Blue is the Warmest Color

Director: Abdel Kechiche Starring: Léa Seydoux, Adèle Exarchopoulos Review: 4 stars (of five) Controversial as all hell, winner of unprecedented accolades at Cannes, and clocking in at a solid three hours long, Blue is the Warmest Color is not the easiest film to review. In short, the actresses are excellent and the direction is, in many ways, wonderful. But at the same time that Abdel Kechiche does marvelous things with a constantly roving, claustrophobically intimate camera, his storytelling choices are often a bit bewildering. Start with the running time: The film is patently self-indulgent. There are scenes that are not needed, and...

The Counselor

Writer: Cormac McCarthy Director: Ridley Scott Starring:  Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz Review: 4 stars (of 5) One of America’s most important living writers, Cormac McCarthy (whose novels became the films The Road and No Country for Old Men)...

The Fifth Estate

Directed by: Bill Condon Starring: Benedict Cumberbach, Daniel Brühl, Laura Linney, Stanley Tucci Review:  2.5 stars (of five) The Fifth Estate is not a terribly good movie, but it’s mostly inoffensive in its failures, and it has a good cast rambling through an underconsidered script...

Carrie

Directed by: Kimberly Peirce Starring: Chloë Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, Julie Greer, Gabriella Wilde Review:  2 stars (of five) The remake of Carrie is sort of a mess, and it’s not a very interesting mess, for the most part.  It doesn’t qualify as a horror film at all:  Except for...

Runner, Runner

Directed by: Brad Furman Starring: Justin Timberlake, Ben Affleck, Gemma Arterton Review: 1.5 stars (of five) This weekend, Gravity provided a rare example of why we need Hollywood:  Straightforward storytelling, runaway-train thrills, cutting-edge effects, A-list stars.  Hollywood exists...