Friday, February 1, 2013


My reviews for non-Criterion movies written in the first month of 2013.


56 Up, another seven years in the life of Michael Apted's groundbreaking documentary series.

Amour, Michael Haneke's drama of old age. Reserved and emotionally powerful.

Barbaraan enthralling German drama about one woman exiled to the country in East Germany, ca. 1980.

Gangster SquadThe low-bar for 2013 has been set. Here's your challenge, movie industry: don't do worse than this.

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunter. I'm a sucker for Gemma Arterton so I went to see her as Gretel, and now I'm a sucker for this movie.

The Impossible, a good movie about surviving a tsunami, despite the ethnic whitewash.

The Last Stand, teaming Arnold Schwarzenegger with awesome  director Jee-woon Kim. It's not as good as his Korean movies, but it's better than most Arnie movies.

Mama, starring recent Golden Globe winner Jessica Chastain. She had a whole week to enjoy her win before this stinker hit.

Rust and Bone, Marion Cotillard in a dark drama from the director of A Prophet.

Dick Tracy by Brent Schoonover 


5 Broken Cameras, the Oscar-nominated documentary made from one Palestinian man's personal video diary.

Dangerous Liaisons, a 2012 Chinese update of the French novel, transplanting it to Shanghai in the 1930s and starring Zhang Ziyi and Cecilia Cheung.

Dick Tracy, Warren Beatty's ambitious 1990 comic strip adaptation was a head of its time.

Doctor Zhivago. Not the good David Lean version, but the boring 2002 TV version.

Enlightened: The Complete First Season, an unfocused but entertaining HBO series from actress Laura Dern and filmmaker Mike White.

The Good Doctorthe director who gave us Kisses returns with an ethically curious medical drama with Orlando Bloom.

Indiscreet, the Stanley Donen romance film reteaming Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman appears to be geting better with age.

A Man Vanishes, Shohei Imamura's 1967 breakthrough. In addition to the main film, there are also five documentaries the Japanese director made in the years leading up to Vengeance is Mine.

Misfits: Season TwoWell, you can't win them all. Sophomore slump?

Mrs. Miniver, sincere propaganda done as a moving drama by William Wyler, buoyed by an understanding performance from Greer Garson.

Post Mortem, a strange kind of love story form Chile.

The Quiet Man, John Ford's romantic classic starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara is now a stunning Blu-Ray release.

Searching for Sugar Man, one of 2012's best documentaries is also a great rock-'n'-roll story.

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