Top 10 films of 2014: the year of the brilliant bad girls

Dec 24, 2014

Top 10 films of 2014: the year of the brilliant bad girls

This was the year of the bad girl, in a manner of speaking. The best movies featured women who went outside the cinematic box of how women should behave and did all sorts of interesting and/or inexplicable things. As for men, their stories were ...

Maps to the Stars: 'Paranoia born of colossal self-obsession'

Dec 17, 2014

Maps to the Stars: 'Paranoia born of colossal self-obsession'

Can celebrities be numbingly boring? As far as “Maps to the Stars” is concerned the answer is a big fat “Yes,” but in the hands of David Cronenberg (“A Dangerous Method,” “Eastern Promises”) you hardly notice. Ennui and varying degrees of hysteria define this ...

Elena: 'A face permanently set in lines of disappointment'

Dec 17, 2014

Elena: 'A face permanently set in lines of disappointment'

A Russian friend once defined the Russian temperament with one word: “heavy.” That certainly holds for the characters in “Elena,” an excellent tale of a Russian family struggling to navigate a world defined by Western capitalism and the supposed magical powers afforded by digital ...

3 Days to Kill (Last Mission)

Dec 17, 2014

3 Days to Kill (Last Mission)

Director: McG Language: English, French, German (subtitled in English) Renner (Kevin Costner) is a CIA agent with cancer, desperate to reconnect with his estranged family (living in Paris) but equally hankering for a miracle drug that would extend his life. The deal is that ...

A vision of love through money and migration

Dec 10, 2014

A vision of love through money and migration

At first glance, Singaporean filmmaker Anthony Chen’s “Ilo Ilo” is a familiar tale. A family in Singapore hire a Filipina maid to care for their irate 10-year-old son, an Asian brat extraordinaire. Eventually the boy bonds with the maid, and the two become closer ...

Love, Rosie: 'Astringently fresh look at teenage intimacy'

Dec 10, 2014

Love, Rosie: 'Astringently fresh look at teenage intimacy'

Bad timing, bad decisions and a whole lot of fidgeting follow the relationship trail of best friends Alex (Sam Claflin) and Rosie (Lilly Collins) — two kids in Dublin who have been holding hands since the age of 5. They share their most intimate ...

Maleficent

Dec 10, 2014

Maleficent

Director: Robert Stromberg Language: English Angelina Jolie stars in the title role of this Disney makeover of “Sleeping Beauty.” Maleficent is a nice fairy goddess, but she is betrayed and doomed to a life of darkness. Seeking vengeance, she puts a curse on the ...

Honeymoon: 'An atmospheric and beautifully shot horror'

Dec 3, 2014

Honeymoon: 'An atmospheric and beautifully shot horror'

It’s rare to bump into a solid horror story in the same way it’s hard to stumble across a really good cafe. “Honeymoon,” by first-time director Leigh Janiak, is just that find. It’s atmospheric and beautifully shot, with an ambivalent ending that leaves you ...