Movies

Elle

French sangfroid defined is the best way to describe Paul Verhoeven’s new film, “Elle,” starring Isabelle Huppert. The production and script have Ms. Huppert run quite a grueling gauntlet including rape, adultery, voyeurism, masturbation, trolling, a car crash, a childhood …Read More

Nocturnal Animals

Tom Ford’s new multi-narrative film, “Nocturnal Animals,” features Amy Adams as Susan, a woman who is unhappy in her marriage and even less happy with the art she curates for her gallery. Susan needs something to change in her life, …Read More

Arrival

What’s best about “Arrival” is that it’s playing at Cinemas 1 + 2, so you can buy a very comfortable reserved seat and eliminate the stress of when to arrive. A friend sat in front of us and when we …Read More

Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened

In 1981, the Stephen Sondheim/Hal Prince musical, “Merrily We Roll Along,” opened on Broadway to great anticipation. Just two years earlier the pair’s “Sweeney Todd” had won eight Tony awards, including Best Musical. Surprisingly, “Merrily” closed after 16 performances. How …Read More

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Based on Ben Fountain’s award-winning novel of four years ago, “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” has been turned into a movie as exceptionally engrossing as is the book. Ang Lee has directed an appealing and accomplished ensemble of mostly unknowns …Read More

The Eagle Huntress

Donald and I respond unfailingly to the world of natural beauty, historic adventure and/or a combination of both. The magnificent story of a 13-year-old girl and her very supportive father in Mongolia touched us completely for its bravery, charm, stalwart …Read More

Lion

The Weinstein name in the opening credits hint that what is about to unspool might be special. Knowing that Nicole Kidman all but demanded her role provides another hint. Knowing that Dev Patel, the runaway star of “Slumdog Millionaire,” auditioned …Read More

Aquarius

Sônia Braga, the sexy star of the 1985 film “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” is now 66, yet is still quite sexy in her virtuoso performance in the new Brazilian film, “Aquarius.” Much has been made about a very steamy …Read More

Hacksaw Ridge

This is a feel-good movie, and I felt good after seeing it. The true-life story of a conscientious objector – and how he came to this principled stance, yet also served as a medic in the great battle of Okinawa …Read More

Seasons (Les Saisons)

French nature film mavins Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud spent four years and 33 million euro to create this gorgeously photographed homage to the animals of the forests of Europe. The stars are the large mammals: brown bears, bison, wild …Read More

A Man Called Ove

  I loved Frank Backman’s book, which I read a year or so ago, about this quirky, rigid Swedish widower, and how his life gets turned around. The movie is both faithful to the book and yet better in some …Read More

Denial

  When we have a night with nothing to do, Dale and I like to find a movie that’s playing at Cinema 1 & 2, which has been updated to the most comfortable reserved seats in town. Last night, we went …Read More

Snowden

An unusually positive reaction for us to an Oliver Stone film. We’d probably give it 5 stars except that Laura Poitras made such an outstanding documentary, “Citizenfour,” that won an Oscar last year. We very much admire Snowden and thus …Read More

The Queen of Katwe

The real-life story of a girl who soars out of muddy Ugandan streets through, of all things, chess. Applause to Disney for producing it, Mair Nair for making it and to David Oyelowo [Dr. King in “Selma”] and Lupita Nyong’o …Read More

The Light Between Oceans

This superb film about love, loneliness, devotion and heartbreak is based on a novel by M.L. Stedman. True to its literary origin, the story contains many dramatic plot turns that might ordinarily slip into melodrama, but that same literary foundation provides …Read More

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week

If you like The Beatles — and who doesn’t? — you will enjoy this documentary film by Ron Howard. The extraordinary footage endearingly depicts the emergence of a phenomenon that came about organically rather than orchestrated, marketed, pushed upon us …Read More

Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future

We just saw a screening of this absorbing new PBS American Masters film by producer-director Peter Rosen (no relation). Finnish-American Eero Saarinen was the son of another well-known architect, Eliel. The two worked together, then competed, most notably for the …Read More

Weiner

Why does a talented seven-term Congressman with a politically connected wife and a bright future throw it away in serial sexting scandals? And why does Anthony Wiener permit it all to be filmed – not just the public stuff and …Read More

