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Review: 2016: Obama's America

Not much of a movie or a documentary
Walking into Dinesh D'Souza and John Sullivan's political hatchet job, I overheard a woman exiting an earlier showing, breathlessly informing someone on her cell phone that "it's not a movie — it's a documentary!"
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  September 05, 2012


Review: For A Good Time, Call ...

The usual opposites-attract sludge
Other than Kevin Smith, is there anyone more toxic to a film than Nia Vardalos?
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  August 28, 2012


Review: The Bullet Vanishes

Lo Chi-leung's mystery actioner
Piracy has never been more rampant in China.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  August 28, 2012


Review: Oslo, August 31

Surveying a failed life
Thirty-four-year-old Anders considers himself "a spoiled brat who fucked up."
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  August 21, 2012


Review: Sushi: The Global Catch

Mark S. Hall's documentary
Director Mark S. Hall begins his documentary by focusing on the traditions and history of raw-fish preparation, as demonstrated by Mamoru Sugiyama, master chef at Tokyo's Sushiko Restaurant.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  August 23, 2012


Review: ParaNorman

Throwback to Amblin's summer fare of the '80s
This second feature from animation house LAIKA (the company behind Coraline ) is the type of holiday entertainment that kids (and adults) used to tune into annually, back when Rankin/Bass was creating wonders of stop-motion.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  August 17, 2012


Review: Searching for Sugar Man

The freshman film from Malik Bendjelloul
An obscure, forgotten singer-songwriter, Sixto Rodriguez was first discovered in a Detroit bar by celebrated producers Dennis Coffey and Mike Theodore in the late '60s.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  August 08, 2012


Review: Klown

A Danish import from Mikkel Nørgaard
You might think you know what you're in for from the Odd Couple -like music of the opening titles of this Danish import from Mikkel Nørgaard — a movie version of his sitcom Klovn — until an animated sperm cell penetrates his director credit.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  August 01, 2012

ShortTake: The Day He Arrives

Review: The Day He Arrives

"Stop copying me!" says Seong-jun (Yu Jun-sang), the has-been filmmaker at the center of the 12th cinematic Mobius strip from Hong Sang-soo.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  July 17, 2012

Film: Ice Age: Continental Drift

Review: Ice Age: Continental Drift

It's all been done
Perhaps you've seen "Scrat's Continental Crack-Up," the animated short that debuted theatrically a year and a half ago featuring the sabre-toothed squirrel causing a prehistoric tectonic cataclysm as a result of his pursuit of an elusive acorn.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  July 12, 2012


Review: Natural Selection

Robbie Pickering's road movie
So memorable as Ed Helms's harridan wife in The Hangover , Rachael Harris is a natural for a lead role.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  July 03, 2012


Review: Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection

More of Perry's ever-diminishing antics
The first of writer/director/producer/star Tyler Perry's Madea movies not based on one of his plays, his sixth outing as the sharp-tongued (but dull-witted) 6'4" Southern black woman is more of a sitcom.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  July 03, 2012


Review: Brave

Merely good
Disappointing on a story level, this fable in the feminist Disney Princess mold (unremarkably so) signals problems from the start.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  June 21, 2012

ShortTake:For Greater Glory

Review: For Greater Glory

Never-ending war
Bring coffee, because director Dean Wright's dramatization of the 3-year-long Cristero War (1926-9) seems to last longer than the Mexican conflict itself.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  May 29, 2012

Film Review: Girl in Progress

Review: Girl in Progress

Patricia Riggen's adolescent dramedy
As rites of passage go, Girl in Progress is a step backward for the genre.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  May 15, 2012


Review: First Position

Bess Kargman's documentary
While not the most probing look at rising stars, Bess Kargman's documentary focuses on six aspiring contestants preparing for the prestigious Youth America Grand Prix competition (a proven entry point into the world of professional ballet) who demonstrate dazzling talent.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  May 10, 2012


Review: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

A pleasant diversion
Filled with Indian (and British) clichés, it is nonetheless a pleasant diversion that doesn't involve special effects or 3D glasses.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  May 03, 2012


Review: Blue Like Jazz

Out of tune
A faith-based film directed by Christian recording artist Steve Taylor, adapted by Taylor and Donald Miller from the latter's 2003 memoir, this micro-budgeted indie tries to appeal to everyone by not offending anyone . . . except those who like movies.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  April 12, 2012

JiroDreams ofSushi

Review: Jiro Dreams of Sushi

A quest to sushi chefdom
Eighty-five-year-old Jiro, with his unchanging expression and bald pate, resembles a wizened turtle. Leaving home at age 9 and forced to fend for himself, he would become the world's greatest sushi chef.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  April 04, 2012


Review: Life Without Principle

Johnnie To's latest film
Johnnie To's latest opens as Chinese police arrive at a crime scene, portending his usual slice of bloody action.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  March 13, 2012

Thousand Words

Review: A Thousand Words

The latest opus from auteur Brian Robbins
"What happens when all the leaves fall off?" celebrity guru Dr. Sinja (Cliff Curtis) asks Jack McCall (Eddie Murphy) after a Bodhi tree has magically sprouted in Jack's backyard.
By: BRETT MICHEL  |  March 14, 2012

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