'20 Feet From Stardom'

Dec 12, 2013

'20 Feet From Stardom'

There’s something incredibly tonic about listening to music with backup singers: doo-wop groups, girl groups, gospel choirs — the list goes on. The other thing about backup singing: You want to do it too. Consider that when Paul McCartney sang “Hey Jude” at the ...

'La Migliore Offerta'

Dec 12, 2013

'La Migliore Offerta'

“La Migliore Offerta” (“The Best Offer”) was a showcase piece at Tokyo International Film Festival, and as such it’s a bit showy. But with Giuseppe Tornatore (of “Cinema Paradiso”) at the helm and starring Geoffrey Rush (whose roles include the Marquis de Sade and ...

'Man of Steel'

Dec 12, 2013

'Man of Steel'

Director: Zack Snyder Language: English The latest Superman (Henry Cavill) is a superhero with personal issues. He’s unsure of himself. He longs for identity. He goes on a journey of self-discovery. He’s so preoccupied, in fact, that he neglects to forge a real relationship ...

'Good Ol' Freda'

Dec 5, 2013

'Good Ol' Freda'

In 1961 Freda Kelly was 16, working in an office in downtown Liverpool. One day, her boss invited her to lunch at The Cavern Club, a venue famed for showcasing local talent, and among them was an enormously popular young band called The Beatles. ...

'Xue Di Zi'

Dec 5, 2013

'Xue Di Zi'

During the Qing Dynasty, the Yongzheng Emperor was so suspicious of his courtiers and paranoid about dissenters that he established a secret squad that went about with portable guillotines — bladed wheels that could decapitate an opponent instantly. “Xue Di Zi” (released in the ...

'The Berlin File'

Dec 5, 2013

'The Berlin File'

Director: Ryoo Seung-wan Language: Korean (subtitled in Japanese) They say some of the world’s best secret agents belong to North Korea. That’s certainly true in this story of “ghost” agent Pyo (Ha Jung-woo). He’s stationed in Berlin and so good at his job he ...

'Liv & Ingmar'

Nov 28, 2013

'Liv & Ingmar'

Like Icarus, who flew too close to the sun, some actresses can get too close to their directors and go up in flames. This was certainly the case with Liv Ullmann (she was born in Tokyo, by the way), who met Ingmar Bergman in ...

'The Call'

Nov 28, 2013

'The Call'

Halle Berry has one of the sharpest, most distinctive haircuts in Hollywood, but in her latest, “The Call,” she has no-nonsense, low-maintenance do that serves her character Jordan Turner well. Jordan is a 911 operator whose job requires dealing with dire emergencies around the ...

'After Earth'

Nov 28, 2013

'After Earth'

Director: M. Night Shyamalan Language: English Will Smith pairs up with his son Jaden in this provocative sci-fi thriller that didn’t quite live up to box-office expectations. In the year 2025, humans make the Earth inhabitable and flee to a planet called Nova Prime. ...