Django Unchained

Writer-Director: Quentin Tarantino Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Kerry Washington, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson Review: 4 stars (of five) Django Unchained is Quentin Tarantino’s best film. It is not the best “Quentin Tarantino” film, and is in fact less perfect in execution than his first few movies, where his aims were smaller and better realized. But Tarantino has made his best movie in a career of homages to low-brow genre films by adding the one thing none of his previous movies have had: Characters I can believe in, and care about. In other words, Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz make this movie. The latter by...

Les Miserables

Director: Tom Hooper Starring: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Samantha Barks, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen, Amanda Seyfried Review: 4.5 stars (of five) Tom Hooper, who last year delivered the quiet, almost claustrophic Oscar triumph of The King’s Speech, this...

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Director: Peter Jackson Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen Review: 2.5 stars (of five) The first part of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy is easily too long by half, with a tedious, clumsily tiresome opening and then a lot of battle scenes that no reasonable viewer will care much about. As spectacle, there are considerable special effects and visual grandeur, and as cinematic comfort food, it’s a return to Jackson’s sprawling Middle Earth, which an awful lot of viewers have invested an awful lot of time in visiting. But as a cinematic story, it’s kinda crap. Much has been said about the fact that the 300-page...

Hyde Park on the Hud...

Directed by: Roger Michell Starring: Bill Murray, Laura Linney Review:  2.5 stars (of five) Hyde Park on the Hudson is a film about FDR that doesn’t cover World War II, the New Deal, repealing Prohibition, fighting the Depression or pretty much anything that made FDR great.  It...