At the Movies

  • MOVIE REVIEW: 'Divergent'

    In the future, what remains of Chicago has been walled off from the desolation of the outside world. Massive electric fences keep those who live among the moldering skyscrapers of the Windy City safe from whatever's out there. And inside, the remnants of society live according to strict rules in…

  • The world's most difficult Academy Awards quiz

    Think you have a handle on trivia surrounding this year's Academy Award nominated films? Think again. The Oscars might not always reward the best films of the year, but they're a fount of factual minutae, and it's easy to get lost in statistics and precedents when trying to analyze the bigger…

  • OSCAR PREDICTIONS: Who takes the big prize on Sunday?

    The Oscar race for best picture is officially too close to call. Most years, you can tell how it's going to shake out. The wind is blowing in a certain direction. People can't shake the charming 'The Artist,' for example, or 'Argo' proves to be too much thrilling fun to ignore for the big prize.…

  • FOR RENT: 'Lee Daniels' The Butler,' 'Riddick,' 'Fruitvale Station' and more

    'LEE DANIELS' THE BUTLER' As an African-American in the service industry, Cecil Gaines, played by Forest Whittaker in 'Lee Daniels' The Butler,' has a unique perspective to the changing of history. Gaines works in the White House, and Daniels' film, very loosely inspired by a real figure, traces…

  • FOR RENT: 'Runner Runner,' 'Thanks for Sharing' and more

    'RUNNER RUNNER' 'Runner Runner' employs a monotonous voiceover from star Justin Timberlake to summarize and quickly dispense of 'the boring parts' " your character motivations, your exposition and what have you " but what 'Runner Runner' does not consider is that coming off like an abridged version …

  • MOVIE REVIEW: 'Her'

    The magic of 'Her,' director Spike Jonze's melancholy science fiction love story, is that it shouldn't work half as well as it does. The story of a lonely man in a near-future who installs an artificially intelligent advanced operating system on his home computer, and who later develops a…

  • MOVIE REVIEW: 'Inside Llewyn Davis'

    Llewyn Davis, portrayed by Oscar Isaac in the new film from Joel and Ethan Coen, is not exactly the right guy for his time and place. That's quite unlike the Coens' heroic Dude, as played by Jeff Bridges in their 1998 cult comedy classic 'The Big Lebowski,' who just fits right in there; no, Davis,…

  • MOVIE REVIEW: 'Lone Survivor'

    'Lone Survivor' aims to do right by the memory of the Navy SEALs who perished in the mission it depicts, and to do right by the armed forces in general. It's nothing if not a testament to the fortitude and toughness of the men who serve this country " and sometimes die for it. Does that make it a…

  • MOVIE REVIEW: 'August: Osage County'

    Meryl Streep dominates the film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize winning play 'August: Osage County,' adapted to the screen by its playwright, Tracy Letts, and directed by John Wells. You'd expect her to. The role of Violet Weston, the pill-addled, foul-mouthed matriarch of a splintered family in…

  • The 15 best movies of 2013

    End-of-year film lists are always a case of comparing apples to oranges " this heavy dramatic apple is better than this light comedic orange, despite the fact that they're just different " but these are the 15 best apples and oranges (and, I don't know, other fruit, if you want to extend the…