Screenwriter-turned-director Naomi Foner aims to capture what she calls "mythic" memories in her coming-of-age story "Very Good Girls." But little resonates as persuasive, let alone memorable, in the underwhelming sexual-awakening exploits of two Brooklyn friends. Despite a finely wrought lead...
"Le Chef" — not to be confused with the current Jon Favreau gastro-hit "Chef" — is an amusing soufflé of a comedy that pokes fun at foodies while honoring the art of those who cook for them.
If your only response after seeing 2011's medieval siege-and-slaughter opus "Ironclad" was "Another two hours, please!" then the grimy sequel "Ironclad: Battle for Blood" is for you. Returning director/co-writer Jonathan English has made a cursory effort to fit a new framing device on his 13th...
In "Magic in the Moonlight," an amusing trifle and sugary truffle of a film, Woody Allen dallies with some of his favorite themes — true romance, magicians and spirituality — and favorite tropes — beautiful women and scenery.
The last we see of Philip Seymour Hoffman in "A Most Wanted Man," he leaves his car and walks out of the frame. As it tragically turned out, he was exiting his acting career as well, and this taut, involving thriller, the late actor's final starring role, is a fitting film for him to leave on, not...
"Come Back to Me" is a sufficiently tense and eerie shocker that borrows bits from "Rosemary's Baby," "Psycho," "Paranormal Activity" and others while forging its own path. Writer-director Paul Leyden does a decent job holding our interest as well as providing a few intriguing twists and reveals....
The "Losin' It" genre of sex-obsessed story lines receives a twist but not the revolution it needs with "Premature," a rapidly wearying comedy that mistakes crudeness with humor.
There are many reasons why "Begin Again" continues to have such great staying power against the big guns this summer. Expanding its run in L.A. this weekend, the story is a catchy one, the music is great, and it is flavored by real musicians, including Mos Def, CeeLo Green and a star turn by...
In Mike Cahill movies, bad things happen to good people, and other good people are guilt-ridden as a result. But the human connections and the spare sci-fi logic that characterized "Another Earth," Cahill's ethereal romantic dramatic debut, are muddied in his second feature, "I Origins."
Has it really been 10 years? Are things so different now? Are we? Is Zach Braff's new "Wish I Was Here" a spiritual sequel to "Garden State," his 2004 directorial debut? Answer key: yes, yes, maybe, kind of but not really.
"The Empty Hours," Aaron Fernandez's balmy, blissful new film, is about an impressionable 17-year-old Sebastian, a mid-30s Miranda and an aging rent-by-the-hour beach motel nestled on a spare stretch of Veracruz, Mexico, coastline where their paths briefly cross.
It might be true that the very rich, as F. Scott Fitzgerald put it, "are different from you and me," but movies about their profligate kids tend toward dime-a-dozen sameness.
"K Missing Kings" follows up on the 2012 Japanese anime series "K," which put a futuristic spin on Japanese period dramas by stacking superhero powers and skateboards onto time-honored chambara samurai sword fights and dressing characters in "visual kei," Japan's answer to glam-rock style.
That video games — a technology-driven mix of art, commerce and competition — are here to stay is undisputed. It's now the biggest entertainment industry and an influential culture.
Since being banned from making films by the Iranian government four years ago, director Jafar Panahi has produced two works of artful defiance. The latter of the two, the self-reflexive, semi-confessional drama "Closed Curtain," finds Panahi weary yet resourceful under severe creative constraints.
Let's start with the bare facts. A big-screen shot of a naked handstand is an overshare any way you look at it of parts and places better left unexposed — even from the back, even in a raunchy sex comedy titled "Sex Tape," even when executed by Jason Segel, like costar Cameron Diaz, a very...
At the start of "Aftermath," a series of nuclear explosions hits across the globe and once again, moviegoers, it's the end of the world as we know it.
"Planes: Fire & Rescue" sounds more like a category on Craigslist than the name of a new animated film. But what this Disney feature lacks in the title department it makes up for with fluid visuals and fast-moving action of the, yes, firefighting variety.
Like a forgotten gift we now get to unwrap with delight, Eric Rohmer's 1996 "A Summer's Tale," never before released in this country, arrives just in time to add a touch of delight to the contemporary landscape.
"The Purge: Anarchy" is a good deal bloodier, but also — gulp — a good deal better than its predecessor. Make no mistake, a good "Purge" does not equal a good movie, but the post-apocalyptic thriller is slightly more interesting because it takes itself, and its menace, more seriously.
A new Woody Allen film hits the screen just about once a year. But if like the super-intelligent aliens in 1980's "Stardust Memories" you prefer the early, funny ones, the American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica features a double bill Friday of two of Allen's best as part of a...
Though there's nothing terribly profound or unique about actor Jason Momoa's feature writing-directing debut, "Road to Paloma," it does prove an effective throwback to the loose-limbed, my-way-or-the-highway road movies of the "Easy Rider" era.
With the debate over America's unresolved immigration policies at fever pitch these days, the inspiring documentary "Underwater Dreams" makes for quite the timely entry.
"Rage" is the latest in a parade of cheesy, derivative action-thrillers that erstwhile A-list actor Nicolas Cage has recently starred in, presumably as a quick cash grab. Why he can't find an equal payday in better pictures is perhaps a less vital question than how exactly the Academy Award-winner...
The bad guy in "Whitey: The United States of America v. James J. Bulger" is ostensibly Bulger. But Joe Berlinger's densely detailed new documentary about the legendary Boston mobster is disturbing on so many levels it's hard not to wonder why Bulger was the only one on trial.