A monument to the power of art, film and family

Richard Linklater filmed Boyhood over 12 years. This is what you hear when the movie is discussed, and it’s an important fact. In 2002, he cast a boy (Ellar Coltrane), his sister (Lorelei Linklater) and their mother (Patricia Arquette) and father (Ethan Hawke). Both Coltrane and Lorelei Linklater were eight years old at the time, [...]

A monument to the power of art, film and family

Richard Linklater filmed Boyhood over 12 years. This is what you hear when the movie is discussed, and it’s an important fact. In 2002, he cast a boy (Ellar Coltrane), his sister (Lorelei Linklater) and their mother (Patricia Arquette) and father (Ethan Hawke). Both Coltrane and Lorelei Linklater were eight years old at the time, [...]

Movie review: ‘Begin Again’ belongs to Keira Knightley

In the first scene of Begin Again, a blond Brit named Steve (James Corden) finishes his song at an open mic night in New York’s Lower East Side and coaxes his friend Greta (Keira Knightley) onto stage. She reluctantly, almost begrudgingly sings “A Step You Can’t Take Back,” which she claims is new, and the [...]

An astonishing, visually breathtaking film

For the last year, much of the discussion of Snowpiercer focused on the public fight between director Joon-ho Bong and Harvey Weinstein, the independent film mogul and owner of the Weinstein Company, which has the distribution rights to the film in the United States. Weinstein wanted the acclaimed version of the film seen overseas cut [...]

Eastwood’s ‘Jersey Boys’ lacks the thrill of the stage show

A few weeks ago, I was hanging out with one of my best friends, a musical theater composer who has impeccable and refined taste. I had mentioned that I was going to review the Jersey Boys movie and he told me that when he saw the stage musical, it was so thrilling, “I wanted to [...]

Hill and Tatum: perfect foils for each other

When I reviewed 21 Jump Street two years ago, I praised the broad comedy about cops going undercover in high school for being very funny. But I was unnerved by how much of the humor was firmly based in homophobia. Officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are such good friends that they had [...]

Movie review: The Fault in Our Stars — a movie that earns your tears

I am not ashamed to say that I cry easily. I can dissolve into tears while listening to an NPR story about school reform, a play about climate change or while watching a bad TV show kill off a character that I only kind of liked. Yes, tears streamed down my face during that Glee [...]

‘Maleficent:’ a complete rewrite of the fairy tale

A few times in these pages I’ve criticized the marketing departments of film studios for advertising films as the opposite of what they really are. There was 50/50, a movie about cancer that was sold as a comedy because Seth Rogan is in it and says a few funny things. August: Osage County was marketed [...]

Movie review: X-Men: Days of Future Past — undoubtedly the best of the franchise

The X-Men storyline called Days of Future Past appeared in issues 141 and 142 of The Uncanny X-Men in January and February, 1980. I first read it in mid-1980s when I was 12 or so and had just discovered the comic about outcast mutant superheroes. The story has haunted me ever since. It is set [...]

Murphy directs his cast to greatness in this timeless classic

The Normal Heart When Larry Kramer premiered his play The Normal Heart off-Broadway in 1985, his agonizing, angry autobiographical story about the AIDS epidemic in New York City and the few activists desperately trying to help their lovers and friends, hit the city like an emotional meteor. While a very few theater critics were able [...]

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