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

Ebony And Agony: Get Hard, Reviewed

Despite how broad and silly they are, Will Ferrell's movies often have a stealth political side to them. When he works with his longtime creative partner, director and co-writer Adam McKay, he usually manages to address current events in a way that's pointed without being preachy. Everybody loves Anchorman because… » 3/25/15 4:38pm Wednesday 4:38pm

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

Liam Neeson's Slightly Diminishing Skills: Run All Night, Reviewed

Critics may not like Liam Neeson's action movies, but that hasn't translated into folks not liking him for making them. Unlike, say, Johnny Depp and his endless array of "zany" characters or Nicolas Cage and his pitiful cornucopia of forgettable doing-it-for-the-paycheck roles, he hasn't become a punchline. In… » 3/12/15 3:05pm 3/12/15 3:05pm

Confusion Is Sex: It Follows, Reviewed

It's not unusual for a horror movie to connect sex with death: Scream even made a joke of the fact that the best way to stay alive in a slasher flick is to be a virgin, since the horny teens always get offed first. So there's not much novelty to the fact that the much-hyped indie It Follows draws its initial… » 3/11/15 5:05pm 3/11/15 5:05pm

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

Drink The Kool-Aid: Why True/False Is Our Best Little Film Festival 

Film festivals are weird things. If you love movies and have dreamed of going to, say, Cannes or Sundance, you might have this romantic vision of watching dozens of movies amid happy, goodhearted souls who share your abiding passion for film. The reality is, you'll meet some of those people at a film festival,… » 3/05/15 12:59pm 3/05/15 12:59pm

Will Smith Is A Blank Slate Now, And Focus Doesn't Help

Most movie stars charm us by creating the illusion that we know them. Tom Cruise's appeal comes in large part from our identification with his intense, full-throttle performances; the Rock, his eyebrow always arched in a self-mocking way, lets us in on the joke that action movies are preposterous, and,… » 2/27/15 2:14pm 2/27/15 2:14pm

Oscar Predictions 2015: The Categories No One Understands 

Sunday's Academy Awards will have plenty of suspense: Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor are all toss-ups at this point. Will and I will tackle those and the other major categories Friday, but today, I'm going to look at the lower-profile awards: the tech prizes, short films, etc. They're not any easier… » 2/18/15 4:04pm 2/18/15 4:04pm

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

You Only Smirk Twice: Kingsman: The Secret Service, Reviewed

At a time when our superhero movies and action films are often dressed in dark tones, the gleefully sarcastic and proudly hyper-violent Kingsman: The Secret Service ought to be a relief. Eschewing the trend of brooding characters nursing mournful back stories, this adaptation of Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons' 2012… » 2/11/15 3:29pm 2/11/15 3:29pm

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 10 Movies I'm Most Excited To See At Sundance 2015

If the Oscar prognosticators are correct, next month Boyhood will become the first film to both premiere at Sundance and win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Last year's festival had plenty of other highlights, too—Whiplash, Life Itself, The Raid 2, The Overnighters, A Most Wanted Man—so as we get ready for… » 1/20/15 2:37pm 1/20/15 2:37pm

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

Grierson & Leitch's Best Films of 2014, Part 1 (Nos. 10-6)

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It's the final week of 2014, so we're wrapping the year up the usual way: with lists! Friday, we each announced our five worst movies of 2014. Today, we start counting down our favorites, starting with our respective picks for Nos. 6-10; tomorrow, we finish off with our Top 5s. » 12/29/14 2:49pm 12/29/14 2:49pm

Grierson & Leitch's 2014 In Review: The Year's Worst Films

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Yes, most people have already written their Top 10 movie lists for 2014. We're saving ours for the last week of the year, but while we wait for this full, rich, and weird movie year to end, we're going to start looking back at certain highlights. Today, it's a look at the worst movies of 2014. We'll get to… » 12/26/14 3:24pm 12/26/14 3:24pm

Grierson & Leitch's 2014 In Review: The Best Forgotten Performances

Yes, most people have already written their Top 10 movie lists for 2014. We're saving ours for the last week of the year, but while we wait for this full, rich, and weird movie year to end, we're going to start looking back at certain highlights. Today, it's our favorite forgotten performances. Tomorrow: the… » 12/24/14 11:44am 12/24/14 11:44am