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'Like Father...' 6 year olds switched at birth

'Like Father...' 6 year olds switched at birth

If you’ve seen Hirokazu Koreeda’s films — “Nobody Knows,” “Still Life,” “I Wish” — then just the announcement that a new one, “Like Father, Like Son,” has arrived is all you need to know.

February 20, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
'The Past' probes messy lives full of desire

'The Past' probes messy lives full of desire

“The Past,” from Asghar Farhadi, director of “A Separation,” is a film about people clinging to memories, to their relationships, even after they’ve turned sour, expired, exploded in misery and miscommunication.

February 13, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Review: The Broken Circle Breakdown

Review: The Broken Circle Breakdown

There’s a lot to be said for the way Felix van Groeningen, writer and director of “The Broken Circle Breakdown,” slices and dices his narrative, chopping the romance between a hipster Flemish singer and banjoist and the tattoo artist he meets, then marries, into time-hopping chunks.

December 12, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

1950s pinup queen narrates colorful tale

She was a frisky ‘50s pinup whose black bangs, blue eyes, and ability to beam out an it’s-all-in-good-fun smile while posing in dominatrix gear made her a lust object then, and a pop culture icon now.

December 12, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Review: 'Darlings' a dark tale of the Beats' beginnings

Review: 'Darlings' a dark tale of the Beats' beginnings

Before “Howl,” before the Beats, Allen Ginsberg was just another Jewish kid from Paterson, N.J. Well, another Jewish kid from Paterson with a crazy mother, a poet father, a love of Walt Whitman, and a scholarship to Columbia University.

November 21, 2013 12:00 am
'The Summit' doesn't quite make it to the top

'The Summit' doesn't quite make it to the top

K2, the second-highest mountain on Earth, and the mountain with the second-highest fatality rate, is the looming, mysterious star of the breathtaking but problematic documentary “The Summit.”

October 31, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
The two-wheeled key to her freedom

The two-wheeled key to her freedom

Wadjda, the title character of Haifaa al-Mansour’s charming first feature, is an entrepreneurial 10-year-old in Riyadh — a girl who wears scruffy Converse sneakers and jeans under her long black robe, sells homemade bracelets and mix tapes to make extra money, constantly runs afoul of the he…

October 17, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

In 'Populaire,' the lady loves to tap

A French bonbon of little consequence but lots of style, “Populaire” — a midcentury-modern lark about a secretary, her typewriter, and her demanding boss — occupies some fantasy realm where colors are more vivid than in real life, the clothes snazzier, the characters more carefree. Even when…

October 17, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

The woman's place was in the kitchen

Foodie alert: Get thee to “Haute Cuisine,” a gastronomic must-see based on the true story of the woman who served as personal chef to French president François Mitterrand. Stuffed salmon between cabbage layers, anyone? Foie gras with apple ginger chutney and cocoa nibs tuile? A nice choux p…

October 17, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Heartbreaking 'Short Term 12' has heart

Heartbreaking 'Short Term 12' has heart

Now and then, a kid makes a run for it.

September 12, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
'Shadow Dancer" awash with many levels of deceit

'Shadow Dancer" awash with many levels of deceit

A knotted drama of terrorism and double agentry set in Belfast in the early 1990s, "Shadow Dancer" boasts a fiercely focused performance from Andrea Riseborough as Collette McVeigh, a Northern Ireland IRA member arrested after an aborted bombing in a London Underground station.

