Film Reviews

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  • There is an arc in the life of every food critic that starts with being a relatively unknown (both personally and professionally) restaurant-goer and ends with being an instantly recognizable regional god. Sometimes, that transition is abrupt and...

  • Less a documentary than an invitation to play, Van Neistat's A Space Program runs viewers through the beauty of a homespun, handmade science-fiction theater piece/gallery event. In 2012, the artist Tom Sachs staged and designed a playdate...

  • As one of the most well-known intellectuals and documentary subjects in the world, Noam Chomsky needs no introduction, and he doesn't receive one in this chilling documentary. Instead, the film opens in silence as Chomsky stares back, his face...

  • In the manically imaginative and very funny Pee-wee's Big Holiday -- Paul Reubens' first movie as the easily amused man-child since his 1991 indecent exposure arrest set off an idiotic array of career-stalling media attention -- it's as if...

  • Set in the streets and yards of an older suburb of Washington state, Bob Nelson's The Confirmation plays, at its best, like a dispatch from rural America as it actually is: underemployed, sometimes hostile to strangers, sympathetic if not...

  • Warm and unusually crowd-pleasing, Naomi Kawase's old-ways-are-the-best-ways foodie drama Sweet Bean is a celebration not just of homemade cooking but of taking your time and doing it right -- precisely what the celebrated director does...

  • If there's such a thing as Lance Armstrong truthers -- which, for entertainment's sake, I kind of hope there are -- they'll be none too pleased with Stephen Frears' biopic of the seven-time Tour de France winner. The Program shows...

  • Agitprop with a mawkish "personal" twist, The Brainwashing of My Dad censures the rise -- and tactics -- of right-wing media through the prism of director Jen Senko's elderly father, a former liberal whose mounting Rush Limbaugh and Fox...

  • In 1995, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was shot after attending a public rally. Rushed to the hospital, he died hours later. His assassin, Israeli ultranationalist Yigal Amir, is in prison for life, having achieved his goal: Without Rabin,...

  • Ktown Cowboys indicates by its title both insider status and a desire to fit in. Ktown -- short for Koreatown -- refers to the Los Angeles neighborhood marked by art-deco buildings and Korean signage where the film is set. The cowboys of...

  • How did kids scramble for acceptance before the internet? Joseph Castelo's The Preppie Connection posits that then, as now, you could get a lot of mileage from drugs. Its blasé narrator is Toby (Thomas Mann), a working-class kid in...

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