Fri, 21 Apr 2017 18:44:00 -0700
Director Lydia Tenaglia traces Jeremiah Tower's progression from Chez Panisse to the 1984 opening of his own restaurant, Stars, the spectacularly successful San Francisco brasserie where he reigned as a new model of celebrity chef until 1999, when the place closed. .
Fri, 14 Apr 2017 18:44:00 -0700
Sense, or logic, is not what turns out vast audiences for The Fate of the Furious. It's the cars, of course...
Fri, 07 Apr 2017 18:44:00 -0700
Joe Morgenstern says Their Finest is one of the smartest, funniest and most surprising movies he's seen in years, proof of the power of two stories artfully told.
Fri, 31 Mar 2017 18:44:00 -0700
Not all wonderful books are meant to be mainstream fiction films.
Fri, 24 Mar 2017 18:44:00 -0700
Taken on its own terms, as a kinetic thriller, Life is lively enough for a while.
Fri, 17 Mar 2017 18:44:00 -0700
More is less in Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast — so much less that this crazily cluttered venture in industrial entertainment betrays the essence of what made the 1991 animated feature a beloved classic.
Fri, 10 Mar 2017 18:44:00 -0800
In the new action adventure Kong: Skull Island, a bunch of scientists and explorers go looking for the latest incarnation of King Kong.
Fri, 03 Mar 2017 18:44:00 -0800
The slashing starts early in Logan – no surprise, since it's an R-rated action thriller about Wolverine, also known as Logan, the "X-Men" character with the tortured psyche and retractable claws.
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 18:44:00 -0800
There's a terrific horror flick opening this week. Jordan Peele's debut feature scrupulously honors the genre's conventions. Get Out never strays from the path of entertainment, yet the horrors of racism lurk in every gleefully lurid frame.
Fri, 17 Feb 2017 18:44:00 -0800
There is no lack of spectacular sequences in The Great Wall. It's the most expensive movie ever produced in China, with fancy weaponry that's meant to show how technologically advanced the Inner Kingdom was.
Fri, 10 Feb 2017 18:44:00 -0800
The LEGO Batman Movie targets the familiar universe of superheroes and extravagant villains, with a subplot reminiscent of The Incredibles -- society has come to see Batman and his ilk as vigilantes who need to learn the value of teamwork.
Fri, 03 Feb 2017 18:44:00 -0800
Sometimes movies are just plain bad, but sometimes they're distinctively bad. The Space between Us takes a delicious cake for stupidity – it's a sci-fi romance for young adults.
Fri, 27 Jan 2017 18:44:00 -0800
Arthur Miller would have admired writer-director Asghar Farhadi's drama The Salesman for its intensity and moral depth.
Fri, 20 Jan 2017 18:44:00 -0800
Michael Keaton plays Ray Kroc, the entrepreneur who gave the world McDonald's -- and Keaton does it with panache.
Fri, 13 Jan 2017 18:44:00 -0800
The opening frames of The Crash promise a thriller about cyber warfare...
Fri, 23 Dec 2016 18:44:00 -0800
When a monster shows up at a young boy's bedroom window one night...
Fri, 16 Dec 2016 18:44:00 -0800
Denzel Washington and Viola David recreate their roles in a 2010 Broadway revival of the August Wilson play, and we're the beneficiaries.
Fri, 09 Dec 2016 18:44:00 -0800
WEB BONUS: La La Land is a crowd-pleaser if ever there was one and Joe Morgenstern couldn't be more pleased to be part of the crowd.
Fri, 02 Dec 2016 18:44:00 -0800
In Jackie, Natalie Portman's portrait of Jacqueline Kennedy during and immediately after JFK's assassination rises above impersonation to an eerie kind of incarnation.
Fri, 25 Nov 2016 18:44:00 -0800
Joe Morgenstern says Lion in narrative form is about the randomness of adoption, but in substance it’s about the mystery of identity.
