• 'Black Sea' not a jolly experience

    By Tony Hicks San Jose Mercury News -
    Published: Fri, Jan 30, 2015

    Starring Jude Law, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, Jodie Whittaker, David Threlfall, Tobias Menzies; directed by Kevin Macdonald; 115 minutes; R for language throughout, some graphic images and violence "Black Sea" is not a pretty film by any definition. Nor is it happy, attractive...

  • 'A Most Violent Year': Trying to do right in a tough town

    By Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer -By Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer -
    Published: Fri, Jan 30, 2015

    "A Most Violent Year" is set in the bleak winter of 1981, in a virtually unrecognizable New York City: subways smeared in grime and graffiti, garbage spilling off the curbs, crime in the air. You almost expect to see the hunched, paranoid throng of pedestrians sidestepping chalk...

  • Kevin Costner shines in Mike Binder's nervy 'Black or White'

    By GARY GOLDSTEIN Los Angeles Times -
    Published: Fri, Jan 30, 2015

    Starring Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer, Jennifer Ehle, Bill Burr, Gillian Jacobs, Jillian Estell; directed by Mike Binder; 121 minutes; PG-13 for brief strong language, thematic material involving drug use and drinking, fighting In a leaner year for lead actors, Kevin Costner would...

  • Ill-conceived take on Shakespeare's fairy tale makes for bad "Dream"

    By Michael Rechtshaffen The Hollywood Reporter -By Michael Rechtshaffen The Hollywood Reporter -
    Published: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    Starring the voices of Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood, Elijah Kelley, Kristin Chenoweth, Maya Rudolph, Alfred Molina, Meredith Anne Bull; directed by Gary Rydstrom; 99 minutes; PG for some action and scary images "Strange Magic," an animated riff on "A Midsummer Night's Dream" that...

  • 'Selma': A history lesson that both informs and entertains

    By Roger Moore Tribune News Service -
    Updated: Sun, Jan 11, 2015

    Starring David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tom Wilkinson, Tim Roth, Wendell Pierce, Martin Sheen, Oprah Winfrey; directed by Ava DuVernay; 127 minutes; PG-13 for disturbing thematic material including violence, a suggestive moment and brief strong language Earnest and often inspiring,...

  • 'Taken 3': A very exhausted set of skills

    By Peter Bradshaw The Guardian -
    Published: Fri, Jan 9, 2015

    Starring Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Forest Whitaker, Sam Spruell, Dougray Scott; directed by Olivier Megaton; 93 minutes; PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and for brief strong language It's difficult to know what subtitle to give this. "Taken 3: Not...

  • 'Inherent Vice' is '70s joint meant to be puffed on deeply and passed around freely

    By Peter Howell Toronto Star -
    Published: Fri, Jan 9, 2015

    Had Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice" actually been released in 1970, instead of just being set in the unsteady Southern California of that year, it would have come with advice that you needed to get high to really dig it. That's how much this "sunshine noir" bakes your brain, in...

  • 'The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death' inferior but effective sequel

    By Peter Bradshaw The Guardian -by Peter Bradshaw The Guardian -
    Published: Fri, Jan 2, 2015

    Susan Hill's classic 1983 ghost story "The Woman in Black" first spawned a hit stage adaptation that had audiences leaping out of their seats in fear, and then a highly successful movie version under the Hammer banner, starring Daniel Radcliffe, written by Jane Goldman and directed by...