Rampart (2011)

Rampart (2011)

Rampart faces the age-old dilemma where the lead performance is better than the film itself. This is, perhaps, Woody Harrelson’s best performance, but he’s stuck in a narrative that’s never in a big hurry to get anywhere. Just when you think it’s about to come to a dynamite resolution, it … Continue reading

Happy Feet Two (2011)

Happy Feet Two (2011)

Why are these movies so depressing? Having seen both Happy Feet films, I have left both with a sense of puzzling sadness. That takes some effort considering the central basis for the films are talking, singing penguins. But both films have also had unsettling agendas, putting our beloved penguins in … Continue reading

J. Edgar (2011)

J. Edgar (2011)

J. Edgar is a by-the-numbers biopic that’s just never quite as engaging as it should be. Interesting things happen onscreen, but there is an inexplicably empty, sterile feel to the whole affair. This seems surprising considering that J. Edgar Hoover is one of the more polarizing characters in all of … Continue reading

Contagion (2011)

Contagion (2011)

The return of the viral outbreak film has been a long time coming (there hasn’t been one without zombies since 1995’s cheeky Outbreak), and Contagion is a damned good one. Feeling chillingly realistic throughout, director Steven Soderbergh and an all-star cast deliver a tense, first-rate thriller that will have you … Continue reading

Horrible Bosses (2011)

Horrible Bosses (2011)

Horrible Bosses is a consistently funny tale of three disgruntled workers trying to off their bosses. It’s a Three Stooges routine, more or less, and plenty crude. While the idea seems to qualify as a black comedy, the execution just feels too darn nice. It’s virtually impossible not be reminded … Continue reading

Larry Crowne (2011)

Larry Crowne (2011)

Larry Crowne is as lightweight, innocent, and conflict-free of a romantic comedy as you’ll ever find. It’s charming, but very leisurely paced and underwritten given the gravity of the situation that the main character finds himself in. Fortunately, veteran actors Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts elevate the material with likeable, … Continue reading

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the third in the Earth-destroying series, delivers the goods, plain and simple. Correcting many of the mistakes from its immediate predecessor, Transformers 3 is an epic, exciting popcorn film whose last hour is so relentless and visually breathtaking that all-out sensory overload is a foregone … Continue reading

Cars 2 (2011)

Cars 2 (2011)

Look no further than the Toy Story short and the extended The Lion King re-release trailer that precede Cars 2 for reasons why this latest Pixar film just doesn’t cut it. The former two films have true character development, well-written, well-told stories, and spectacular animation. Cars 2 only has the … Continue reading