Jonathan Kiefer



Capsule Reviews

12 Rounds (PG-13, 108 minutes) A vengeful, psycho ex-con (Aiden Gillen) kidnaps the fiancée (Ashley Scott) of a New Orleans cop (John Cena), then orchestrates a dozen spectacular physical challenges through which he might win her back. Renny Harlin of Die Hard 2 and The Long Kiss Goodnight directs. Opening Friday Confessions of a Shopaholic […]

Close encounters of the cute kind

Close encounters of the cute kind

Two young aliens arrive in Las Vegas, and right away they’re on the run—from the American government and from a paramilitary assassin sent by the government of their homeland to kill them. By chance they rely for safe passage on a gruff but decent taxi driver, himself with an unhappy past, who reluctantly becomes their […]

Capsule Reviews

Confessions of a Shopaholic (PG, 112 minutes) When used in moderation, shopahol can enhance the joy of life. But for Isla Fisher, as a young, suddenly popular advice columnist in New York City, moderation might not be an option. Who knows, maybe debt-reduction rom-com based on Sophie Kinsella’s chick-lit bestseller is just what’s called for […]

Is Watchmen really unfilmable?

Is Watchmen really unfilmable?

What’s truly amazing about Watchmen, the much-anticipated film version of writer Alan Moore and illustrator Dave Gibbons’ much-adored graphic novel, is how forcefully the movie negates the book’s two most basic, strangely symbiotic intentions. Instead of subverting superhero tropes and satirizing Cold War endgames, it blandly and reflexively endorses them.   Human after all: The […]

Capsule reviews

Confessions of a Shopaholic (PG, 112 minutes) When used in moderation, shopahol can enhance the joy of life. But for Isla Fisher, as a young, suddenly popular advice columnist in New York City, moderation might not be an option. Who knows, maybe debt-reduction rom-com based on Sophie Kinsella’s chick-lit bestseller is just what’s called for […]

Wrestling Rourke's Oscar rematch

Wrestling Rourke's Oscar rematch

Some of us really did expect sentimental favorite Mickey Rourke to take that Oscar, but maybe it’s better that he didn’t. This way, Rourke’s almost but not quite Academy-blessed performance in The Wrestler may forever maintain its underdog integrity. Besides, we already got the highly anticipated spectacle of a Rourke acceptance speech, for his Best […]

Capsule Reviews

Confessions of a Shopaholic (PG, 112 minutes) When used in moderation, shopahol can enhance the joy of life. But for Isla Fisher, as a young, suddenly popular advice columnist in New York City, moderation might not be an option. Who knows, maybe debt-reduction rom-com based on Sophie Kinsella’s chick-lit bestseller is just what’s called for […]

Driving Clive Owen

Driving Clive Owen

Welcome to The International. Please sit forward and don’t relax. You will be, as one character puts it, “more comfortable tense.” Clive Owen stars as a bedraggled Interpol agent who, along with Naomi Watts as a more kempt but less interesting New York City assistant district attorney, plays a globetrotting game of cat-and-mouse with an […]

Capsule Reviews

Confessions of a Shopaholic (PG, 112 minutes) When used in moderation, shopahol can enhance the joy of life. But for Isla Fisher, as a young, suddenly popular advice columnist in New York City, moderation might not be an option. Who knows, maybe debt-reduction rom-com based on Sophie Kinsella’s chick-lit bestseller is just what’s called for […]

No fun with Dick and David

No fun with Dick and David

If he’d given us only that goofy pre-election Obama endorsement, reprising the characters he grew up playing on TV, director Ron Howard would be well advised to avoid political filmmaking. But here’s Frost/Nixon—which, although timely with the departure of the often-Nixon-equated George W. Bush, has a prognosis for America that’s more to do with growing […]

Capsule Reviews

Confessions of a Shopaholic (PG, 112 minutes) When used in moderation, shopahol can enhance the joy of life. But for Isla Fisher, as a young, suddenly popular advice columnist in New York City, moderation might not be an option. Who knows, maybe debt-reduction rom-com based on Sophie Kinsella’s chick-lit bestseller is just what’s called for […]

We're just not that into it

We're just not that into it

Some movies elevate our spirits with the reassurance of common humanity. Some drive us back to the books from which they were derived by whetting our appetite for life; some, by spoiling it. You can see where this is going. Should I call him? Ginnifer Goodwin and a gaggle of gal-pals deal with dude problems […]

Capsule Reviews

Confessions of a Shopaholic (PG, 112 minutes) When used in moderation, shopahol can enhance the joy of life. But for Isla Fisher, as a young, suddenly popular advice columnist in New York City, moderation might not be an option. Who knows, maybe debt-reduction rom-com based on Sophie Kinsella’s chick-lit bestseller is just what’s called for […]

A darkly sweet Coraline

A darkly sweet Coraline

Outside of animation-fanboy circles, not many people know Henry Selick’s name. Go ask a random handful of strangers who directed 1993’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, and you’ll probably hear a lot of people tell you what huge Tim Burton fans they are. True, Burton conceived and produced that film, but it was Selick, the meticulously […]

