Movie Reviews

Inside Deep Throat


Inventive, entertaining and sometimes enlightening, Inside Deep Throat ultimately falls short of the film it might have been, because it tries too hard to paint Deep Throat, Gerard Damiano’s 1972 porn “classic” about a woman with an anatomically misplaced clitoris, as some kind of stand-alone work without taking into account the far more mainstream films […]

Born Into Brothels: Calcutta’s Red Light Kids


The most important thing to know about this Oscar-winning documentary is that it’s not what you’d expect. Set in the red light district of Calcutta, the film cannot, of course, avoid grinding poverty, filth and misery. What’s surprising, and what makes this film so magnificent, is that while you’re wiping away the predictable tears (you’ve […]

A Lot Like Love


A Lot Like Love is a lot like a lot of other utterly disposable movies — only more annoying. Working from the concept of two people with bad timing, first-time offender Colin Patrick Lynch has taken this bewhiskered plot device and somehow stretched it out to a feature length script. It’s not a bad plot […]

The Amityville Horror


Saying that the new version of The Amityville Horror is better than the old version is not, in itself, a recommendation. I will give the film this: It’s shorter and better acted (which speaks volumes about the acting in the original), and it isn’t bogged down with the type of nonsense that asks us to […]

Smell of Camphor, Fragrance of Jasmine


For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, filmmaker Bahman Farmanara is thought of in some circles as the Iranian Woody Allen. Assuming that such a credential can even be imagined, the comparison seems to rest entirely on this one semi-autobiographical film, which is, if anything, even more obsessed with death than Allen is when in full […]



Not since Ken Russell followed up his X-rated The Devils with his G-rated musical, The Boy Friend, has a filmmaker so thrown critics and audiences off-balance with such a seeming about-face. What is the director of Shallow Grave, Trainspotting and 28 Days Later… doing making a charming fantasy about a little boy who sees and […]

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off


Famous — or perhaps infamous – for being the movie that made Jack Nicholson consider retiring (if this was the sort of thing people wanted, he reasoned, then movies were no place for him), Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is really a largely inoffensive little comedy. It just happened to catch on as part of the […]

Bride and Prejudice


For all of you who are avoiding the movie with the tag line, “Bollywood Meets Hollywood… and it’s a Perfect Match,” out of fear that you might have to read subtitles (and you know who you are), set aside that fear. The film is almost entirely in English, with little more than a couple of […]



Well, now we really know what that excited credit — “Directed by Breck Eisner!” — at the end of the trailer for Sahara meant. Not much. There’s nothing all that wrong with Eisner’s direction of Sahara, apart from his tendency to shoot action scenes in so close that you can’t tell what’s happening to which […]

Melinda and Melinda


In the pretty much evenly split reviews of Woody Allen’s latest film, those who admire Melinda and Melinda tend to call it either Woody’s best film in ages or a return to form — suggesting that his last few films have been significantly wanting. That’s not a bandwagon I choose to clamber aboard. While his […]

Fever Pitch


It’s hard not to like a movie that manages to work Hurricane Smith’s obscure but classic ’70s pop song, “Oh, Babe, What Would You Say?”, into its soundtrack, so it’s a relief to report that there are a lot of other things about Fever Pitch that are hard not to like. When compared to Shallow […]



No, we’re not talking about that blasphemous remake with Brendan Fraser and Elizabeth Hurley from a few years ago. We’re talking about Stanley Donen’s echt-’60s film that best captured the comic genius of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore at the height of their powers — in a film they wrote (and for which Moore provided […]

Vera Drake


It’s 1950 in London, a gray, sunless city still weary from the massive war effort. The city’s filled with battle-scarred men, and women who have learned to rely not on them, but on each other. Luxuries like chocolate and sugar remain in short supply. Few ordinary people have washing machines and the acquisition of a […]

The Upside of Anger


I admit it: I had a problem reviewing this film, having just seen Sin City not 30 minutes before. Ideally, I would have liked to put some space between the films, but deadlines and time frames don’t always allow for the ideal. It was very hard to shift gears between the two films, and that […]

The Story of the Weeping Camel


Well, this film’s about as far from action-packed as you’re likely to get — and no, the title isn’t allegorical, it’s quite literal. This really is a movie about a weeping camel. Set in Mongolia, The Story of the Weeping Camel looks in on the life of a family over the course of one spring […]

Sin City


This is the vilest, most disgusting and most violent film I’ve seen in some time. It’s also one of the most entertaining exercises in total stylization and pitch-black humor to ever hit the screens. The film’s as entertaining as it is disturbing — and as disturbing as it is entertaining. Sin City is also a […]

Beauty Shop


Spin-offs are common in the sitcom world — December Bride begat Pete and Gladys, All in the Family begat Maude and The Jeffersons, The Mary Tyler Moore Show begat Phyllis and Rhoda, etc. But the concept is a bit more unusual in the movies. Spin-off films usually seem reserved for disastrous comic-book movies like Catwoman […]

Ruthie and Connie: Every Room in the House


At first glance, Ruthie and Connie seems to be a moderately engaging, warm-hearted, well-intentioned little documentary of a type that’s been done too many times to offer much that’s new. But while this is the sort of film you’ve seen before, there are specifics at work here that raise the interest level a notch or […]

Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous


The only reason that watching Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous isn’t the worst way you could kill two hours right now is the fact that The Ring 2 is still playing. Otherwise, this seemingly interminable sequel would win that distinction in a walk. What were the filmmakers thinking? I mean, what besides making a […]

Guess Who


Because of the title, it’s understandable that audiences might assume that this movie is a reverse version of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?, the highly touted 1967 drama about interracial dating that starred Sidney Poitier, Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy in his last role. But it’s not. Ashton Kutcher is not a white Sidney Poitier, […]