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Archive By Section - Movie reviews

For your consideration: An early look at Oscar

This week we begin a series previewing the movies that will likely compete for Best Picture and for acting awards at the Oscars and other major ceremonies. (Let's hope some of them make it to our area!)

December 01, 2011 | Jeff Marker | Movie reviews

Muppets' reunion is a witty delight

There is nothing I didn't love about "The Muppets." No movie has made me laugh so much or lifted my spirits so high in years.

November 24, 2011 | Jeff Marker | Movie reviews

Fangs for nothing: Twilight's dim 'Dawn' is a drag-ula

The Twilight movies put reviewers in a no-win situation.

November 24, 2011 | Jeff Marker | Movie reviews

Hoover biopic ignores darkest side of his character

Two things are wrong with "J. Edgar." The first problem is J. Edgar Hoover. The second problem is that the movie is about him.

November 17, 2011 | Jeff Marker | Movie reviews

‘Shrek’ yarn plays out with well-heeled feline

The Shrek franchise keeps trudging along, thanks to "Puss in Boots."

November 10, 2011 | Jeff Marker | Movie reviews

Murphy back in form in funny ‘Tower Heist’

Allow me to lead by answering what I think most of you are wondering about "Tower Heist."

November 03, 2011 | Jeff Marker | Movie reviews

Old suspense trick works to save ‘In Time’

Alfred Hitchcock once summed up the difference between surprise and suspense perfectly. Imagine two people sitting at a table talking. Suddenly, a bomb explodes under the table. The audience, unaware of the bomb, is surprised.

November 03, 2011 | Jeff Marker | Movie reviews

‘Rum Diary’ a loving tribute to ‘gonzo’ master

Hunter S. Thompson wrote "The Rum Diary" in the early '60s when he was a young man and green writer. It was the second novel he had completed, and he couldn't get either work published. "The Rum Diary" didn't make it into print until 1998.

October 27, 2011 | Jeff Marker | Movie reviews

‘Footloose’ is shopworn ’80s rehash

As the prophetic philosopher Huey Lewis once wrote, "Gotta get back in time." What Professor Lewis obviously meant is that the movies desperately need to get out of the '80s and return to the present.

October 20, 2011 | Jeff Marker | Movie reviews

'The Thing’ is back, and still a good scare

Is there anything new under the sun? Apparently not in the southern California sun, at least.

October 13, 2011 | Jeff Marker | Movie reviews

‘Real Steel’ is a rusty mess of a movie

Rather than my usual review, I offer an infomercial instead.

October 06, 2011 | Jeff Marker | Movie reviews

‘50/50’ an honest, emotional look at cancer’s impact

"50/50," which the marketing has told us is about a young man with cancer, opens with a point of view shot of a jogger choosing music on his iPod, which in a way says it all. This is a movie about how the iPod generation handles a disease that strikes terror in the hearts of every sentient adult.

September 28, 2011 | Jeff Marker | Movie reviews

‘Moneyball’ cleverly delves into the game within the game

"Moneyball" is a thinking man's sports movie, although it's less about the sport than about "the game," the culture and business that drive professional baseball.

September 22, 2011 | Jeff Marker | Movie reviews

‘The Debt’ a top-line thriller just right for fall

We must be close to autumn. How can I tell? Not because the leaves have begun to turn, and certainly not because cool breezes suddenly greet me as I leave the house in the morning.

September 14, 2011 | Jeff Marker | Movie reviews

‘Contagion’ is gritty realism in search of a point

The word "sobering" was coined for movies like "Contagion."

September 08, 2011 | Jeff Marker | Movie reviews

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Articles by Section - Movie reviews

From the film archives: The Duke comes a-courtin’ in Ireland

As everyone has donned green and celebrated St. Patrick's Day, I went looking for a good Irish-themed movie to commemorate the holiday.

March 19, 2015 | Andrew Akers | Movie reviews


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