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Drama
 

Take Shelter

The thinking man’s ‘Twister’ is one of last year’s underseen gems.


Drama

Rod Lott
Rain the color and viscosity of fluids found in barrels at Jiffy Lube falls from the sky in the opening moments of the indie drama “Take Shelter,” serving as a dark harbinger of things to come.
 
Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dirty Girl

Set (but not shot) in Oklahoma, ‘Dirty Girl’ almost makes a clean getaway.


Drama

Rod Lott
Set in Norman in 1987, yet looking more like 1981, is “Dirty Girl,” the feature debut of former Normanite Abe Sylvia — and a partly autobiographical one at that, I assume.
 
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Warrior

Puts the 'A' in MMA.


Drama

Rod Lott
In Pittsburgh, Tommy Conlon (Tom Hardy, "Inception") shows up on the doorstep of his three-years-sober father (Nick Nolte, "Arthur"), but the reunion isn't exactly sunny.
 
Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sarah's Key

For a smart mystery embedded in history, unlock this one.


Drama

Rod Lott
One of the darkest days in the City of Lights occurred in the summer of '42. That's when tens of thousands of Jews were forced from their homes — not by German troops, but French police, in the Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup — never to return.
 
Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tanner Hall

‘Tanner Hall’ puts the ‘bored’ in ‘boarding school.’


Drama

Rod Lott
It's difficult — as in, damn near impossible — to feel for the girls of "Tanner Hall."
 
Friday, December 16, 2011

Life Above All

In this drama, the impact of AIDS is rarely stated, but often heard.


Drama

Phil Bacharach
AIDS is rarely mentioned in “Life, Above All.” It’s referred to obliquely — a “bug,” “the other thing” — but its grim presence is always felt. When a character finally does call it by name, late in the movie, the effect is startling.
 
Monday, November 28, 2011

The Future

'The Future''s so bright, I gotta ... hey, who moved my shades?


Drama

Rod Lott
Love it or hate it — and there are sure to be vocal supporters of each pole — writer/director Miranda July's "The Future" is undeniably a work of originality. Have you ever seen a film narrated by a euthanized cat with renal failure? I rest my case.
 
Wednesday, November 23, 2011

3 by Theo: The Theo van Gogh Collection

No, van Gogh, no.


Drama

Rod Lott
Theo van Gogh's films were not for everyone. If they were, he'd still be alive.
 
Friday, November 11, 2011

Boy Wonder

It’s no ‘Wonder.’


Drama

Rod Lott
If superheroes were real, their exploits would go down as they are portrayed in “Boy Wonder”: free of costume and as a vigilante who brings to mind Bernie Goetz and “Death Wish” anti-hero Paul Kersey. That doesn’t make the movie good, however. It’s like an emo version of “Kick-Ass” that forgot to take its Celebrex.
 
Friday, November 11, 2011

Water for Elephants

Dung for you.


Drama

Rod Lott
What seemed exciting in Sara Gruen's best-selling novel plays flat in the painful "Water for Elephants," a wretchedly written and overwrought drama that leaps to the top of my list of the year's worst films.
 
Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Adventures in Pornoland

Goes flaccid fast.


Drama

Rod Lott
Strangely, the single most interesting aspect behind "Adventures in Pornoland" isn't even mentioned in the film or on its box: that its story is essentially a put-on, with only the actors playing the engaged couple in on the "joke." Everyone else presumably thought they were part of a documentary.
 
Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Sleeping Beauty

France reclaims a fairy tale to depict a girl’s erotic awakening.


Drama

Rod Lott
Anyone who thinks the current craze of rebooting fairy tales (from film’s “Red Riding Hood” to TV’s “Once Upon a Time”) is “edgy,” I’d like to sit them down in front of Catherine Breillat’s “The Sleeping Beauty.” Now that's edgy.
 
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Little Help

Jenna Fischer needs no 'Help,' giving a range-widening performance.


Drama

Rod Lott
Although "A Little Help" tries to make us believe it has presented "The Office"'s Jenna Fischer unattractive — as if! — the dramedy is worth seeing, assuming your expectations are kept reasonably in check.
 
Friday, October 21, 2011

Sweet Hostage

With a bitter aftertaste.


Drama

Rod Lott
If you only see one movie in which a kidnapper often recites poetry to his hostage, make it “Sweet Hostage.”
 
Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Terri

‘Terri' is so very ... OK.


Drama

Rod Lott
A quiet, teenage misfit living more or less on is own is befriended by a well-meaning but not always honest adult who serves as a surrogate father. That story line fits two independent character studies this year, both from 20th Century Fox: "Win Win" and "Terri." But the former is much better than the latter.
 
Friday, October 14, 2011
 
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