Past Stories

Burlesque

“Get your ass up, show me how you burlesque,” growls Christina Aguilera in one of this indulgent movie’s indulgent musical numbers that swagger with pearls, glitter and red lipstick—if not grammatical verb usage. Writer...


Tangled

First off: Rapunzel is not a princess. She considers herself a cloistered middle-class girl. Disney’s over that la-di-dah simpering; they want a beauty who can clonk a guy with a frying pan. Which Rapunzel (Mandy Moore)...


The Next Three Days

Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks play a pair of in-love parents who have their bucolic, Prius-owning marriage upended after Banks is arrested and convicted of murdering her boss. To the prosecution, it’s an airtight case: s...



Morning Glory

Rachel McAdams stars as a plucky TV producer in an old-fashioned comedy that respects brains, ambition and, as McAdams’ anchor dubs, her “repellent moxie.” The chipper humor is so classic Hollywood that when McAdams gets ...


Unstoppable

Here’s what a train can do: hurtle down a fixed course very, very fast. Here’s what it can’t do: think, scheme or gloat about being the 70-mile-an-hour villain in Tony Scott’s thriller about a runaway coaster packed wit...


Float like a butterfly

Ah, Sweden. Land of tasty meatballs, do-it-yourself furniture, sensible cars and truck-stop tchotchkes lovingly bearing my name. It’s also the homeland of the late author Steig Larsson and his trio of thrillers (a thrillogy, ...



“Funny” and Sad in All the Right Ways

Ever since the late great John Hughes stopped cranking out classic high-school films like The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink at the end of the 1980s, finding a teen movie with any true psychological depth has been nearly imp...


Ties That Bind

There is perhaps no greater mystery than what happens after we die. Likewise, in a healthy family, there is no greater love than what its members share. Two new films of uncommon depth and emotional power tackle these two fact...


Colorfully Comical Chaos

Everyone wants to enjoy retirement, whether they’re noble people like schoolteachers or firefighters or ruthlessly cold-blooded black ops agents. But some professions don’t lend themselves easily to kicking back in a rockin...



Breakaway Break-In

Whether a parent is a doctor, lawyer or tow-truck driver, joining the family business is an American tradition. For dozens—perhaps hundreds—of men in the rough-and-tumble Boston neighborhood of Charlestown, however, the fa...


Freakonomics

Imagine this: California is struck by a late September heat wave the same week that popsicle prices drop by a quarter. Coincidence, you ask? But an economist would wonder if it’s correlation or causality: are grocery owners s...


Let Me In

What’s grim, gorgeous and white all over? This American remake of the Swedish horror drama Let the Right One In which airlifts the story 5,158 miles to Los Alamos, New Mexico where lonely, bullied only-child Owen (Kodi Smit-M...



Waiting For Superman

Are our children learning? No—and here’s why, argues Davis Guggenheim’s rousing documentary on public education. As smart and passionate as our schools should be, Waiting for Superman interviews families worried that thei...


Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

After nearly a decade in prison, guards have given Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) back his gold watch, his gold ring, his gold money clip and his freedom. Watch out world. Flash-forward seven years to 2008 and Gekko’s written...


Alpha and Omega

The caste system thrives in our national parks where Alpha—or leader—wolves simply can’t slum it by hooking up with their lame Omega kinfolk. For wild animals, they’re bound by an awful lot of rules. This 3D cartoon tr...



Rare French Fare

After a summer of entertaining yet mostly unspectacular films, it’s fair to wonder if anyone can produce anything truly original. The answer to that can be found at your local art-house circuit showing two, two-hour-plus fil...


A Fun and Raunchy Ride

Long-distance relationships have always been a true test of love, and in the modern age of cell phones and Skype and occasionally cheap air travel, it’s never been easier to keep the flame burning from afar. The new romantic...


Desperately Seeking Satan

From childhood, people are taught about good and evil, angels and demons, God and Satan. But while many continue to embrace these cosmic supernatural battles as real, many others cease to believe.  So what would happen if eve...



The Switch

Sorry tabloid readers. At no time in Josh Gordon and Will Speck’s insemination comedy does Jennifer “Womb Watch” Aniston growl, “Take that, Brad.” Though the sperm donor the single mom-to-be picks out makes Tyler Durd...


Lottery Ticket

What’s worse than winning a $370 million jackpot? Everything. But for Bow Wow, what’s truly terrible is having to protect your uncashed prize for three days in the projects where everyone knows your business and half of eve...


The Expendables

Back when Tipper Gore held sway, concerned citizens tsk-tsked about the high body counts in the movies of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. Twenty years later, Schwarzenegger has pink-slipped four times that number ...



Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Michael Cera has the face of a penguin and the legs of a ballerina. It’s easy to dismiss him as an impossible action hero, but look again—with a tuck of the chin and a glower settling across his brow, he’s…


The Other Guys

When a bomb explodes in front of Bruce Willis, his cheekbones get highlighted by ash. When one explodes before Will Ferrell, he collapses in a puddle sobbing, “I’ve got blood blisters on my hands! I call bullshit on that!...


Step Up 3D

One hundred and ten years ago, movie audiences didn’t give a hoot about plot. They went to be wowed by things they’d never seen—say, an elephant getting electrocuted—and things they’d never seen that way, like a train...



Deliciously Funny

Think back to that one classmate who never quite fit in, even among the geeks and nerds. Characters like that fade from most people’s memories over time. But in the uneven yet often incredibly funny new comedy Dinner for Schm...


Life During Wartime

Forgive or forget, wonder the damaged souls in Todd Solondz’s semi-sequel to 1998’s Happiness. Either way, Happiness loaded them with more baggage than they can handle. Between the suicides, stalking and child molestation, ...


Salt

In Salt, Angelina Jolie is slender, muted and awkwardly blonde. We’d swear she was a librarian if at the opening credits, we hadn’t seen her bloodied, cut and capped with a ripe black eye. Now, years later, she’s a govern...



Inception

When you sleep, cautions Leonardo DiCaprio, there are only two ways you can prove you’re dreaming. First, you don’t remember how you got where you are—where were you before this cafe, this hotel bar, this endless, circula...