Gary Oldman is awesome in “Darkest Hour”

Rises to the occasion
Gary Oldman, Lily James and Kristin Scott Thomas
Directed by Joe Wright

In “Darkest hour,” what Gary Oldman’s Churchill has to contend with in a time of war reminded me of what a newspaper editor does: tense negotiations, the reworking of sentences, an overarching need to get the message out, loudly and clearly. The real context of the story, the history, is, evidently, a very different one from this. In the early forties European countries were falling like dominoes ... more >

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

The new and much-awaited Tomas Alfredson
Gary Oldman, Colin Firth and Tom Hardy
Directed by Tomas Alfredson

Swedish director Tomas Alfredson exploded onto the international scene in 2007 with his unsettling child vampire flick, ‘Let the Right One In.’ In that film, he took a rather implausible premise and turned it into one of the more unsettling horror films of recent memory. Pushing forward into the realm of the improbable, Alfredson unveils his surefooted adaptation of John Le Carre’s unfilmable ... more >

Red Riding Hood

Welcome to the modern medieval fairytale
Amanda Seyfried, Lukas Haas and Gary Oldman
Directed by Catherine Hardwicke

Catherine Hardwicke, the director of the first “Twilight” movie, has a gift for conveying horny teenage moodiness, in particular as it applies to females. I’m not sure anyone grows up thinking that will be his or her gift. Nevertheless, there it is, and her take on the red riding hood legend demonstrates she hasn’t lost that touch. The moon glows in a passionate red. The forests are lovely, ... more >

The book of Eli

To exercise control over the masses
Denzel Washington, Mila Kunis and Ray Stevenson
Directed by the Hughes Brothers

Denzel Washington vs. Gary Oldman sounded like a quality action flick. Plus, throw in the style of the Hughes brothers (where have these guys been since doing "From Hell"?) and it’s all the more reason to see Book of Eli. Only despite Washington bringing a bad-ass gravitas, Oldman chewing scenery, and the Hughes giving the film the mandatory dreary look of an apocalyptic world, Garry Whitta’s ... more >