The Lobster

This dystopian, dark comedy starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz is an odd take on relationships, love and human nature. Set in a not-too-distant future, where being single is illegal, couples rule and “loners” are forced to live in the …Read More

A Hologram for the King

Not one of Tom Hanks’ distinguished efforts. The year is 2010, in the relative calm before the Arab Spring, and Alan Clay (Tom Hanks), a washed-up former bicycle salesman, somehow persuades his new employer that his skills will enable him …Read More

Viva

“Viva” inverts the premise of “La Cage aux Folles” and moves the story to the not-so-mean, but ever-so-gritty streets of Havana, Cuba. Jesus is a young, gay hairdresser with aspirations to become a female impersonator. Angel is his father, a …Read More

A Hologram for the King

There were parts of “A Hologram for the King” that we liked. Particularly the parts that spoke to what it must be like to live in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. But there were too many stories the writer tried …Read More

PAPA: Hemingway in Cuba

Denne Petitclerc’s parents abandoned him at age 4, in the depths of the Great Depression. Nevertheless, he grew up to be a newspaper reporter, starting in sports and moving on to cover the Korean War. He learned his craft by retyping Ernest Hemingway’s …Read More

The Jungle Book

Sunday night, we went to see “The Jungle Book”  in West Palm Beach. We were pretty much the only people without children. The line for popcorn was immense, as Muvico sells a plastic, promotional bucket for families to return with and …Read More

Born to Be Blue and Miles Ahead

  If you’re a Chet Baker or Miles Davis fan—and I am a rabid fan of each— their biopics, “Born to Be Blue” and “Miles Ahead,” are nectar to a bee; but even if you’re not, the performances by Ethan …Read More

Goya: Visions of Flesh and Blood

This film, coinciding with a significant exhibition of Goya’s pictures at the National Gallery in London, elucidates the essence of Goya’s work and what set it apart from others of his time. It also chronicles his ambitious climb through the …Read More

Hello, My Name is Doris

While not exactly the height of cinematic excellence, this movie, with Sally Field in the leading role, is a refreshing and fun two hours at the movie theater. Its marketed as a love story between stuck-in-a-rut Sally Field’s Doris and …Read More

I Saw the Light

OK, it’s another biopic. And maybe not the best one. But this film about country music star Hank Williams is still satisfying. It has wonderful music, and Tom Hiddleston is a credible Williams (if unlikely, as a Brit). Williams created …Read More

Where To Invade Next

This documentary (now at Lincoln Plaza Cinema) may be Michael Moore’s best and funniest, but also the most thought- provoking. The intrepid, rumpled, faux-naïf, shambling, tongue-in-cheek populist and provocateur visits numerous countries to plant the flag and interview locals to …Read More

Eye in the Sky

In every global-suspense-espionage-terror-type film, every time a scene changes, a digital dateline comes clicking across the screen in computer-generated text — and yet it’s still hard to follow the storyline. Not so in “Eye in the Sky,” where such datelines …Read More

Remember

Director Atom Egoyan has disproved the notion that there are no new twists to holocaust themes with his film “Remember.” Veterans Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau team as aging and, varyingly, forgetful and scheming concentration camp survivors. Together they conjur …Read More

45 Years

By my very rough count, half the time that Charlotte Rampling is on the screen in “45 Years” she is stone silent, and yet it is one of the most eloquent performances you’ll ever see. This is a story, as …Read More

Marguerite

This week in London an extraordinary French film “Marguerite” opened. It is the story of madness, of obsession, of opera, and of love. The heroine is Marguerite, a middle-aged wealthy Baronne married to an impoverished aristocrat. They live in a …Read More

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

WTF?: “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” in military radio jargon. Something like “what the hell?” or “why the hell not?” in American slang. So WTF is a nice girl like Tina Fey doing in the middle of the American military misadventure in …Read More

London Has Fallen

“After the death of the British prime minister, the world’s most powerful leaders gather in London to pay their respects. Without warning, terrorists unleash a devastating attack that leaves the city in chaos and ruins. Secret Service agent Mike Banning …Read More