Brad’s Status is an audience-pleaser

"The world hated me, and the feeling was mutual"
Ben Stiller, Austin Abrams and Jenna Fischer
Directed by Mike White

"Brad's Status" is one of the better films I've seen in a long time. Mike White has crafted a movie, and a hero, that is sad, funny, smart, maddening and 100% human. Ben Stiller has been criticized for overexposure, usually when he appears in four junky slapstick comedies in one season, but I think audiences will want more of him after the one-two punch of "Brad's Status" and the (almost nearly ... more >


CANNES FESTIVAL, “The Meyerowitz Stories”

Film is like a collab between Woody Allen and Whit Stillman
Dustin Hoffmann, Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller
Directed by Noah Baumbach

Midway through the 70th Cannes Festival the focus has veered sharply away from missing persons to domestic entanglements: or put another way, from people who have checked out of your life – voluntarily or involuntarily – to those you have no choice but to coexist with. It’s always difficult living in the shadow of a famous parent, but what if that parent isn’t exactly the genius you always ... more >

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When neighborhood watching becomes awesome
Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill
Directed by Akiva Schaffer

Faced with the unenviable task of coming on the heels of the biggest movie opening of all time as well as being a reminder of the tragic Trayvon Martin shooting “The Watch” was basically going to rest on the likable charisma of its lead actors. This is the type of R-rated comedy you want to see from Stiller, Vaughn, and Hill and yet the comedy struck me as largely innocuous. Evan (Ben Stiller) ... more >

“Submarine” news

“Submarine,” directed by Richard Ayoade and adapted by him from Joe Dunthorne’s novel, is a bittersweet British comedy in the deadpan vein of “Harold and Maude” and “Rushmore.” Like those two films, it features a shaggy-haired, never-smiling teenage protagonist (Craig Roberts) who loves himself unconditionally but bewilders most others—including his parents. Trying to woo an aloof female ... more >

Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa

We're still looking for the punchline
Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer and Jada Pinkett-Smith
Directed by Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath

Sitting down to watch Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa, I quickly realized that I remembered almost nothing about the original Madagascar. After sitting down and watching Madagascar 2, I find that I already remember very little of it. If you’ve seen one group of animated animals, ultimately you’ve seen them all. This is a pedestrian sequel to a pedestrian original. So a lion, a hippo, a giraffe, ... more >

Tropic Thunder

Behold this summer's hottest comedy
Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black and Steve Coogan
Directed by Ben Stiller

The Hollywood career of Robert Downey Jr. has been something of a Biblical experience. Looked at in a certain way, you rarely see so much begatting in one lifetime. Young stardom begat an early Oscar nom. Success begat addiction. Addiction begat arrests. Which begat an indie film resurrection. Which begat critical appreciation. Which has now begat a return to stardom. This summer, his career ... more >