ON OUR RADAR | The heart machine

Written and directed by Zachary Wigon and starring John Gallagher, Jr., (HBO's "The Newsroom," "Short Term 12") as Cody and Kate Lyn Sheil ("House of Cards," "You're Next") as Virginia "The heart machine" tracks two parallel journeys that show how digital media can complicate modern love. We're meant to explore the evolving relationship between physical and emotional intimacy, isolation in the ... more >

Short Term 12

A stunning, moving film
Brie Larson and Frantz Turner
Directed by Destin Cretton

“There is no way not to tell this right,” a cheerful Mason says to his co-workers Grace and Nate as he relates a story while on break outside the drab foster care residence where they work. The same could be said of "Short Term 12," a thoughtfully executed film that examines a range of emotions, from love and hope to despair and the pain of betrayal in an astonishingly moving ninety-six ... more >

Iron Man 3

Sharp but overwhelming
Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle
Directed by Shane Black

In a movie where flying metal meets flying metaphors, “Iron Man 3” is like rooting for a good hammer. Billionaire playboy industrialist Tony Stark makes it possible to pilot a fleet of Iron Man outfits by remote control, while he munches In’N’Out burgers miles away. “Iron Man” has become “Iron Drone.” The real metaphor here is the empty suit. Among the faithful, that change won’t lead to ... more >

The Avengers

Action heroes team up. You will be saved.
Robert Downey, Jr. and Scarlett Johansson

“The Avengers” is the smorgasbord comic book movie we’ve been waiting for years to see. Many middling films were made (I’m looking at you “Thor,” “Hulk,” and “Captain America”) just in order to set up origins for this one. And it fell to director Joss Whedon to make this all come together. But he should have known better than to do so through nothing, but action sequences. It starts with ... 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 >