The Best And Worst 2014 Summer Movies: A Grierson And Leitch Report

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If you ask the bean-counters, this was a disappointing summer: Almost every major sequel underperformed (Transformers: Age of Extinction, The Expendables 3, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 were all the lowest-grossing entries in their respective series), and there were some truly ugly flops, most notably for Seth… » 8/28/14 11:55am Thursday 11:55am

Stay Home: Four Great New Indie Movies, Available On Demand

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As we've mentioned in the past, Labor Day weekend is one of the worst on the Hollywood calendar. It's when studios dump their duds, knowing full well that everyone is too busy doing one last barbecue before summer ends. So rather than suffering through The November Man or As Above, So Below, why not treat… » 8/27/14 9:44am Wednesday 9:44am

Film Noir For Dummies—Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Reviewed

1. The original Sin City movie felt so inventive and revolutionary in 2005 that it's not really fair to make fun of it for how poorly it holds up now ... but you can't help it. For all the loveliness of Frank Miller's compositions—and considering how lousy his co-director Robert Rodriguez's movies usually look, it's… » 8/22/14 2:15pm 8/22/14 2:15pm

The Perfect Imperfect Couple: Love Is Strange, Reviewed

Leo Tolstoy's line "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way" could be applied to romantic relationships as well—especially if you're not in a good one. From the outside, a happy marriage can look like an aberration, a fluke, or just dumb luck. Because so much of fiction is… » 8/19/14 2:35pm 8/19/14 2:35pm

The Expendables 3: An Actor-By-Actor Breakdown

No film series in recent memory relies more on the sheer mass of its cast than the Expendables movies. I've seen the assembled talent referred to as the Traveling Wilburys of '80s Action Stars, but there were only five of those guys. This more resembles the cast of a '70s disaster movie, in which the trailer was… » 8/14/14 12:19pm 8/14/14 12:19pm

Perfectly Imperfect: Saying Goodbye To Robin Williams

One of the dumbest things the public does is think it "knows" celebrities. Those people we see on our TV or on a movie screen, because they come into our lives and make us laugh and cry—we believe we have some sort of special connection, not to the characters they play, but to the actors themselves. This is what… » 8/12/14 10:50am 8/12/14 10:50am

Too Much Is Just Enough: Guardians of the Galaxy, Reviewed

1. The best thing about the Marvel movies, to my eyes, is how self-aware they are without ever getting too winking about it. Captain America and Thor are excellent at this, playing off their leads' lunkheaded, uber-wholesome charm, but 2012's The Avengers—still the best Marvel film, and one of the best superhero… » 7/30/14 2:59pm 7/30/14 2:59pm

Scarlett Johansson Enters The Matrix: Lucy, Reviewed

1. Lucy posits that if a person were able to somehow assess 100 percent of his or her brain capacity, he or she would be able to travel through time, from the Big Bang to the dinosaurs to the dawn of man to the end of the world, and gather all the wisdom from millennia and hand it over as a gift to humanity. This… » 7/25/14 1:05pm 7/25/14 1:05pm

Rock Bland: Hercules, Reviewed

What makes Dwayne Johnson such an appealing movie star is that he's never seemed hung up on being a movie star. Not unlike Jason Statham, he has a twinkle in his eye that suggests he's having way more fun at his job than most of his action-hero brethren. That sense of fun (self-effacing without being campy or… » 7/24/14 4:26pm 7/24/14 4:26pm

Nothing Up Woody Allen's Sleeve: Magic In The Moonlight, Reviewed

Magic in the Moonlight is the sort of Woody Allen movie that longtime fans have trouble defending, not because it's terrible or lazy—it's neither—but because it's so painfully familiar. Likeable and completely disposable, his new comedy has its chuckles, but as he gets closer to the 50-feature mark, this joins his… » 7/23/14 11:30am 7/23/14 11:30am

Big, Dumb, Unsexy: Sex Tape, Reviewed

Sex Tape is such a dumb movie that it's hard to know where to start. So let's try this: Its premise is total nonsense. Married-with-kids couple Jay (Jason Segel) and Annie (Cameron Diaz) decide to spice up their inert love life by filming themselves with Jay's iPad doing every position mentioned in The Joy of Sex.… » 7/16/14 1:48pm 7/16/14 1:48pm

From Slacker to Boyhood: Ranking Richard Linklater's Movies

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Today, Richard Linklater's acclaimed Boyhood (which we love) opens in select cities. (It'll be expanding next week and be practically everywhere by mid-August.) To celebrate, we decided to rank all 16 of the man's commercial features, and what we hope you'll notice is that over a 23-year career, he's had one hell of a… » 7/11/14 2:25pm 7/11/14 2:25pm

Great Ape: Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, Reviewed

Three years ago, expectations for Rise of the Planet of the Apes were understandably low. The director (Rupert Wyatt) wasn't well-known, a lot of people despised the film's star (James Franco) for his Renaissance Man routine, and we all remembered how terrible Tim Burton's 2001 Planet of the Apes reboot was. Plus,… » 7/10/14 12:38pm 7/10/14 12:38pm

High On Life: The Divine Boyhood, Reviewed.

1. Boyhood makes you want to protect—to save—everyone onscreen. They're not in any sort of peril, at least not plainly so; there are alcoholic dads and neighborhood bullies and some broken hearts, but no one's ever in any danger of being attacked by a bear or anything. But without ever seeming to try, Richard… » 7/09/14 12:06pm 7/09/14 12:06pm

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

The Grierson & Leitch Top 12 Movies Of The First Half Of 2014

As of today, we are halfway through 2014. Most of your "prestige" movies aren't out yet—only a third of our top 10s last year were from the first half of 2013 —but that doesn't mean this year's first six months didn't have its delights. Surprisingly, many of the standouts were bigger-budgeted studio movies; to make… » 7/01/14 12:43pm 7/01/14 12:43pm

Saying Goodbye To Roger Ebert: Life Itself, Reviewed

When Roger Ebert died on April 4, 2013, it felt like a death in the family, not only because I'm a film critic, but because he and Gene Siskel are a huge part of the reason why. The different incarnations of their Siskel & Ebert show were instrumental in my upbringing, driving home the idea that movies weren't just… » 6/30/14 4:07pm 6/30/14 4:07pm

Auto-Chaotic. Transformers: Age of Extinction, Reviewed.

Age of Extinction is the best of the Transformers movies. That's not saying much: The other films in the series were all pretty bad, and this one is no good, either. But for an hour or so, director Michael Bay does what he does as well as he's done it for quite some time. Perpetually juvenile he may be, but god… » 6/27/14 10:16am 6/27/14 10:16am

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

Double Dragon: How To Train Your Dragon 2, Reviewed

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, DreamWorks Animation has enjoyed plenty of commercial and critical success, winning two animation Oscars and earning almost $11.6 billion worldwide. And yet, the company remains in the shadow of Pixar, which in about the same amount of time has won seven animation Oscars… » 6/10/14 1:06pm 6/10/14 1:06pm