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A Good Con

Focus may just put Will Smith back in our good graces

By Alex Bentley

When done right, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a con man movie. It’s pure escapism, as the audience gets to revel in the “heroes” pulling one over on the clueless w ...


Moving Musical

Emotionally wrought The Last Five Years shows how good movie musicals can be

By Alex Bentley

Some actors seem destined to represent a certain genre, and Anna Kendrick is certainly headed that way with musicals. She’s the face of the Pitch Perfect franchise, played Cinderella in the b ...


Running Down a Dream

Go ahead and give in to the charms of Disney's McFarland, USA

By Alex Bentley

If you’re watching a sports movie, especially one made by Disney, you can usually count on several things: a person or team overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds; resistance to said person ...


New Spin for Spy Genre

Kingsman: The Secret Service invigorates even if it goes overboard

By Alex Bentley

The spy genre can always take a bit of reinvention. James Bond has gone through multiple iterations over the past 50 years, Tom Cruise brought Ethan Hunt into the modern age and Jason Bourne has pr ...


Acting Showcase

A Most Violent Year survives on acting strength

By Alex Bentley

Writer/director J.C. Chandor has had a heck of a rocket start to his career. He was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for his first film, Margin Call, and he steered Robert Redfor ...


Good and Simple

Don't let the simple plot stop you from seeing Two Days, One Night

By Alex Bentley

Often there is a chasm between American films and European ones, at least those that make their way across the Atlantic. American movies tend to favor easy, fast-moving stories, while European film ...


Line Up the Oscar

Kristen Stewart's damn near as good as Julianne Moore in Still Alice

By Alex Bentley

With no specific cause and no cure, Alzheimer’s disease is as scary a diagnosis as one could ever get. That is precisely the premise of Still Alice. Alice Howland (Julianne Moore) is a 51 ...


Blackhat Film Hack

Blackhat turns out to be total hack job despite of-the-moment subject

By Alex Bentley

Every time I go into a film released in January — and I’m not talking about movies like Selma or American Sniper that expand nationwide after limited release in December — I hold ...


Stoned Filmmaking

Good luck trying to get through Inherent Vice's impenetrable haze

By Alex Bentley

Director Paul Thomas Anderson has always been known for his esoteric films. In fact, he’s probably the most well-known current filmmaker to have trafficked solely in films that aren’t a ...


Essential Movie Chronicle

Selma magnificently depicts Martin Luther King Jr.'s greatness and flaws

By Alex Bentley

Whether by chance or due to the sheer enormity of his legacy, not one feature film has been made about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. since he was assassinated in 1968. He’s certainly played a pa ...


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