Fresh Air: Movie Reviews
Hollywood Offers Up A Bevy Of Superheroes In...05/01/15
Reviewer David Edelstein says Joss Whedon's new film plays like "a strategic set-up for a Hollywood franchise." Viewers will be blitzed by sound and fury — and a certain amount of "gobbledegook."
Deception And Suspense By The Sea In The Iranian Mystery...
Recently released in the U.S., Asghar Farhadi's 2009 film follows a teacher invited on a beach trip by the mother of one of her students. David Edelstein calls the film "Hitchockian" in its suspense.
In 'True Story,' A Shamed Journalist Interviews A Fugitive...
In 2001, Michael Finkel was fired for making up a story. Then he learns that a suspected murderer is posing as him, so he gets to know him. The best word for the drama is "dumb," says David Edelstein.
In 'Clouds Of Sils Maria,' An Actress Faces Past, Present...
Juliette Binoche plays an aging movie star who's about to appear in a play opposite an infamous young Hollywood actress. It's a hall of mirrors that sounds convoluted in the telling, but plays easily.
In 'While We're Young,' The Border Between Ridicule And...
Noah Baumbach's new comedy is about a couple in their 40s who befriend 20-something hipsters and go wild. It gets off to a fun start, but two-thirds of the way through takes a surprising turn.
Horror Film Fans Beware: 'It Follows' Isn't The Fun Kind...
The film is about a teenage girl who sleeps with a boy and is suddenly under a curse. Critic David Edelstein says he didn't enjoy feeling "sick with dread," but the ending is unexpectedly moving.
In The Northern Ireland Period Thriller '71,' No One Dies...
The film is about an English private who is cut off from his unit in the middle of a riot in Belfast in 1971. It's a conventional and smashingly good chase melodrama, but it's also a tragedy.
'Maps To The Stars': Either The Funniest Horror Movie, Or...
In the film about a toxic Hollywood, John Cusack plays a self-help guru whose clients include Julianne Moore. It's full of anxious shoptalk and name dropping, druggy kids and druggier grown-ups.
In These Six 'Wild Tales,' Humans Morph Into Destructive...
The Argentinean film co-produced by Pedro Almodovar is up for an Oscar for best foreign language film. It features a drunk teenager who runs over a woman and an angry bride at a glitzy Jewish wedding.
If You Strip The Bondage, '50 Shades' Is A Conventional...
The film, based on E.L. James' best-selling novel, has been denounced by decency brigades. But it's a surprisingly mild, corny romance that affirms traditional values: It's Jane Eyre with ropes.
Second 'SpongeBob' Movie Is A Nonsensical, Loud, Choppy...
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water is visually an eyesore — a kaleidoscope of bright, mismatched colors, and in 3-D to make your headache stronger. The movie makers hit the bull's-eye.
When Islamists Impose Their Will In 'Timbuktu,' One Family...
The film, one of five Academy Award nominees for best foreign language film this year, is about radical Islamists occupying the city in Mali. Remarkably, it's often on the verge of being a comedy.
'Still Alice' Is A Triumph For Julianne Moore, But The...
The movie is based on neuroscientist Lisa Genova's novel about a linguistics professor with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. While Moore is fascinating, the rest of the characters are half-formed.
The 'Selma' Criticism For How It Portrays Lyndon B....
The film about Martin Luther King's marches for voting rights is being accused of alleged historical inaccuracies. Critic David Edelstein says that's "not entirely" fair, and it's still a great movie.
In A 'Depressing' Year For Films, Edelstein Finds Some...
Film critic David Edelstein says in 2014 none of the great material came from Hollywood studios. But, he says, it was a "wonderful year" for indie films. He names Boyhood as the best of the year.
The Strange World — And Life — Of 'Mr. Turner'
The biopic of landscape painter J. M. W. Turner depicts a man whose mind is barely engaged by anything other than his work. He's a mystery, and his art is magically indefinite — just like the movie.
Depicting An Unstable Era, 'Inherent Vice' Never Jells,...
The film, based on Thomas Pynchon's novel, is set in 1970 in a beach town south of Los Angeles. With wonderful actors, it's like a gorgeous stoner art object: groovy, campy, dreamlike and funny.
Prayers And Holy Water Can't Exorcise The Terrifying...
In the Australian chiller, a bogeyman announces himself in a rhyming, pop-up book on a 7-year-old's shelf. But the real horror is that the boy's mom, a grieving widow, is battling psychic demons.
Benedict Cumberbatch Lifts Above Biopic Formula In...
Cumberbatch stars as British mathematician and World War II code breaker Alan Turing in a film directed by Morten Tyldum and co-staring Keira Knightley as Turing's comrade in arms.
'Foxcatcher': A Bloated True-Crime Story Based On Wealthy...
The film is based on du Pont's fraught relationship with two Olympic wrestlers. Wealth isn't enough — his identity hinges on winning. It's a fascinating case study, but as drama, it's one sick joke.
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