A Movie About Sex, Computers and Growing Up, Inspired by Carl Sagan

The plot arc of Jason Reitman's new film Men, Women, and Children was inspired by Carl Sagan's famous "Pale Blue Dot" speech from Cosmos. Like that speech, the movie is about how we are all just a bunch of self-important monkeys on an insignificant rock floating in space. And that's why we need each other so much. » 10/01/14 4:45pm Yesterday 4:45pm

Boxtrolls Is A Movie For Uncivilized People Of All Kinds

All of the best comedies are subversive. And by that token, the new animated movie The Boxtrolls is a tremendous success — it takes the fabric of society and gleefully shreds it, showing how silly and easily manipulated most "decent" people are. Along the way, though, the film gets kind of heavy-handed, and a little… » 9/26/14 9:20am Friday 9:20am

Terry Gilliam's The Zero Theorem Is a Grim Facebook Dystopia

In movies like Brazil and 12 Monkeys Terry Gilliam established himself as a master of the dystopian. With his new film The Zero Theorem, he's created a garish, repulsive social media future full of "happy" surveillance and overworked techies. It's a compelling vision, but the movie never quite lives up to its own… » 9/17/14 2:23pm 9/17/14 2:23pm

With Part III, Atlas Shrugged Becomes An Awesome, Torrid Romance

Like The Hobbit, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand was too awesome to adapt as just one movie. And now at last, the movie trilogy is complete. And the third movie is by far the most entertaining, because it focuses on the torrid romance between railroad genius Dagny Taggart and the dreamy, lion-coiffed John Galt. Spoilers… » 9/12/14 2:51pm 9/12/14 2:51pm

As Above, So Below Has Spirit, But It's Digging In The Wrong Place

As Above, So Below is an ambitious excavation horror movie that tries to blend the world of Indiana Jones with the found footage genre. And though the locations are breathtaking and the scares very real, the film as a whole collapses under its own mythology. But we kept rooting for the survivors. » 8/29/14 4:00pm 8/29/14 4:00pm

Life After Beth Fails To Inject New Life Into The "Zombie Comedy" Genre

At this point, "zombie comedy" has become a movie genre in its own right, thanks to films like Shaun of the Dead and Fido. And the latest addition is Life After Beth, about a young man whose dead girlfriend (Aubrey Plaza) comes back. Alas, Beth is not quite funny enough, or clever enough, to stand out from the zombie… » 8/14/14 1:40pm 8/14/14 1:40pm

The New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Fails In Every Possible Way

It's not enough to say that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot is kind of a lousy movie. You want to be able to draw some kind of lesson from its crapness, or at least pick through the debris for some hint of what it could have been. To that end, here are all the ways that TMNT 2014 fails. » 8/08/14 9:00am 8/08/14 9:00am

Solar Disaster Movie Cat. 8 Makes The Core Look Like 2001

Last week, NASA announced that in 2012 the Earth narrowly avoided being hit by the largest solar coronal mass ejection recorded since before electric power grids and telecommunication satellites were a thing. Fortunately or unfortunately, along with the rest of civilization, the solar crisis duology Cat. 8 (available… » 8/05/14 7:00pm 8/05/14 7:00pm

Watching Guardians Of The Galaxy Is Like Getting Back Part Of Your Soul

Guardians of the Galaxy isn't just one of the year's best movies. It's also a really interesting experiment with form — it blends hilarious comedy, utterly sincere classic-rock corniness, and massive hold-onto-yourself cosmic adventure. The result might make you look at classic adventures a new way. NO SPOILERS… » 8/01/14 9:00am 8/01/14 9:00am

Cinema in Vane: Reviewing the Z-List Disaster Movie Weather Wars

It's killing season in Washington, and no monument is safe. After a climate scientist loses his funding and then his mind, a senator is in a fight for his life after the jilted whiz creates a device that controls the weather. This 2011 made-for-TV movie is...something, for sure, and I watched it so you don't have to. » 7/24/14 2:23am 7/24/14 2:23am

I Origins Shows That The Science Vs. Spirituality Debate Is Played Out

Writer-director Mike Cahill made an impression with Another Earth, which used a science-fiction premise as the backdrop for a personal story. In his second feature, I Origins, the science-fictional premise is front and center — and you can see the downside of trying to tell a personal story about huge science-fiction… » 7/18/14 2:30pm 7/18/14 2:30pm