Capsule Reviews

Bride Wars (PG, 94 minutes) BFFs Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway decide to plan their respective weddings for the same day, and become highly competitive about it. After this, let’s call for a moratorium on Hathaway marriage movies. Playing at Regal Seminole Square 4 Coraline (PG, 101 minutes) Reviewed here. Opening Friday The Curious Case […]

Taken; PG-13, 93 minutes; Opening Friday

Taken; PG-13, 93 minutes; Opening Friday

In Taken, Liam Neeson kicks so much ass. How much? Well, imagine the exact amount of ass-kicking you think is enough, plus even more. Now double it. And he takes names, sometimes, but only to find out which asses he’ll kick next. Many of them don’t even have names. That’s right: In addition to, and […]

Capsule Reviews

Bride Wars (PG, 94 minutes) BFFs Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway decide to plan their respective weddings for the same day, and become highly competitive about it. After this, let’s call for a moratorium on Hathaway marriage movies. Playing at Regal Seminole Square 4 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (PG-13, 168 minutes) Brad Pitt […]

Law and disorder in the Mall

Law and disorder in the Mall

Is it too soon to declare a worst movie of 2009? Fine, but even regardless of whatever other Hollywood bitch slaps we have in store for us for the next 11 months, Paul Blart: Mall Cop can’t possibly improve with age. You heard it here first: This one really threatens to go the distance, from […]

Capsule Reviews

Bedtime Stories (PG, 99 minutes) Adam Sandler plays a storytelling uncle whose stories surprise him by coming true. A presumably family-friendly adventure-comedy co-starring Courtney Cox Arquette, Lucy Lawless, Guy Pearce and Kerry Russell. Playing at Regal Seminole Square 4 Bride Wars (PG, 94 minutes) BFFs Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway decide to plan their respective […]

The old man and the car

The old man and the car

Meet Gran Torino’s Walt Kowalski: Korean War vet, retired auto worker, widower, ornery racist coot. Walt can’t stand the people crowding into his home for his wife’s wake, and they’re relatives and friends; don’t even get him started on the Hmong family moving in next door. But he’s played by Clint Eastwood, in an Eastwood-directed […]

Capsule Reviews

Bedtime Stories (PG, 99 minutes) Adam Sandler plays a storytelling uncle whose stories surprise him by coming true. A presumably family-friendly adventure-comedy co-starring Courtney Cox Arquette, Lucy Lawless, Guy Pearce and Kerry Russell. Playing at Regal Seminole Square 4 Bolt (PG, 96 minutes) In Disney’s 48th animated feature, a Hollywood dog who plays a canine […]

Tom Cruise gets führer-ious in Valkyrie

Tom Cruise gets führer-ious in Valkyrie

Valkyrie puts forth the idea that not all Nazis should be categorized as either ferocious barbarians or craven order-followers. We knew this, of course, from Schindler’s List. And from history. And from not being idiots. And yet we watch. We are curious. It is at once a caper movie, a period piece and a true […]

Capsule Reviews

Australia (PG-13, 175 minutes) Moulin Rouge! director Baz Luhrmann directs Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman in a romantic historical western. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6 Bedtime Stories (PG, 99 minutes) Adam Sandler plays a storytelling uncle whose stories surprise him by coming true. A presumably family-friendly adventure-comedy co-starring Courtney Cox Arquette, Lucy Lawless, Guy Pearce […]

Ain’t too proud to beg

Ain’t too proud to beg

So here you are, actually reading a review of Marley & Me. Don’t feel guilty, OK? It’s perfectly natural to want to know what happens when John Grogan’s bestseller about building a family around an obedience-proof Labrador retriever, a.k.a. “the world’s worst dog,” becomes a movie starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson. Maybe you tried […]

Capsule Reviews

Australia (PG-13, 175 minutes) Moulin Rouge! director Baz Luhrmann directs Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman in a romantic historical western. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6 Bedtime Stories (PG, 99 minutes) Adam Sandler plays a storytelling uncle whose stories surprise him by coming true. A presumably family-friendly adventure-comedy co-starring Courtney Cox Arquette, Lucy Lawless, Guy Pearce […]

Capsule Reviews

Australia (PG-13, 175 minutes) Moulin Rouge! director Baz Luhrmann directs Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman in a romantic historical western. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6 Bedtime Stories (PG, 99 minutes) Adam Sandler plays a storytelling uncle whose stories surprise him by coming true. A presumably family-friendly adventure-comedy co-starring Courtney Cox Arquette, Lucy Lawless, Guy Pearce […]

Is Brad Pitt cute as a Button?

Is Brad Pitt cute as a Button?

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story about a man who is born old and ages backwards has been in print for nearly nine decades. That’s a whole human lifetime, in which so much has happened that by now it seems perfectly fair for a film adaptation of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button to change things […]