Age Ain't Nothing But A Bummer: While We're Young, Reviewed

1. Of all the criticisms my fellow Gen-Xers have of Millennials, there isn't one that cracks me up more than "they're too self-involved." This is freaking rich, coming from us. Being self-involved was our thing. We were the ones who were obsessed with authenticity, and "reality," and not "selling out," even though… » 3/26/15 5:15pm Thursday 5:15pm

Sean Penn Is Way Too Weird To Be Your Next Great Action Hero

If nothing else, The Gunman gives us a scene in which Sean Penn goes surfing. Of all the mysteries of centuries of American film, one that has always vexed me in particular is, "How did the doof who played Spicoli turn into that guy?" If you haven't watched Fast Times at Ridgemont High recently—and the movie is… » 3/19/15 12:14pm 3/19/15 12:14pm

Like Short Circuit For Knuckleheads: Chappie, Reviewed

1. District 9, the 2009 full-length debut from South African writer-director Neill Blomkamp, gave us an entirely new way of thinking about science-fiction movies. I wasn't as crazy about it as most other critics, but you couldn't deny that it was trying something different, creating an alternate universe and… » 3/06/15 4:03pm 3/06/15 4:03pm

Oscar 2015 Predictions: The Categories You Actually Care About

The Oscars are Sunday! Wednesday, to help you out with your pool, Tim Grierson made predictions in all the technical categories; yesterday, Drew Magary yelled a lot. Today, we both unveil our picks for the eight major categories: you know, the ones you actually care about. Let's get to it. » 2/20/15 12:15pm 2/20/15 12:15pm

Whip It Good: Fifty Shades of Grey, Reviewed

1. I've never read the book Fifty Shades of Grey, but I'm fairly certain this film is the best possible adaptation of the material. From the looks of it, the 2011 erotica sensation seems not only to lack any semblance of a story, but even the backbone of one—as if author E.L. James never really thought to include… » 2/13/15 1:17pm 2/13/15 1:17pm

Dodge This: The Lousy, Endless Jupiter Ascending, Reviewed

1. Why did The Matrix work? For all its pseudo-philosophy and whiz-bang effects, for all its blue-pill-red-pill This is all an illusion sci-fi wonkery, may I humbly suggest that it was Keanu Reeves all along? Without him, you have a fun, expansive vision that may have never escaped its creators' heads; it's Reeves… » 2/06/15 10:49am 2/06/15 10:49am

Johnny Depp's Weird, Mirthless Waterloo: Mortdecai, Reviewed

1. Not everything about Mortdecai is horrible. Let's see. Paul Bettany has a few charming asides as (ugh) Jock Strapp, a working-class Englishman brawler sworn to eternal and inexplicable fealty to a simpering idiot. There's a flashback scene where Ewan McGregor looks just like he did in Shallow Grave, which was a… » 1/23/15 2:16pm 1/23/15 2:16pm

The Laptop Of Thor: Blackhat, Reviewed

1. Blackhat plays like a parody of a Michael Mann movie, which is depressing, given that it is a Michael Mann movie. He's one of my favorite filmmakers, with such a unique, distinct, relentlessly focused vision that you forgive all his shortcomings, from the deadly self-seriousness to the existence of exactly one… » 1/16/15 4:19pm 1/16/15 4:19pm

The Grierson & Leitch 2015 Oscar-Nomination Predictions

Early tomorrow morning, nominations for the 87th Academy Awards will be announced. Now, lately, film writers have divided into two factions: You either hate horse races like this, or you're obsessed with them. This snapped into focus recently when the National Society of Film Critics chose Jean Luc-Godard's … » 1/14/15 4:42pm 1/14/15 4:42pm

Melissa McCarthy's Self-Made Waterloo: Tammy, Reviewed

1. So what happened here, exactly? Tammy is a passion project for Melissa McCarthy—she co-wrote the film with her husband, Ben Falcone, who also directed and has a small role as a fast-food manager—and she spent nearly a decade trying to make it. So why is it so, so terrible? This is the movie McCarthy was fighting… » 7/02/14 11:26am 7/02/14 11:26am

Mo' Meta Blues: 22 Jump Street, Reviewed

1. How much credit are we supposed to give a movie for being self-aware? 22 Jump Street is so self-conscious and nervy about its status as an unnecessary cash-grab sequel that it never stops bringing it up. There are multiple inside-baseball asides about how much more expensive missions are the second time around, and… » 6/13/14 1:50pm 6/13/14 1:50pm

Groundhog Day Goes Sci-Fi: Edge Of Tomorrow, Reviewed.