June 27, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

'We Steal Secrets' is a cyberthriller, sure - but with WikiLeaks' real-world impact

A real-life cyberthriller with real-life consequences, Alex Gibney's "We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks" is a riveting and revelatory documentary that plays out on the ground in Melbourne, London, Baghdad, Stockholm, Reykjavík, and Washington - and everywhere in the thrumming realms o…

June 23, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Simple inquiry the premise of 'Stories We Tell,' an eloquent documentary

Simple inquiry the premise of 'Stories We Tell,' an eloquent documentary

Truth is a tricky thing. Memories can falter, secrets are clung to, and there is more than one way to see an event, interpret its meaning. Wallace Stevens had 13 ways of looking at a blackbird. Rashomon's priest and woodcutter famously offered differing accounts of a woman's attack. Hey, eve…

June 06, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Spirited lark 'Angels Share' keeps you rooting to end

Spirited lark 'Angels Share' keeps you rooting to end

You'll have to wait until it ends to see whether crime pays in Ken Loach's spirited caper "The Angels' Share." But it's a testament to the veteran British filmmaker's wily ways - and to his strong social (and socialist) conscience - that you'll find yourself rooting for his band of underclas…

May 16, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

'The Big Wedding': Unhappily ever after

"Marriage is like a phone call late at night," Robert De Niro says, in dulcet voice-over mode, at the outset of "The Big Wedding." "First comes the ring, and then you wake up."

April 28, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Acting adds much to coming-of-age film

Acting adds much to coming-of-age film

Elle Fanning is scary. Scarily good.

April 04, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
The Loft to screen all Oscar-nominated shorts

The Loft to screen all Oscar-nominated shorts

Is the whole animated shorts world suddenly all about 'toons without words?

February 14, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
'Jason Statham steals this film

'Jason Statham steals this film

It would be great, one day, to see Jason Statham try his hand at a romance, or slapstick farce. He wouldn't have to change what he does - if he could, which seems doubtful. Somehow, the counterintuitive casting of the taciturn British action star - shaved dome, sinewy, snarling his lines as …

January 25, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Oscar contender 'Sister' is an absolute must-see

Oscar contender 'Sister' is an absolute must-see

A ski-lift gondola, rumbling up the side of a Swiss mountain, is the means by which Simon (Kacey Mottet Klein), the 12-year-old boy at the center of Ursula Meier's dark fairy tale of a film, "Sister," gets to work.

January 10, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Nothing wrong with 'Guilt Trip,' but nothing quite right, either

Nothing wrong with 'Guilt Trip,' but nothing quite right, either

Maybe on paper - a cocktail napkin, perhaps, but certainly not the shooting script - "The Guilt Trip" seemed like a good idea. Take a geeky grown-up with no dating or mating skills and put him in a car for a cross-country road trip with his smothering, motor-mouth mom.

December 20, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
'Wuthering Heights' remake loses its way in gimmicks

'Wuthering Heights' remake loses its way in gimmicks

O, the misery!

November 15, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Holocaust film speaks to human endurance

Holocaust film speaks to human endurance

Agnieszka Holland's "In Darkness," nominated for a foreign-language Academy Award (it lost, to "A Separation"), is set in the city of Lvov, then part of Poland and now the Ukraine, in the midst of World War II. It's a harrowing Holocaust tale, but one that speaks to humankind's capacity to e…

March 29, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Skillful 'Tyrannosaur' burns with intensity

Skillful 'Tyrannosaur' burns with intensity

Rage and ruin burn off the screen in "Tyrannosaur," a first-time directorial effort from Irish actor Paddy Considine in which Peter Mullan - veteran of many a Ken Loach pic - seethes with hate and self-hatred.

February 02, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Shakespeare . . . er, rather . . . Goethe in love

Shakespeare . . . er, rather . . . Goethe in love

The original German title of "Young Goethe in Love" is simply "Goethe!" Note the exclamation point, because director Philipp Stölzl's account of the love affair that set the great German author on the path to literary stardom is all about exuberance and exaggeration.

January 05, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Crises, not flaws, says director

TORONTO - The lights came up after the gala screening of "The Descendants" (due to open in Tucson next week) at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, and Alexander Payne and his star, George Clooney, trotted onto the stage - greeted by an especially rapturous standing ovation.

November 17, 2011 12:00 amLoading…
Plenty of clichés, no charisma

Plenty of clichés, no charisma

"Step Up 3D" is, in one significant respect, a step up.

