Movie Reviews

The Italian Job


reviewed by Ken Hanke Following hot on the heels of the abysmal A Man Apart — a film so bad that Vin Diesel may now wish he hadn’t been quite so quick to turn down that Fast and the Furious sequel — we have a new movie from director F. Gary Gray, a remake of […]

The In-Laws


reviewed by Ken Hanke Andrew Fleming made his directorial debut back in 1988 with a horror picture called Bad Dreams, a title that suits my reaction to his latest offering, The In-Laws, something swell — except that Bad Dreams was a lot funnier. This pointless, witless remake of the 1979 film of the same name […]

The Good Thief


I was surprised by The Good Thief, though not because this latest offering from director Neil Jordan was good — I expected it to be at the very least interesting and worthwhile. The surprise lay in the film’s remarkable lightness of tone. After all, the story of an aging, down-on-his-luck, heroin-addicted thief-turned-unsuccessful-gambler (Nick Nolte) and […]

The Dancer Upstairs


reviewed by Ken Hanke I’m always a little leery of movies made by actors-turned-director. Occasionally, the results can be stunning — George Clooney’s Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. At other times, they show the strain of someone trying too hard to be “important” — Todd Field’s In the Bedroom. John Malkovich’s directorial debut lands somewhere […]



reviewed by Ken Hanke Saying that a David Cronenberg picture is strange is on a par with announcing that the Pope is Catholic. But declaring that his newest, Spider, is possibly the strangest movie Cronenberg has ever made since his introduction to commercial filmmaking (with Shivers, a.k.a. They Came From Within, in 1975) is, on […]

It Runs In The Family


The Real Cancun may purport to be a reality film, but it’s not the only “reality-based” movie opening this week. We also have Fred Schepisi’s It Runs in the Family, which slaps three generations of the Kirk Douglas family — plus one ex-wife (and that’s not to mention Michael’s brother, Joel, in an associate-producer capacity) […]



I don’t know if James Mangold would approve of me calling Identity a horror film. He might prefer thinking of it as “psychological thriller,” but that doesn’t change the fact that in its heart of hearts, it’s not a whole lot more than a slasher picture — a pretty savvy and hugely entertaining one, but […]

House Of 1000 Corpses


How is it possible not to like a horror flick that boasts characters named after those in Marx Brothers movies? How can someone who grew up on late-night horror double-features not be drawn to a movie that starts with a snowy image on a TV screen of Boris Karloff in James Whale’s The Old Dark […]

Down With Love


reviewed by Ken Hanke When Down With Love works — which it does almost all the time — it’s because it’s not condescending. This charming brainchild of TV writers Eve Ahlert and Dennis Drake (The Nanny, Maggie Winters) and director Peyton Reed (local trivia: he’s from Raleigh) is part spoof and part homage. Reed has […]

Daddy Day Care


reviewed by Marci Miller Hands down, the previews for Daddy Day Care have been the funniest to come along in ages. The prospect of adult males trying to deal all day with little kids whose sole purpose is the destruction of civilized life as we know it is a pretty amusing premise. In other words, […]



The opening scenes of Confidence, in which a team of young con artists pulls a deadly scam on a hapless small-time crook, are so intense, so visceral, so shockingly terrific that my movie companion and I looked at one another in total surprise. “Whew!” we whispered.”That was good!” In fact, Confidence was so good up […]

Bruce Almighty


reviewed by Ken Hanke Since Jim Carrey has gone on record saying that if he indeed did have God’s powers, he would send everyone who didn’t like The Majestic to hell, I guess I’m lucky he’s not so emboldened. And while I liked Bruce Almighty better than I liked The Majestic, I suspect my feelings […]

Better Luck Tomorrow


reviewed by Marci Miller Every now and then a movie comes out of nowhere and packs a whallop that’s all the more powerful because it’s so unexpected. So it is with Better Luck Tomorrow, a low-budget independent film with unknown actors that’s been creating big-heat buzz. Luck is dark, violent and shocking, a tale about […]

A Mighty Wind


Contrary to popular belief, Christopher Guest did not invent the “mockumentary.” His classic claim to fame, This Is Spinal Tap, came about in 1984; the Eric Idle-Neil Innes The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash first aired in 1978. Math isn’t my strong suit, but that appears to me to be six years earlier. And, […]

The Real Cancun


The Real Cancun is, I believe, the sixth sign of the Apocalypse (the seventh comes June 13 with the release of the American Idol spawn From Justin to Kelly). I hear that Cancun was shot a scant five weeks ago, meaning that the filmmakers should have been shot six weeks ago. By now you know […]