The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

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Wes Anderson's new movie [New Anderson Movie] has arrived! And while reviews are almost all very positive, they differ dramatically in how they think it compares to the rest of the movies in Anderson's oeuvre.I'll get to my thoughts about [New Anderson Movie] in a while. But first...Moviegoer 1 calls [New Anderson Movie] "a masterpiece — the most 'Andersonian' movie yet! You can see pieces of all of his previous films here, like he was building to this one all along!"Moviegoer 2 di … [Read more...]

The Great Beauty (2013)

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The Great Beauty. You have to have some ambition to give a movie a title like that.And Paolo Sorrentino has ambition. Huge ambition. Maybe a little too much.I've just seen The Great Beauty on the big screen, and I'm still a little bit drunk on its imagery. Turns out that the title is entirely appropriate for so many reasons. Sorrentino's camera-eyes are as wide open to glory as Terrence Malick's. (This film seems as heavily influenced by The New World and The Tree of Life as it so … [Read more...]

Now You Can Watch the Zany Adventure Movie That America Missed

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Looking for an escape? Searching for an exciting, hilarious, fun adventure film for the whole family?I highly recommend Luc Besson's The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec. Globe-trotting adventure, over-the-top comedy, extravagant costumes, Egyptian tomb-raiding, and a rampaging pterodactyl... this movie has all of that and more.And it just arrived on Netflix. … [Read more...]

The LEGO Movie (2014)

Emmett and Friends

Skeptical? No, I was downright cynical.A big screen movie about plastic building blocks? Give me a break. This has got to be the hardest evidence yet of Hollywood's imaginative bankruptcy. "Okay, Blockbuster Movie Council, what are your new ideas?" "Well, we've made movies about bestselling pregnancy guides. We've made movies about the game of Battleship and and the Pirates ride at Disneyland. What are the best-selling toys in the world?" "Let's make a movie about LEGOs! Kids will line up … [Read more...]

Overstreet’s Favorite Films: 2013

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In short, a conversation between a counselor and a recently paroled prisoner in a Las Vegas diner made a much bigger impression on this moviegoer than any comic book hero showdown, any fantasy roller-coaster ride, or any special-effects extravaganza in outer space.It was a year characterized by box-office-busting exhibitions of excess. Consider the bloated, ludicrous, and unapologetically unfaithful ruination of The Hobbit; the Superman movie in which the "hero" contributed to massive … [Read more...]

Her (2013): An All-Thumbs Review

The Lonely Guy: Joaquin Phoenix is Theodore Twombly in "Her."

This review of Spike Jonze's film Her is Part Four of the new fiction series I call All Thumbs Video.The series concerns a small cast of characters, friends who talk about movies in one of Earth's last video stores — All Thumbs, a shop named in honor of Roger Ebert. They're members of "Sight Club," a club that watches films in theaters or in the store's private viewing room and then reconvenes the next day to discuss what they've experienced.In the first installment, They argued about Ter … [Read more...]

12 Years a Slave (2013)

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Next month marks the 20th anniversary of Schindler's List. In July we reached the 15-year mark for  Saving Private Ryan. Those two films stand out in my moviegoing memory as landmark "event films" about America — films that inspired what the news media likes to call "a national discussion" about important chapters in historical horror.Both films were, in their own way, horror movies. But as painful as it was to watch them, the suffering that we experienced was not degrading or exploitative — … [Read more...]

The Counselor (2013)

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Did your plans go wrong? Did a deal go bad?No matter. You can outwit the devil. You can get away clean. You just need the right stuff. Cleverness. Strength. Resourceful friends. Enough money. Slick gadgetry. A holster at your hip. Courage and charm. Oh — and an escape route, in case you need to disappear. Don't worry... you can untangle yourself, learn from your mistakes, and start fresh.This is America, after all. For those who get wise and pull themselves up by their bootstraps, this i … [Read more...]

What a Chipotle Commercial Has In Common With My Two Favorite Films of the Year (So Far)

Museum Hours on Christianity Today

As some of you will remember, I was a film columnist and reviewer at Christianity Today from 2001 to 2009, and have made a few guest appearances there since then. A lot of history. A lot of learning. A lot of moviegoing. And a mountain of writing (around a thousand articles).But I must say, revisiting CT in recent weeks I have been thrilled and dazzled by the work of editor Alissa Wilkinson and the team of ambitious writers with big ideas. (Case in point: Read Jackson Cuidon's excellent … [Read more...]

The Late Gatsby: First Impressions

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Okay, I'm very, very late seeing Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby.I had looked forward to the film, as I became a Baz fan back when Strictly Ballroom became an audience favorite back in 1992, and I so enjoyed Moulin Rouge's flamboyant tribute to the superficiality and soul of pop music that I saw it five times in the theater.But early reviews convinced me to make other movies a higher priority, and I put off the latest Luhrmann spectacle.Well, now I regret that. To the complainers I … [Read more...]


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