‘American Sniper’ hits box-office high

In its first weekend in wide release, American Sniper earned more money than all of the other eight nominees for Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards. It made $107 million through the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, a record for a movie in January. By the time the Oscars are given out, it’s [...]

Movie review: The brilliant ‘Selma’ is essential viewing

Selma, the film about Martin Luther King and the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, is an extraordinary film: wrenching, inspiring and impeccably made. As a depiction of one of the most important events of the Civil Rights Movement, it is also more socially and politically relevant to our contemporary world than any feature film [...]

This drug-addled shaggy dog story is already divisive

I’m not a fan of the phrasing “there are two kinds of people: the kind of people who like X and the kind of people who hate X.” It’s hackneyed, and not always true. Some people just don’t care about X. I guess the point is that X is something people have strong feelings about, [...]

My 10 favorite films of 2014

Movies of the Year

A bunch of wonderful films opened in San Diego in 2014. These are my favorites. 10. Snowpiercer (Bong Joon-ho, director) Bong Joon-ho’s first English-language film is astonishing, breathtaking in its visuals, bleak in its plot and enraging in its refusal to do what most American audiences expect from their science fiction action films. The film [...]

Blunt and Streep shine in this stunning fairy tale

This Christmas, you have a rather odd choice of movies to see after you’ve opened your presents and gorged on goose (if you’re into goose gorging). Oddly, most of them are about as Christmasy as the Easter Bunny. Unbroken is about a British soldier who endures years of torture as a prisoner of war. Big [...]

Movie review: ‘The Imitation Game’

Let’s get this out of the way: Despite what you may have heard, read on Twitter, or seen ranted about on Facebook, The Imitation Game is a not a homophobic whitewash of Alan Turing, the gay British man who broke the Nazi codes during World War II and more or less invented the computer. Despite [...]

A beautiful, emotionally rich film

Wild Since Reese Witherspoon won an Oscar for playing June Carter Cash in Walk the Line, she has done very little to be proud of: doing bad movies, getting arrested and so on. But this year, the fruits of her renewed labor can be seen in Gone Girl, which she produced, and Wild, which she [...]

A thrilling set up for an explosive finale

At the end of Catching Fire, the second film in The Hunger Games series, our hero Katniss Everdeen, played by Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence, has managed to destroy the high-tech dome in which she and 23 other “tributes” from the 12 districts of the nation of Panem were fighting each other to death. The previous year, [...]

Movie review: ‘Foxcatcher’

I remember first reading about the strange case of John du Pont, the extremely odd heir to the du Pont fortune who was murderously obsessed with Olympic wrestlers, in an article in a gay newspaper 20 years ago. The supposition at the time was that no one could be as obsessed with wrestling as to [...]

‘The Way He Looks:’ A beautifully, sensitively directed movie

When you’ve seen as many LGBT-themed movies as I have, after a while the descriptor “gay coming of age” attached to a film makes me sigh. Really, another one? Part of my exhaustion with the genre is that they tend to have virtually identical plots, despite cultural or historic specifics, and another part of my [...]

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