PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE

4 Stars
Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 109 minutes

NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL FEATURE! This movie – partially backed by Tyler Petty and Oprah Winfrey – has been lauded for its “authenticity,” but to my eyes it felt closer to a grand guignol horror film.


Posted on October 3, 2009 by

HADEWIJCH

2 Stars
Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 120 minutes

NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL FEATURE! Bruno Dumont’s “Hadejwich” has a great lead performance, an admirable commitment to atmospheric consistency, and a final half-hour that’s pretty stupid.


Posted on September 26, 2009 by

EVERYONE ELSE (ALLE ANDEREN)

4 Stars
Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 119 minutes

NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL FEATURE! “Everyone Else” feels breezy, lived-in, and rich. It feels like life.


Posted on September 25, 2009 by

POLICE, ADJECTIVE

1 Stars
Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: G
Running Time: 115 minutes

NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL FEATURE! In the morning, I saw “Antichrist,” with its clitoris-clipping and testicle-smashing, and in the afternoon, I saw “Police, Adjective.” It’s no contest: “Police, Adjective” is much, much more difficult to sit through.


Posted on September 24, 2009 by

LEBANON

4 Stars
Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 93 minutes

NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL FEATURE! By the film’s end, the lens of the tank’s optical periscope is fractured and distorted, and POV shots through it have the effect of a long, unending nightmare. The whole film does, really.


Posted on September 24, 2009 by

JENNIFER’S BODY

4 Stars
Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 102 minutes

The male audience members drawn in by sedutive ads of Megan Fox are just like Jennifer’s victims, the guys in the film who puppyishly follow her into the woods to be slaughtered, made dumb by lust.


Posted on September 18, 2009 by

CHELSEA ON THE ROCKS

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 88 minutes

OPENING IN NEW YORK SEPTEMBER 25! “Chelsea on the Rocks,” Abel Ferrara’s first feature-length documentary, is a warm and curiously engaging film despite many flaws and sloppiness of construction. I’d rather see a documentary about the legendary hotel by Ferrara than, say, Ken Burns.


Posted on September 11, 2009 by

9

2 Stars
Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 79 minutes

“9″ feels like it should have stayed a short film. At feature length, you can‘t just showcase the visuals. The narrative gears have to be working, too.


Posted on September 9, 2009 by

INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 127 minutes

As much as I wish Tarantino were still making movies about human beings instead of cartoons, I can’t deny that he makes movies about movies better than any other director around.


Posted on August 13, 2009 by

THIRST

4 Stars
Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 127 minutes

IN LIMITED RELEASE! One thing I like about Chan-wook Park movies is the cleverness of the little details, the grace notes.


Posted on July 17, 2009 by

MANN-ING THE PAST IN DIGITAL

There are many reasons to see “Public Enemies” – especially the period detail realized with ultramodern technology.



Posted on July 8, 2009 by

THE HURT LOCKER

4.5 Stars
Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 127 minutes

IN LIMITED RELEASE! Director Kathryn Bigelow has made everything from schlock (“Near Dark”) to engaging pop (“Point Break”) to dystopic sci-fi (“Strange Days”), and now she’s unexpectedly delivered a film of convincing psychological realism.


Posted on June 27, 2009 by

“OUTSIDE” AND ALONE: INTERVIEW WITH FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA

Coppola talks about filmmaking outside the system and his follow-up to “Youth without Youth,” “Tetro”: “When you write a script, it’s like asking a question. And when you finish the film, you get some of the answers.”



Posted on June 11, 2009 by

TELL-TALE

2 Stars
Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 92 minutes

TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL WORLD PREMIERE! Novelist Nick Antosca caught this gristly revision of the classic Poe tale at Tribeca, and everywhere he looked he found a gaping chest wound of a plot hole.


Posted on April 28, 2009 by

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