Movie Reviews

‘Draft Day’ keeps football in the background of dull sports drama

Kevin Costner plays fictional Cleveland Browns general manager Sonny Weaver, Jr.

‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ has action, little heart

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” may be the first sequel for the titular hero (played by Chris Evans), but the character benefits from having also appeared in “The Avengers,&

Strange, silly ‘Muppets Most Wanted’ leaves a lot to be desired

Picking up where the 2011 reboot left off, “Muppets Most Wanted” makes some unfortunately uninspired choices, starting with the opening musical number which is actually called, “W

‘Divergent’ follows young-adult formulas, is weak intro to series

Another year, another young-adult action-romance series.

Fascinating doc ‘Tim’s Vermeer’ is a study of patience and passion

In the unusual yet highly enjoyable “Tim’s Vermeer,” inventor Tim Jenison sets out to recreate the painting technique of Dutch master Johannes Vermeer – which many experts n

‘Non-Stop’ a serviceable action-thriller with a can’t-miss setting

With very little set-up, “Non-Stop” takes off into a string of pulse-pounding action scenes befitting its title.

And the Oscars go to...

On March 2, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its awards for last year’s best achievements in film.

Flimsy, forgettable ‘Pompeii’ wants to be ‘Gladiator’ meets ‘Titanic’

Using the “Titanic” template of a star-crossed love story set during a major disaster, “Pompeii” tries to deliver both large-scale action and moving romance.

‘The Monuments Men’ history fascinates, while script frustrates

“The Monuments Men” follows an unlikely true story of a bunch of art experts, architects and historians as they try to track down masterpieces stolen by the Nazis in the waning days of

Creative ‘Lego Movie’ keeps timeless lesson fun and fresh

In a rare occurrence for an animated film, “The Lego Movie” can be enjoyed just as much by adults as by children, largely because the script is filled with ironic winks, and many of the

‘Labor Day’ sets engaging tone, but characters don’t ring true

“Labor Day” calmly and carefully weaves together themes of family, loneliness and awakenings with elements of romance, drama and suspense films.

Bittersweet ‘Nebraska’ filled with realistic acting, moody style

Focusing much more on character and mood than on action, “Nebraska” is the kind of slower, thoughtful film that may just infuriate audiences who are not accustomed to the pace of direct

Actors excel, difficult tone gets muddled in ‘August: Osage County’

Based on the Tony- and Pulitzer-winning play, “August: Osage County” comes to the screen shortened by an hour (by playwright Tracy Letts himself), and loaded with top-notch acting talen

‘American Hustle’ apes Scorsese, but makes some magic of its own

“American Hustle” is a confident, swaggering piece of filmmaking, in the sense that director/co-writer David O. Russell seems to fancy himself as the next Martin Scorsese.

Wonderfully original ‘Her’ is off-beat and thought-provoking

It’s quite fitting that “Her” recently won the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay, because writer-director Spike Jonze has crafted the most original and thought-provoking film of th

‘Inside Llewyn Davis,’ ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ offer very different comedy

Despite some very serious subjects, the tones of “Inside Llewyn Davis” and “The Wolf of Wall Street” could technically classify them as comedies – at least, according

‘Saving Mr. Banks’ is charming, even if the backstory is all too tidy

“Saving Mr.

‘Anchorman 2’ revels in the absurd and random, but still repeats itself

Written by star Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay, “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” gives fans of the original exactly what they want, which is more time with the endlessly quotab

‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ looks grand, grows tedious

“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” plays well to hardcore J.R.R.

Familiar themes fill ‘Philomena,’ but the true story still surprises

Surprises are always welcome at the movie theater during this season of blockbusters and overwrought awards-bait, so “Philomena” plays perfectly as a no-frills, grown-up crowd-pleaser t

‘The Book Thief’ is hampered by narrative device that lifted novel

While the dark and bizarre narrative device of “The Book Thief” may have worked brilliantly in the form of a novel (the story-teller is Death himself), it makes the structure of the fil

Darker, deeper ‘Catching Fire’ puts excitement back into serials

“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” is the rare middle chapter that doesn’t just bide its time until something more exciting happens in the finale.

‘Dallas Buyers Club’ props up standard plot with stellar acting

When bull-rider, electrician, and unlikable tough cowboy Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) was diagnosed with HIV in 1985, he was given 30 days to live.

‘Thor: The Dark World’ shows Marvel should keep things fresh

“Thor: The Dark World” reunites “God of Thunder” Thor (Chris Hemsworth) with scientist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), when she is in peril from the age-old weapon called the

‘12 Years a Slave’ horrifically upsetting, but must be seen

The stunning acting in “12 Years a Slave” – especially the award-caliber performances by Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o – is second to none.

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