Fri, 18 Nov 2016 18:44:00 -0800
Joe Morgenstern calls Manchester by the Sea is the best movie he's seen so far this year, "a quiet masterpiece that eggs and flows at the rhythm of life."
Fri, 11 Nov 2016 18:44:00 -0800
We yearn to believe what Arrival has to tell us -- that life on earth isn't all there is, that we're connected to the cosmos, that time flows more mysteriously than we can fathom.
Fri, 04 Nov 2016 18:44:00 -0700
Loving, a new movie by Jess Nichols about a landmark civil rights case, is new in style too -- calm, human, deeply moving -- one of the best movies of the year.
Fri, 28 Oct 2016 18:44:00 -0700
Fire at Sea is Gianfranco Rosi's profoundly moving documentary on the migrant tides transforming our wold, and the connections in it are as revelatory as they are mysterious.
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 18:44:00 -0700
Just when you think you know what's going to happen, American Honey serves up one more surprise.
Fri, 23 Sep 2016 18:44:00 -0700
A poor Ugandan girl's chess skills take her around the world.
Fri, 19 Aug 2016 18:44:00 -0700
Hell or High Water is one of the most enjoyable films I've seen in a very long time, following two brothers on a bank-robbing spree in a desolate part of west Texas where the banks themselves are seen as robbers.
Fri, 12 Aug 2016 18:44:00 -0700
It's not exactly breaking news, but Meryl Streep is remarkable, and her latest showcase is Florence Foster Jenkins.
Fri, 05 Aug 2016 18:44:00 -0700
Suicide Squad amounts to an all-out attack on the whole idea of entertainment.
Fri, 29 Jul 2016 18:44:00 -0700
Jason Bourne used to be an amnesiac. Now he remember who he is, but this latest episode of the franchise forgot to make him human.
Fri, 22 Jul 2016 18:44:00 -0700
It looks big, with plenty of cosmic battles, but it feels smallish, a congenial adventure with familiar friends.
Fri, 08 Jul 2016 18:44:00 -0700
Captain Fantastic is a terrifically accomplished and enjoyable film about a singular household.
Fri, 01 Jul 2016 18:44:00 -0700
Spielberg uses digital wizardry to throw spectacular dreams of friendship and adventure on the big screen.
Fri, 24 Jun 2016 18:44:00 -0700
In Hunt for the Wilderpeople, a goofball preacher tells a tiny group of mourners that sometimes in life we may feel "like a sheep trapped in a maze designed by wolves."
Fri, 17 Jun 2016 18:44:00 -0700
Finding Dory can be touching, sweet and tender, but it's preposterously and terrifically funny.
Fri, 10 Jun 2016 18:44:00 -0700
Morgan Neville's documentary is a joyous revelation, a group portrait of superb musicians from all over the world offering music as an emblem of what people can do in these troubled times when they live in concert with one another.
Fri, 03 Jun 2016 18:44:00 -0700
A wonderful little movie, The Fits opens on an 11-year old doing sit-ups -- 25 in all, hands clasped behind her head, radiant face to the camera.
Fri, 27 May 2016 18:44:00 -0700
Enormous going on keep going on, and on, in X-Men: Apocalypse. It's a collection of explosions, eruptions and conflagrations that looks like the implosion of a franchise. This is disappointing, but also surprising.
Fri, 20 May 2016 18:44:00 -0700
Disgraced New York politician Anthony Weiner has been memorialized in an extraordinary documentary called...yes, Weiner.
Fri, 13 May 2016 18:44:00 -0700
In Money Monster, George Clooney plays a TV personality -- a medium-manic version of Jim Cramer, the host of NBC's Mad Money.
Fri, 29 Apr 2016 18:44:00 -0700
Viva is another retelling, though a particularly affecting one, of a classic tale -- the struggle to discover and assert one's authentic identity.