1. Edge of Tomorrow is such a terrific idea for a movie that everyone involved seems to be in high spirits, like they all have a little pep in their step knowing they're making a good movie. There's so much junk out there that you can tell when the filmmakers know they've hooked a big one; there's a seriousness of… » 6/03/14 1:36pm 6/03/14 1:36pm

Unforgivable: A Million Ways To Die In The West, Reviewed.

1. Think about how much of an indictment it is to say, "All the good jokes are in the trailer" about a movie. Trailers, at most, are three minutes long. A Million Ways to Die in the West runs 116 minutes. That is a ton of time to comb through to dig out a Family Guy-esque gag about running into Emmet Brown and his… » 5/30/14 11:36am 5/30/14 11:36am

Time Is Not A Flat Circle: X-Men: Days Of Future Past, Reviewed

1. X-Men: Days of Future Past feels like one of those special-edition comic books that takes all the characters we know and love, drops them in some sort of parallel universe (so the storyline's ramifications don't affect the current canon timeline), and shakes up both the plot and those characters like crazy, just to… » 5/23/14 12:45pm 5/23/14 12:45pm

Kill All Humans, Or At Least Mute Them: Godzilla, Reviewed.

1. The go-to example for critics complaining about big-budget summer blockbusters today—and how they've devolved from some past, theoretical peak—is Steven Spielberg's Jaws. One of that 1975 film's many genius innovations was to hold off, as long as possible, on ever letting us see the shark. The movie took its time,… » 5/16/14 11:21am 5/16/14 11:21am

Cannes Film Festival 2014: 10 Movies We Can't Wait To See

The Cannes Film Festival kicks off today, setting in motion 10 days of premieres of some of the most heavily anticipated movies of the year. Inside Llewyn Davis and Blue Is the Warmest Color got their start there last year—not to mention Best Foreign Language Oscar winner The Great Beauty—and certainly some… » 5/14/14 12:37pm 5/14/14 12:37pm

I Guess This Is Growing Up: Neighbors, Reviewed

1. Neighbors is your typical Seth Rogen/Apatowian coming-of-age comedy, in which an overgrown manboy learns that he has to curtail his childish pursuits of weed, video games, and general irresponsibility to become a functional member of society. (They've now cranked out a decade's worth of movies about accepting adult… » 5/09/14 1:16pm 5/09/14 1:16pm

(500) Hours of Spidey: The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Reviewed

1. There's a moment in 2004's original Spider-Man 2, directed by Sam Raimi, that represents the peak of what a comic-book movie can do. It's when an unmasked Spider-Man attempts to save a (geographically impossible, but no matter) elevated NYC subway train from careening off the platform and into the street below.… » 5/02/14 3:57pm 5/02/14 3:57pm

Our 10 Most Anticipated Summer Movies (And The Five We're Dreading)

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Ladies and gentlemen, it is time to blow shit up. Summer-movie season begins in earnest on Friday with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and we're excited for another go-round of sequels and spectacle, although this is also the time for exciting counter-programming involving small-scale dramas with Oscar hopes. So, with hopes… » 4/30/14 2:50pm 4/30/14 2:50pm

Get Off The Internet, Johnny Depp: Transcendence, Reviewed

1. Transcendence is what Her would be like if Her were made by idiots. All the things that film did right—establish a love story convincing enough to make us believe its crazy premise; scale down a global story for a specific focus; have a weirdo lead actor willing to dial it down and do something real—Transcendence » 4/17/14 10:50am 4/17/14 10:50am