August 06, 2010 12:00 amLoading…
Star has fun making 'Prince'

Star has fun making 'Prince'

What's a dedicated thespian doing in sixth-century armor, leaping walled citadels in a $150 million Walt Disney sword-and-sandals saga adapted from a video game? "It's definitely a different type of movie than I've made before," says Jake Gyllenhaal, star of "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time."

May 27, 2010 12:00 am Photos

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Romanian cop stalks meaning of words

Romanian cop stalks meaning of words

A police procedural that's less about criminal matters than it is about dialectics and existential quandaries, Corneliu Porumboiu's "Police, Adjective" is an anti-thriller in which little happens - there is plenty of talk, but even more silence.

April 08, 2010 12:00 amLoading…
'A Single Man' stylish to a fault

'A Single Man' stylish to a fault

"A Single Man" is like a big coffee table book on grief, loneliness and loss - and mid-20th-century home design. Set in 1962 Los Angeles and starring Colin Firth as an English literature professor (he's English and he teaches literature), this meticulously crafted film has been adapted from …

January 14, 2010 12:00 amLoading…
Role in 'Goats' recalls Dude from 'Lebowski'

Role in 'Goats' recalls Dude from 'Lebowski'

TORONTO - In "The Men Who Stare at Goats," Jeff Bridges plays Bill Django, a military man who returns from Vietnam to embrace the '60s counterculture headlong - the whole Aquarian Age, flower power, altered states of consciousness thing.

November 08, 2009 12:00 amLoading…

Landing lead in Coen Bros. movie was a serious shock

He's in the ads and on the posters, standing upright on a roof, his arms elbowed out, fists on his waist, like some neurotic Clark Kent. There's a TV antenna behind him, and a lot of blue sky.

October 22, 2009 12:00 amLoading…
Engaging acting props up 'Lorna's Silence'

Engaging acting props up 'Lorna's Silence'

Since turning from documentaries to fiction in the mid-1990s, the Belgian filmmaking brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne have crafted a series of stunning if bleak dramas about Europe's outcasts: the unemployed, the homeless, an underclass of illegal immigrants, black marketeers, teenage h…

September 17, 2009 12:00 amLoading…
NC-17 Ang Lee film a rich thriller

NC-17 Ang Lee film a rich thriller

In some ways, Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain," adapted from a short story by Annie Proulx, and the film director's "Lust, Caution," adapted from a short story by Eileen Chang, aren't so very different.

December 13, 2007 12:00 amLoading…
Pingpong farce is only so-so, scoring laughs haphazardly

Pingpong farce is only so-so, scoring laughs haphazardly

"Welcome to the underbelly of pingpong," says the sage Chinese master — make that the blind sage Chinese master — in the latest merrily stupid sports comedy, Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant's "Balls of Fury."

August 30, 2007 12:00 amLoading…

'La Vie en Rose' sure to create Oscar buzz

Most music biopics follow a familiar arc, and in some ways Olivier Dahan's "La Vie en Rose" appears no different: a childhood of pain and poverty, false steps and shaky beginnings, a mentor or two, wild times on the road, discovery, debauchery, success, fame, death.

July 12, 2007 12:00 amLoading…

Russian horror sequel a wild and woolly ride

In "Day Watch," Timur Bekmambetov's wild and woolly sequel to his 2004 amok-in-Moscow vampire thriller "Night Watch," the forces of light and the forces of darkness are at it again.

June 28, 2007 12:00 amLoading…
'Severance' a deft horror comedy

'Severance' a deft horror comedy

"Whose woods these are I think I know." In "Severance," they belong to hooded Hungarian homicidal maniacs.

June 14, 2007 12:00 amLoading…
'Painted Veil' has epic look

'Painted Veil' has epic look

In "The Painted Veil," Edward Norton plays Walter Fane — an Englishman of the 1920s, a doctor, a cuckold — with a terseness that is terrifying.

January 11, 2007 12:00 amLoading…

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