Grand Theft Auto V: The Kotaku Review

Rockstar Games has scaled a mountain with Grand Theft Auto V, creating the best-looking, best-sounding and, most importantly, best-playing version of gaming's most notorious franchise. Scaling one peak, however, reveals another—their cloud-piercing ambition to create a great ensemble video game drama, an epic of… » 9/16/13 12:16pm 9/16/13 12:16pm

Taste Test: The Ramen Burger, A Real Thing That Exists

There are far worse places to be on a summer Saturday morning than the Smorgasburg food festival in East River State Park. You have a view of Manhattan from the Midtown skyline to the Williamsburg Bridge. If you're bored you can chat with other people in line, most of whom recognize the inherent silliness of queueing… » 8/28/13 3:39pm 8/28/13 3:39pm

NCAA Football 14: The Kotaku Review

The meanest thing I ever did in high school I did to a senior on the football team. His teammates were in my computer class, snickering about his hope of playing big time ACC football. I was a scrawny sophomore trying to be popular. I helped them forge some Clemson letterhead, and signed it "Head Coach Danny Ford." » 7/05/13 1:16pm 7/05/13 1:16pm

Did The Wrong Thing. Spike Lee's Red Hook Summer, Reviewed.

Spike Lee is such a confident filmmaker that when one of his movies doesn't quite work, you almost wonder if it's your fault for not getting it. Secure in his talent for sweeping emotions and powerful visuals, he sets out to make a masterpiece with each new movie, and the worst thing you can say about him is that he… » 8/10/12 5:48pm 8/10/12 5:48pm

Zach Galifianakis And Will Ferrell Race To The Middle. The Campaign,…

1. That The Campaign could never come up with a fictional scenario that would rival the absurdity of what actually happens in our daily political discourse is an obvious point, yet one that needs to be made again nevertheless. Is any sort of shtick that Will Ferrell could dream up odder than a reality in which Newt… » 8/09/12 6:40pm 8/09/12 6:40pm

The Conspiracy To Kill A Great Movie Franchise. The Bourne Legacy,…

1. The first three Jason Bourne films had an intensity, a vitality to them that made them feel urgent and relevant, grounded in the messy real world of global capitalism and a U.S. government that was alternately confused, corrupt, and terrified. The movies didn't have a specific politics other than paranoia:… » 8/08/12 5:55pm 8/08/12 5:55pm

Nothing We Haven't Seen Before: Total Recall, Reviewed.

1. As a skeptic of the original Total Recall, I was ready to give its remake more than a fair shake. My primary issue with the original is how little it does with the film's initial, fantastical Philip K. Dick premise, that the difference between reality and fantasy is not only slim but perhaps irrelevant; that film… » 8/03/12 4:30pm 8/03/12 4:30pm

Bruce Wanes. The Dark Knight Rises, Reviewed.

1. The first two Batman films from director Christopher Nolan were so transcendent, so ambitious and challenging and grand, that The Dark Knight Rises feels like more of a disappointment than it should. The first two movies, especially The Dark Knight, were miracles, an impossible combination of universal themes,… » 7/18/12 1:45pm 7/18/12 1:45pm

Didn't We Just Do This? The Amazing Spider-Man, Reviewed.

1. The Amazing Spider-Man is less a reboot than a recital. It's professionally made and competent and sincere and well-acted, but it never quite overcomes the nagging sense that there's no reason for it to exist. Well, actually, there is a reason: Sony, to keep the rights to the character, needed to rush a movie into… » 6/29/12 2:30pm 6/29/12 2:30pm

A Plush Bear Stuffed With Crap. Ted, Reviewed.

1. Of the myriad problems with Ted, Seth MacFarlane's flaming, masturbating fart of a comedy, the biggest one is that the teddy bear at its center is neither cute nor funny. The movie thinks he's both. For the movie's promising central joke to work—that a boy's teddy bear comes to life and then grows up alongside him… » 6/26/12 4:15pm 6/26/12 4:15pm

-8½. Woody Allen's To Rome With Love, Reviewed.

1. One of my favorite Roger Ebert quotes goes like this: "The Muse visits during the act of creation, not before. Don't wait for her. Start alone." That's to say: To create great work, you must first work. Not everything you create will be perfect; in fact, most of it won't be. But you can't wait for inspiration to… » 6/21/12 5:20pm 6/21/12 5:20pm

Twee's Company! Wes Anderson's Love Story, Moonrise Kingdom, Reviewed.

1. Wes Anderson is considered by many to be a cold, dispassionate filmmaker more interested in creating miniature worlds to run around and play in than creating well-rounded, relatable human beings to inhabit them. You constantly hear the word "dollhouse" referenced when people discuss Anderson, a twee boy… » 5/23/12 5:58pm 5/23/12 5:58pm

Why Can't Michael Bay Make Stoopid Movies Like This? Battleship,…

One of the knocks on Battleship is that it plays like a ripoff of a Michael Bay movie, but frankly, I wish any of Bay's recent films had been a fun as this very silly let's-kill-the-aliens action flick is. Directed by actor-turned-director Peter Berg (Hancock, the Friday Night Lights film), Battleship may be stoopid,… » 5/17/12 5:10pm 5/17/12 5:10pm

Is Not Good For Me. The Dictator, Reviewed.

1. There's a scene toward the end of The Dictator when you can see, finally, why Sacha Baron Cohen decided to wrap a whole movie around Admiral General Aladeen, the ruthless, clueless dictator of fictional country Wadiya. Without giving away any plot details, Aladeen is speaking to the United Nations about how good… » 5/15/12 6:36pm 5/15/12 6:36pm