• "World War Z" may be the first film in which the cast exceeds the actual population of the planet. There are huge citywide vistas of rambling crowds. Most of these people are infected with a zombie virus that turns them into rattlesnakes with overbites and clammy hair.

    These elements pay off quickly in a fantastic opener set in a traffic jam in downtown Philadelphia. Amid startling car-smashing, Brad

  • “Killing them Softly” is an expression I never understood but I'll guess that if one needed to kill softly, Brad Pitt’s Jackie would be the right man for the job. “Softly,” writer-director Andrew Dominik’s adaptation of the George V. Higgins novel “Cogan’s Trade," (itself a follow-up to “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford") is the Weinstein Company contender for an Academy Award this year. It’s not going to

  • No one wants to watch a movie about the Yankees. No one wants to watch Throwing Money At It: Superstars, Dollar Signs, and Left-handed Relief Pitching. No one wants to hear the story about how the Pinstripes used their massive financial advantages to hire the best coaches, scouts and players in order to forge an American League dynasty--and guess what: they did it! There is no market in the American imagination for the Goliaths of Gotham. We love the

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  • If Terrence Malick is a saint of cinema, then this is his holy lesson. Over a four-decade career, the mercurial American visionary has mastered absence and flowered a daunting mystery. After making one of the most impressive debuts in American film history, 1973’s "Badlands," he quit talking to the press. After the dreamy masterpiece "Days of Heaven" five years later, the perfectionist dipped a toe back in and quickly removed it. He then famously disappeared for twenty years.

    Swathed in stunning cinematography, pieced together by mood and memory (rather than linear story), "The Tree of Life" is a radical contemplation of mystery. These mysteries take forms from childhood curiosities to cosmic riddles, stretching from the Big Bang to a fifties Texas family and on to the end of time.

    Michael Phillips, the Chicago Tribune critic, calls The Tree of Life “an infinitely more forgiving 2001: A Space Odyssey.” Critics and viewers will find a natural similarity with "Tree"’s centerpiece, an already famous twenty minute pre-historic spectacular, sketching the origins of the universe and the planet Earth. Stars, cells, seas, volcanoes, trees, sharks, jellyfish and, yes, dinosaurs. This section, though, seems to be a critique of "2001" rather than agreement. If Kubrick were still with us, he might feel the need to reply.

  • For the last twelve months the film world rallied behind […]

  • A deep premise with facile tendencies. An emotional story at […]