Casino Jack, itself dramatized very much like a hammy award-hawking telecast, is resoundingly lousy.
If you didnt already know, the point of titling this movie Biutiful is to be poignantly ironic. This foreign-language Oscar nominee, the most promising work yet from poverty-porn aficionado director Alejandro González Iñárritu, tries really hard to make the city of Barcelona seem ugly and uninviting. But the tone that Iñárritu and co-writers Armando Bo […]
127 Hours (R, 94 minutes) Danny Boyle puts his spin on the true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston, who became trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah, and was forced to cut off his own arm to escape. Regal Downtown Mall 6 Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (PG-13, 107 minutes) […]
In Berlin on business, an American man arrives at his hotel only to discover that he’s left an important briefcase at the airport. Without even telling his wife, he summons a taxi and hurries away. Won’t he be sorry. The taxi plunges off a bridge and the man wakes up in a hospital four days […]
Mark Wahlberg produces and stars in the true story of Massachusetts pugilist “Irish” Micky Ward, a working-class junior welterweight who went pro in the ’80s with hit-and-miss help from his drug-addled half-brother Dicky Eklund—played with riveting, movie-stealing immediacy by Christian Bale.
Does anybody ever get riled up about Foreign Language Oscar nominees? Haven’t we been taking that category for granted for a while now, counting on universal tales of triumph over adversity (Life is Beautiful), or “current events” with cosmopolitan airs (The Secret in Their Eyes), and never really getting around to watch them? Dogtooth, the […]
127 Hours (R, 94 minutes) Danny Boyle puts his spin on the true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston, who became trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah, and was forced to cut off his own arm to escape. Regal Downtown Mall 6 Black Swan (R, 110 minutes) Read the C-VILLE review here. Vinegar Hill […]
Let’s put it this way. If you had to make a list ranking the five or 10 best movies ever made about the Crusades, which is hard enough once you’ve acknowledged The Seventh Seal as number one, at least Season of the Witch wouldn’t make your task any harder.
It takes a special kind of mainstream mush to waste Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, Winona Ryder, Jennifer Connelly and your money all at once. Screenwriter Alan Loeb and director Ron Howard have found the formula.
When Blue Valentine comes to a theater near you, it will be preceded by its reputation. Given the automatic buzz of indie golden-boy director Derek Cianfrance returning from documentaries to narrative features with a film reportedly a dozen years in the making, the dust-up about its rating—NC-17, until the Weinstein Company successfully appealed for R—seems […]
Having grown up with a strict father (Michael Gambon) and a prominent older brother (Guy Pearce), an otherwise capable and courtly fellow (Colin Firth) finds himself with a problem. He stutters, severely. Colin Firth plays Bertie, a stuttering Duke who finds himself crowned King George VI of England just as the country goes to war. […]
Of what does true grit consist? Grit, presumably. But also something else, something that makes it easy to distinguish from false grit. True Grit the film consists of a young teenage girl in 1880s Arkansas and the old, fat, drunk, half-blind marshal she hires to track down her father’s killer. For the girl, true grit […]
Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman, premiered locally at the Virginia Film Festival in early November, but returns in wide release to Vinegar Hill Theatre this week.
Early on they were saying Tom Cruise and Charlize Theron, to be directed by the maker of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.
For all the familiar ground it covers, Tamara Drewe is a welcome rarity. It’s a film about writers that’s not too inwardly verbal; a black comedy that’s not too cruel; an ensemble piece that’s not too diffuse; an adaptation of a graphic novel that’s not too callow; and, in fact, a mature film that revels […]
After playing with fighter jets, race cars, submarines and subway trains in Top Gun, Days of Thunder, Crimson Tide and The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, respectively, director Tony Scott isn’t done hurling around huge, deadly vehicles. In Scott’s new action thriller Unstoppable, Denzel Washington, Chris Pine and Rosario Dawson contend with a combustible […]
The season of serious films is upon us. It’s time again for the earnest, honorable pictures that like to quiet the room, just when you’re in a good conversational groove, to say, “Ladies and gentlemen, may we have your attention, please?” Which means, “May we have your award consideration, please?” Zach Falifianakis (right) takes another […]
I went to a boarding school in New England, much like the one in Never Let Me Go, but whose mascot was the pelican. The pelican, while not exactly an intimidator on the sports field, is a perversely charitable bird known to feed its offspring with its own blood when no food is available. That […]
It’s strange to think that the famously adamantine Clint Eastwood should be so easy to brush off nowadays. But somehow his movies have become wishy-washy. Clint Eastwood gets philosophical, directing Matt Damon (pictured) in this supernatural drama about a psychic who can—but refuses to— communicate with the dead. Fitting, then, that it’s a tsunami that […]
RED stands for “Retired, Extremely Dangerous,” and refers to a once-elite team of aged and variously cuddly trained killers. The comedy comes from Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner’s graphic novel for DC Comics. There is oldness even in its adolescent fixations: the soundtrack rawk throb and stunty slo-mo set pieces, the squall of semiautomatic weapons […]
Yes, the title has two meanings: Conviction refers to the guilty verdict that put a man in prison for many years, and to the certitude with which his sister then devoted her life to proving his innocence. But that just makes things doubly obvious. Well, if this ain’t love: Hilary Swank goes through the trouble […]
Isn’t it too soon for a movie about the making of Facebook? Probably. But life and all its weird facsimiles come at us so quickly nowadays, which is partly why you know you want to see The Social Network anyway: to process. Jesse Eisenberg plays Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, which aims to expose […]
Alpha and Omega (PG, 88 minutes) Two wolves try to find their way home after being shipped by park rangers across the country in this animated romp. Voices by Justin Long, Christina Ricci and Dennis Hopper. Carmike Cinema 6 The American (R, 105 minutes) An American assassin (George Clooney) heads to Italy for one last assignment […]
Come to think of it, Mao’s Last Dancer is just the movie you’d expect from seeing ballet star Cunxin Li’s memoir adapted for the director of Driving Miss Daisy (Bruce Beresford) by the writer of Shine (Jan Sardi). Not that it would ever occur to you to expect such a movie. But here it is, […]