Weekend: Big-Name Bombs and an Indie Gem

Two big-studio misfires take up theater space this weekend. What to do? Catch a surprisingly charming documentary about a 1950s screen icon, or catch up on some Oscar hopefuls still out there. Designates a Movies for Grownups Editors’ Choice   Our Brand Is Crisis Sandra Bullock’s new film about American political strategists helping a Bolivian presidential candidate rebrand himself could have been a funny film that made a serious statement about politics. As it is, Crisis mopes along with a …

Woody, Sherlock, or Ant-Man? The Choice Is Elementary

Woody Allen lets us down, but Ian McKellen and Paul Rudd pick us up as two very different heroes. At home, the second Marigold Hotel entry checks in with its appealing cast…and a classic of world cinema gets a pristine new release.  Designates a Movies for Grownups Critic’s Choice   Irrational Man At the stage where he’s equally likely to produce a modern classic (Midnight in Paris) or a forgettable trifle (Magic in the Moonlight), we never know which Woody Allen will …

Weekend: Dinos Dash, Garbo Laughs

Sprawling dino disasters and finely observed teen friendships give moviegoers a fun choice in theaters this weekend. At home, meanwhile, spies, golfers and a classic 1930s romance all provide excellent excuses to stay in (and out of the heat!).   Jurassic World Twenty-two years have passed since the unfortunate events on Isla Nublar, and a new generation has finally opened a brand-new theme park there, featuring genetically cloned dinosaurs. Humanity’s hubris, by contrast, has changed not one bit in the intervening decades, so …

‘Saint’ Roger Moore Steals the Weekend

See California drop into the ocean this weekend if you must, but save some time to revisit two old friends on home video: Roger Moore starring as The Saint and Orson Welles in his greatest role: himself.   Aloha Writer-director Cameron Crowe (Say Anything, Jerry Maguire) and a stellar cast (Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Bill Murray, John Krasinski) went to Hawaii, and all they brought back for us was this lousy movie. Cooper plays a military contractor who travels to …

This Weekend @ The Movies: A Golden Girl, a Tortured Toon

Helen Mirren reigns onscreen this weekend. That’s the predictable play. If you’re in a more adventurous mood, check out a quirky new cartoon from the legendary Bill Plympton. Otherwise, the post-Oscar parade of big-screen blockbusters hitting home video continues apace. Woman in Gold Helen Mirren is the real golden girl in this true story of Maria Altmann, the woman who sued the Austrian government to recover a painting the Nazis stole from her family. Wide-eyed with exasperation and naïveté, Mirren’s …

Shades of Grey or Gray Romance: Your Choice

Pick your Valentine’s Day poison: An edgy tale of sexual domination, a warm and fuzzy rom-com with the ever-charming Hugh Grant, or an explosion-packed secret-agent spectacle. Choose wisely; the ultimate outcome of your romantic dinner-and-a-movie date depends upon it.   50 Shades of Grey We’re not supposed to laugh out loud at a movie that features beautiful young people having kinky sex, right? Yet that’s precisely what happens almost from the moment we’re introduced to billionaire bondage boy Christian Grey …