“Money Monster”

George Clooney and Julia Roberts
Directed by Jodie Foster

I liked "Money Monster," thought I'd that off the top. If that seems like an unusual or lame or unusually lame way to start a film review, that's fine. I wanted to state it firmly. Because there are things in the Jodie Foster-George Clooney political thriller that just made the rounds of the ongoing Cannes Festival that should go wrong. To start with, "Money Monster" quickly violates two of my ... more >


“Rabin in his own words”

Out in theaters today
Directed by Erez Laufer

A little more than twenty years after the death of Yitzhak Rabin, Israel's now-deceased former prime minister, a new documentary coming out today attempts to give him a voice, to let him speak, and describe, the events that shaped both his personal life and that of his country. As “Rabin in his own words” shows Rabin, that most formidable of statesmen, started out working on a farm, like the ... more >


“Courted,” (“L’Hermine”), TRIBECA

Fabrice Luchini, Sidse Babett Knudsen and Eva Lallier
Directed by Christian Vincent

I’m not too fond of the English title for Christian Vincent’s new courtroom drama. “Courted” sounds too much like a smarmy romantic comedy, emphasizing the idea of courtship and love. While there is certainly a romantic subplot in “Courted”, it it only a small piece of the film’s puzzle. Its original French title is much more appropriate: "L’Hermine." Translated into English, it means “ermine,” ... more >


“Elvis and Nixon,” TRIBECA FESTIVAL

Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey
Directed by Liza Johnson

Michael Shannon doesn’t really look like Elvis Presley. For one thing, his face is shaped all wrong, his cheeks are too long and deeply creased. If it weren’t for the crazy haircut, the suits, and the sunglasses one would never think that Shannon was supposed to be The King. But then, neither does Kevin Spacey look like Present Richard Nixon. And yet through the sheer strength of their ... more >


Everybody wants some !!

Blake Jenner, Tyler Hoechlin and Ryan Guzman
Directed by Richard Linklater

Richard Linklater is uniquely qualified to make a film like EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!! By that, I mean he’s the fairly rare filmmaker who was a certifiable jock--both the quarterback and star pitcher for high school teams in Houston and Huntsville, Texas. A baseball scholarship helped pay for college. That perspective informs the athletes of his most famous film, DAZED AND CONFUSED (which, chances ... more >


Straight shootin’ about “Demolition”

Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts
Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée

DEMOLITION is off from the first frame and never grounds itself enough to make a coherent argument. Hard to tell whether it’s Jake Gyllenhaal’s perplexed expression as he endeavors to show himself empty of emotions after the accidental death of his wife or the ill-thought storyline that appears to go in one direction and then unexplainably veers into another. Jean-Marc Vallée, who previously ... more >



Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck and Jesse Eisenberg
Directed by Zack Snyder

On Monday night at the Alamo Drafthouse I caught a screening of GUN CRAZY, the influential low-budget 1949 B-movie starring Peggy Cummins and John Dall as a pair of bank-robbing lovers on the run. If you don’t know Dall, he was a Ben Affleck lookalike who starred in two minor classics in about eighteen months and then barely acted again—the other classic being Alfred Hitchcock’s ROPE. If you don’t ... more >