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The Great Gatsby

An rousing 3-D version of the great American novel
Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan
Directed by Baz Luhrmann

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is the billion-dollar staple of American high-school reading. At times, watching Baz Luhrmann’s fantasy “The Great Gatsby” feels like reliving the entire length of junior year. At other times, it reaches out to the green light and snatches what it’s after: a mad dream of one of America’s essential novels. "The Great Gatsby" by Baz Luhrmann is exactly like ... more >

Steve McQueen’s “Shame”

Another critic hails McQueen's sophomoric effort
Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan and James Badge Dale
Directed by Steve McQueen

A man. A woman. An underground train. Traded looks. Traded fantasies. No one looking. No one aware. The train stops. The lick of her lips. The ring on her finger. Will they? Won’t they? The crowd in the station. The man is Brandon. We soon meet the rest of him. His job. His coldness. His naked body wrapped in blue sheets. His overpowering sexual impulse. Alleys. Back doors, Luxury hotels. ... more >

Shame

My life as a sex addict
Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan and James Badge Dale
Directed by Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen's second feature reprises his collaboration with Hunger star Michael Fassbender and the effect is no less spellbinding. This time, instead of starving for a cause, Fassbender plays a man at the mercy of his urges rather than in control of them: a sex addict. In the frenetic world of New York City it's easy for Fassbender's Brandon to keep his private life a secret. When a vat of ... more >

Drive

Get in. Get out. Get away.
Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan and Oscar Isaac
Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn

It boils down to this: Drive is a decent film but I find its critical adoration bordering on reactionary. It’s fun to watch a team play in its throwback uniforms one game each year, and yes, Drive’s combination of sun-tinged neo-noir, eye-contact chemistry, gear grinding chases and silent leading man charisma makes chilling entertainment. But ever since its release at Cannes this May, the real ... more >

Drive

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An Education

The innocence of the young
Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard and Alfred Molina
Directed by Lone Scherfig

[SPOILER WARNING] I once wrote Steven Spielberg never creates an interesting moral dilemma that a boy in a helicopter can’t fly his way out of. I feel the same way about Lone Scherfig’s An Education, a film that repeatedly Medivacs its teenage heroine out of real complication and back to the Army Field Hospital for Conventional Wisdom. The film is the American Beauty of 2009, teasing us with a ... more >