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Short take flowers of war

Review: The Flowers of War

Unimpressive outing from Zhang Yimou
In 1937 the invading Imperial Japanese Army killed and raped thousands of people in the Chinese city of Nanjing. The atrocity has recently inspired two Chinese films, including Lu Chuan's City of Life and Death and this unimpressive outing from Zhang Yimou.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  January 17, 2012

Contraband 3

Review: Contraband

A high-quality composite of knock-offs
True to its name, this standard heist thriller is a composite of knock-offs, but when Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in America is among the sources ripped off, the quality is pretty high.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  January 17, 2012

The Iron Lady short take

Review: The Iron Lady

Streep's not enough to save this one
Meryl Streep's two films with Phyllida Lloyd, Mamma Mia and this silly biopic, demonstrate that even when the world's greatest actress is at the peak of her powers — whether dramatic, comic, or musical — it's not enough.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  January 10, 2012

Carnage review

Review: Carnage

Claustrophobic close encounters
As befits someone with jail time hanging over his head, Roman Polanski does his best work in close quarters. From Knife in the Water , to Repulsion , to The Tenant and The Pianist , he's a master of claustrophobic close encounters, and as such has a good time adapting Yasmin Reza's play, God of Carnage .
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  January 10, 2012

Dreileben review

Review: Dreileben

TV trilogy from three German directors
Taking a cue from Kieslowski's Three Colors by way of the British Red Riding series, this TV trilogy from three German directors of the Berlin School starts out with a creepy aura of dread and mystery and ends with contrived and unsatisfying resolutions.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  January 10, 2012

Pariah - review

Review: Pariah

Dee Rees's first feature
Compared to the non-stop trauma of Precious , or even Gun Hill Road , Dee Rees's first feature plays like an episode of The Cosby Show .
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  January 03, 2012

2012 Preview: Film

Hollywood offers botched operations and altered lives in 2012

Change of plans
Those who got a thrill last spring when the SEALS took out Osama bin Laden will have more of the same covert ass-kicking to look forward to in theaters as we enter 2012.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  December 28, 2011


The best films of 2011 are not the ballyhooed

The films this year were kind of like the current field of Republican presidential candidates: some are entertaining, but there's no clear frontrunner, and there's more attention on the flashiest and least substantial than on the more thoughtful and genuine.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  December 21, 2011

Short Take: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Review: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Flamboyantly grisly sex crimes
Unfortunately, Fincher doesn't add much to Niels Arden Oplev's Swedish version: more Googling and plot-compressing montages and an altered but still convoluted ending.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  December 20, 2011

Short Take: The Adventures of Tintin

Review: The Adventures of Tintin

Spielberg's second-rate animated Indiana Jones
I don't know how fans of the title hero are going to take this adaptation, since I'm not familiar with the classic Hergé comic strip on which it's based, but followers of Steven Spielberg might regard it as a second-rate, animated Indiana Jones.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  December 20, 2011

Review: A Dangerous Method

Review: A Dangerous Method

Cronenberg's dramatization of the rise of psychoanalysis
Perhaps the three characters in David Cronenberg's handsome, eloquent dramatization of the birth and near demise of psychoanalysis represent the parts of the psyche that the movement would eventually hypothesize.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  December 20, 2011


Review: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Alfredson tinkers with le Carré's spy classic
Aside from the obvious differences — a knack for Quidditch for example — George Smiley might be considered the Cold War equivalent of Harry Potter.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  January 04, 2012

Outrage: Review

Review: Outrage

Ruthless yakuzas
When it comes to ruthlessness, the yakuzas in Takeshi Kitano's slick bloodbath make the Corleones look like the Brady Bunch.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  December 06, 2011


Interview: Steve McQueen puts the MPAA ratings system to Shame

The X factor
Every few years a film challenges the stigma of NC-17.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  December 06, 2011

Review: New Year's Eve

Review: New Year's Eve

Feast of forced fun
Lately Garry Marshall has shown a certain genius for turning miserable holidays into terrible movies.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  December 06, 2011

Review: Shame

Review: Shame

Fassbender is a winner in the Shame game
Director Steve McQueen has only made two films, but in them he explores two extremes of human experience.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  December 07, 2011

Answers to Nothing: Review

Review: Answers to Nothing

Matthew Leutwyler's trite contraption
The baleful influence of Paul Haggis's multi-narrative Oscar-winner Crash (2004) continues with Matthew Leutwyler's trite contraption.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  November 29, 2011

The Color Wheel: Review

Review: The Color Wheel

A black-and-white road movie
Alex Ross Perry's self-consciously coy indulgence reminds me of the work of Diablo Cody, but slighter and more irritating.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  November 29, 2011


Review: My Week with Marilyn

The Prince and the Showgirl (1957) didn't distinguish the résumés of either Marilyn Monroe or Laurence Olivier. It did mark a highpoint in the life of 23-year-old Colin Clark.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  November 21, 2011


Review: Arthur Christmas 3D

Sarah Smith's revisionist Santa Claus
The diametric opposite of the Antarctica-set Happy Feet Two , or at least geographically, Sarah Smith's revisionist Santa Claus tale still delivers the same kind of offbeat holiday animation.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  November 21, 2011

Happy Feet Two: Short Take

Review: Happy Feet Two

Crack-brained morality tale
 Lovely to look at despite the 3D, and sometimes bordering on the psychedelic, this crack-brained morality tale blends the sublimely weird and the cloyingly awful as it preaches once again the paradox that you should be true to yourself as long as you are in step with everyone else.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  November 15, 2011

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