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Film Review: Citizenfour (Dir. Laura Poitras)

Citizenfour Dir. Laura Poitras [Radius TWC; 2014] by Alex Peterson Rating: It’s immediately clear how much control filmmaker Laura Poitras has over her new documentary, Citizenfour. She wasn’t working with much in putting it together,...Show More Summary

Film Review: Hector and the Search for Happiness (Dir. Peter Chelsom)

Hector and the Search for Happiness Dir. Peter Chelsom [Relativity Media; 2014] by Alex Peterson Rating: Simon Pegg’s talent has been wasted. So have many of the most beautiful spots in the world. And character actors — Rosamund Pike, Stellan Skarsgard, Jean Reno, Christopher Plummer, Toni Collette — wasted. Show More Summary

Film Review: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Dir. Ben Stiller)

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Dir. Ben Stiller [20th Century Fox; 2013] by Alex Peterson Rating: Strange though it may seem to say about a Ben Stiller comedy, there were many good reasons to have high hopes for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which the movie star/comic veteran starred in and directed. Show More Summary

Film Review: Nebraska (Dir. Alexander Payne)

Nebraska Dir. Alexander Payne [Paramount Pictures; 2013] by Alex Peterson Rating: Alexander Payne loves to film the shape of cloud formations, houses on hillsides, bent road signs, run down little bars, and just about every other landmark of the vast expanse of America that is the Midwest. Show More Summary

Film Review: Downloaded (Dir. Alex Winter)

Downloaded Dir. Alex Winter [Trouper Productions; 2013] by Alex Peterson Rating: In the same way that the newspaper industry at first shunned and then ran in fear of the internet, only coming to the digital table at the last possible...Show More Summary

Film Review: Paradise: Faith (Dir. Ulrich Seidl)

Paradise: Faith Dir. Ulrich Seidl [Strand Releasing; 2013] by Alex Peterson Rating: I’m working through Austrian director Ulrich Seidl’s Paradise trilogy one film at a time. I’m aware that each entry is inextricable from the other two...Show More Summary

Film Review: World War Z (Dir. Marc Forster)

World War Z Dir. Marc Forster [Paramount Pictures; 2013] by Alex Peterson Rating: World War Z has good intentions or, at least, loftier goals than most mega-budget summer fun. Reading about its troubled production in various entertainment...Show More Summary

Film Review: The Purge (Dir. James DeMonaco)

The Purge Dir. James DeMonaco [Universal Pictures; 2013] by Alex Peterson Rating: I know your interest might be piqued by its fascinating premise, but trust me, just skip this film. You’ve been here before, many times, just while watching a movie made with far less unaware sanctimony. Show More Summary

Film Review: Dirty Wars (Dir. Richard Rowley)

Dirty Wars Dir. Richard Rowley [Big Noise Films; 2013] by Alex Peterson Rating: Jeremy Scahill was present at the screening of Dirty Wars that I attended. He was in the middle of touring the country doing publicity for both the film, in which he’s the driving force, and for the book of the same name, which he wrote. Show More Summary

Film Review: After Earth (Dir. M. Night Shyamalan)

After Earth Dir. M. Night Shyamalan [Columbia Pictures; 2013] by Alex Peterson Rating: As big-budget summer movies go, After Earth hits every bare-minimum requirement you could ask for: it sets up a new mythology without being confusing...Show More Summary

Film Review: Paradise: Love (Dir. Ulrich Seidl)

Paradise: Love Dir. Ulrich Seidl [Strand Releasing; 2013] by Alex Peterson Rating: The first of a triptych of films from Austrian director Ulrich Seidl about three women from the same family who each undergo an emotionally trying, largely...Show More Summary

Film Review: Trash Dance (Dir. Andrew Garrison)

Trash Dance Dir. Andrew Garrison [PBS International; 2013] by Alex Peterson Rating: Andrew Garrison’s Trash Dance resembles the kind of blink-and-you’ll-miss-it documentary that will briefly highlight one of the many strange cultural...Show More Summary

Film Review: Café de Flore (Dir. Jean-Marc Vallée)

Café de Flore Dir. Jean-Marc Vallée [Films Distribution; 2012] by Alex Peterson Rating: The unimaginably difficult state of being in love with two people — one you know is your true love but have given up out of childish naïveté; one...Show More Summary

Film Review: Gottfried Helnwein and The Dreaming Child (Dir. Lisa Kirk Colburn)

Gottfried Helnwein and The Dreaming Child Dir. Lisa Kirk Colburn [First Run Features; 2012] by Alex Peterson Rating: In Tel Aviv, Israel, there is large, gorgeous opera house inside of which challenging productions are frequently staged. Show More Summary

Film Review: The Silver Linings Playbook (Dir. David O. Russell)

The Silver Linings Playbook Dir. David O. Russell [The Weinstein Company; 2012] by Alex Peterson Rating: David O. Russell is one of the best directors in Hollywood insofar as no one makes more out of questionable material — hackneyed...Show More Summary

Film Review: Lincoln (Dir. Steven Spielberg)

Lincoln Dir. Steven Spielberg [Dreamworks Studios; 2012] by Alex Peterson Rating: There’s something to be said for a movie that insists on giving two and a half hours of screen time to highly intelligent men speaking in barbed, cogent, eloquent language. Show More Summary

Film Review: Yogawoman (Dir. Saraswati Clere, Kate McIntyre Clere)

Yogawoman Dir. Saraswati Clere, Kate McIntyre Clere [Shadow Distribution; 2012] by Alex Peterson Rating: There’s a scene toward the end of Paul Thomas Anderson’s recent The Master wherein Joaquin Phoenix’s Freddie Quell asks one of the...Show More Summary

Film Review: Argo (Dir. Ben Affleck)

Argo Dir. Ben Affleck [Warner Bros.; 2012] by Alex Peterson Rating: As Ben Affleck has faded as one of the major American movie stars, he has quietly risen as one of the country’s most reliable genre directors. With Gone Baby Gone, The...Show More Summary

Film Review: In My Mother's Arms (Dir. Atea al-Daradji, Mohamed al-Daradji)

In My Mother's Arms Dir. Atea al-Daradji, Mohamed al-Daradji [Human Film; 2012] by Alex Peterson Rating: It’s not easy to write about In My Mother’s Arms — an intensely direct, simple, and affecting documentary — without sounding like I’m a bleeding heart. Show More Summary

Film Review: Liberal Arts (Dir. Josh Radnor)

Liberal Arts Dir. Josh Radnor [IFC Films; 2012] by Alex Peterson Rating: Liberal Arts, a movie about a well-off, well-educated guy, avoids the pitfall of making too much out of the problems of well-off, well-educated people by making...Show More Summary

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