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Review: Oscar Nominated Shorts: Documentary

Brief encounters
For this year's program of Oscar-nominated documentary shorts, it's best to bring tissues. Things can get emotional.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  January 30, 2013


Review: The Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live Action and Animated

Highlights of the live-action shorts include the beautifully direct performances by Somali refugees in "Asad," a contemporary story (with folkloric undertones) of a boy who wants to be a pirate; the del Toro–esque fantasy setting of "Death of a Shadow"; the blend of dark comedy and gritty drama in the New York story of a little girl and her black-sheep uncle, "Curfew"; and the warmth of memory giving way to cold reality for an elderly man in "Henry."
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  January 30, 2013


Review: A Liar's Autobiography

Graham Cracked
The discovery of tapes of Graham Chapman reading from his 1980 A Liar’s Autobiography has made it possible for the expired Monty Python member to star, posthumously, in his own biopic.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  January 25, 2013


Review: Parental Guidance

Billy Crystal and Bette Midler star in what could have been a decent comedy, if director Andy Fickman hadn't made it such a tearjerker.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  January 02, 2013


Review: Les Misérables

For his adaptation of the kitsch-fest known as Les Miz, Tom Hooper ( The King's Speech ) bets heavily on his cast, and mostly wins.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  December 20, 2012


Review: The Guilt Trip

Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand make a snappy comic duo in this road movie about a tetchy mother-son relationship.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  December 20, 2012


Review: Possession

A Cold War of body and soul is waged in this 1981 English-language horror film by Polish director Andrej Zulawski, set in a nearly deserted Berlin.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  November 12, 2012


Review: Alex Cross

The level of writing in Alex Cross is inferior to that of your fourth-favorite TV cop show.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  October 24, 2012


Review: Somewhere Between

Upon her adoption of a Chinese baby girl, filmmaker Linda Goldstein Knowlton wondered how, in years to come, her daughter would view her racial identity.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  October 18, 2012


Review: Beloved/Les bien-aimés

Christophe Honoré's melodramatic excesses
For the musical drama Beloved , writer-director Christophe Honoré's melodramatic excesses are tempered by the subtle performances of his leading ladies.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  September 11, 2012


Review: Planet of Snail

Overcoming physical challenges
Patience is a necessity in the lives of Young-chan, a man who's been deaf and blind from a young age, and his wife Soon-ho, a woman who despite her own physical challenges helps him accomplish tasks both modest and awe-inspiring.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  September 04, 2012


Review: Robot & Frank

A gentle, incisive comedy
Frank Langella adds to his string of understated, riveting performances in this gentle, incisive comedy.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  August 21, 2012


Review: Side by Side

Chris Kenneally's documentary about the inexorable rise of digital as the medium in which films are being shot and disseminated is a must-see for AV geeks and cinephiles — even die-hard celluloid fans.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  August 14, 2012


Review: Ruby Sparks

A dream made flesh
Ruby Sparks is a frothy, thoughtful take on the Pygmalion/Living Doll genre.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  August 03, 2012

Movie review: Bel Ami

Review: Bel Ami

The film adaptation of Guy de Maupassant's 1885 novel
The title is the term of endearment given to a charming young reporter by a series of influential Parisian women.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  June 05, 2012

Short Take: Snow White and the Huntsman

Review: Snow White and the Huntsman

Not the old clichés
Hers is not the old clichéd path towards romance, but the new clichéd path towards becoming a kickass girl warrior.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  June 07, 2012


Review: The Three Stooges

Funny and faithful
The Farrelly Brothers' Three Stooges pastiche, while not poifect, is funny and faithful, recreating slap-shtick (and sound effects!) and adding sharp one-liners.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  April 23, 2012


Review: Goon

Ode to the brawl
A Slapshot-worshipping, proudly raunchy ode to hockey's enforcers, Goon repeats a mock-poetic motif of blood and teeth wafting slo-mo towards the ice.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  April 12, 2012

WrathOfTheTitans film

Review: The Wrath of the Titans

Sword & sandal frenzy
The folks who gave us the bombastic 3D remake of Clash of the Titans unleash Jonathan Liebesman's Wrath , and it's sensational — if you like being stuffed into a trash can and rolled down a hill.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  April 10, 2012


A moment of illumination

Film matters
Last Friday, Brandeis University brought together two legends of nonfiction filmmaking: Errol Morris and Claude Lanzmann.
By: BETSY SHERMAN  |  March 29, 2012
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