominik's "Killing Them Softly," adapted from George V. Higgins' 1974 crime novel "Cogan's Trade," takes place in an atrophied post-Katrina New Orleans in 2008. Brad Pitt plays Jackie Cogan, a hitman whose preferred method of execution is explained in the film's updated title.
  • By Beth Hanna
  • |
  • November 30, 2012 6:44 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment

Weekend Preview: Slim Pickings Beyond Andrew Dominik's 'Killing Them Softly' -- Unless You're Into Jean-Claude Van Damme

This lackluster weekend for movie openings may leave you wanting to catch up on the Thanksgiving releases you missed. That said, Andrew Dominik's "Killing Them Softly," an alternately engrossing and heavy-handed hitman drama starring Brad Pitt, is the strongest of the bunch. Beyond that, the options are disparate: a feminist take on Marilyn Monroe from HBO star Liz Garbus, "Love, Marilyn," wan horror title "The Collection," or Van Damme-Lundgren vehicle "Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning," which some critics find worth reckoning with (and some don't).
  • By Beth Hanna
  • |
  • November 30, 2012 5:39 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Review Roundup: 'Killing Them Softly' Is Formally Stunning, Well-Acted, and Heavy-Handed

Down Under director Andrew Dominik's politically pessimistic crime drama "Killing Them Softly" hits theaters this weekend, starring Brad Pitt as a numbed hitman in an atrophied, Recession-roiled America. Critics are of two minds about the film: On the one hand, it shows masterful visual skill and boasts strong performances, while on the other, it becomes bogged down by its own message with a capital M. Reviews are mixed to positive; a roundup is below.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
  • |
  • November 29, 2012 2:23 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Review: Don't Mess with Granny in Finnish Oscar Entry 'Purge'

Antti J. Jokinen’s  “Purge,” Finland’s official Oscar entry, is based on the widely translated novel and play of the same title by Estonian-Finnish author Sofi Oksanen. The film alternates between two different yet interconnected stories set in rural Estonia: a young prostitute on the run from the Russian mafia in the early 1990s, and a village woman battling personal and socio-political demons during the mid-century Soviet occupation.
  • By Beth Hanna
  • |
  • November 29, 2012 7:30 AM
  • |
  • 2 Comments

Email Updates