Fri, 22 Apr 2016 18:44:00 -0700
A Hologram for the King was based on the novel by Dave Eggers.
Fri, 15 Apr 2016 18:44:00 -0700
Nine years ago American audiences discovered the Irish film Once, and took it to their hearts. The magic is back in Sing Street, a coming-of-age comedy that's also concerned with making music, and downright lovable in its evocation of young love.
Fri, 08 Apr 2016 18:44:00 -0700
Louder than Bombs is very much a movie about memory. It lives and breathes with a lovely intimacy and density of detail that we associate with fine independent features from Europe.
Fri, 01 Apr 2016 18:44:00 -0700
Richard Linklater calls the semi-autobiographical Everybody Wants Some! a "spiritual sequel" to his 1993 Dazed and Confused.
Fri, 25 Mar 2016 18:44:00 -0700
Batman v Superman is an underdeveloped, overlong and stupendously dispiriting duel of unlikely antagonists.
Fri, 18 Mar 2016 18:44:00 -0700
Midnight Special is a beautifully strange and stirring sci-fi adventure about a boy with special powers.
Fri, 11 Mar 2016 18:44:00 -0800
Like lots of movies these days, Marguerite tells us that "it was inspired by a true story." That usually means the story's truth was buried beneath layers of rubbish. But the key word here is "inspired" -- the film is a wonderfully imaginative work of fiction.
Fri, 04 Mar 2016 18:44:00 -0800
If you're looking for joyous fun, Disney's Zootopia is Yootopia.
Fri, 26 Feb 2016 18:44:00 -0800
The title of Triple 9 comes from a police code, 999, that means an officer is down and urgently in need of help.
Fri, 19 Feb 2016 18:44:00 -0800
The Witch's psychodynamics may be familiar, but Robert Eggers makes them seem newly discovered with the intensity of his writing and direction. Race is a saga of unquenchable spirit and fast-twitch muscles shot in slow-twitch style.
Fri, 12 Feb 2016 18:44:00 -0800
Zoolander 2 is a dud glitter bomb...
Fri, 22 Jan 2016 18:44:00 -0800
Like the high desert that provides its main setting, Mojave is dry, often windy and full of hot air...
Fri, 15 Jan 2016 18:44:00 -0800
Joe Morgenstern remembers British actor Alan Rickman, who died this week at 69. His voice made him instantly recognizable; his iconic roles and acting prowess made him memorable.
Fri, 08 Jan 2016 18:44:00 -0800
Anomalisa takes its title from combining "anomaly" -- something that deviates from the standard -- and Lisa, the name of the woebegone anti-heroine.
Fri, 18 Dec 2015 16:44:00 -0800
The Star Wars franchise has roared back with full force.
Fri, 11 Dec 2015 16:44:00 -0800
What gives The Big Short its surprising resonance is the breadth of its comic vision, which makes room for collateral tragedy.
Fri, 04 Dec 2015 16:44:00 -0800
The Lady in the Van is wonderfully funny, terribly touching and a vehicle -- with comically dilapidated vehicles -- for the boundless gifts of Maggie Smith. Like Paolo Sorrentino's previous film, The Great Beauty, Youth is full of Fellini-esque flourishes, plus glib existentialism juxtaposed with synthetic optimism.
Fri, 27 Nov 2015 16:44:00 -0800
In Pixar's newest feature, the Old West is a home where the dinosaurs still roam.
Fri, 20 Nov 2015 16:44:00 -0800
The Hunger Games series has come to a sporadically stirring climax with Mockingjay, Part 2.
Fri, 13 Nov 2015 16:44:00 -0800
WEB EXCLUSIVE: By the Sea takes place sometime during the mid-1970's in a coastal village in the south of France.
Fri, 06 Nov 2015 16:44:00 -0800
Spotlight is the year's best movie so far, and a rarity among all those dramatizations that claim to be based on actual events. Remarkably, the movie and its flawless ensemble cast have captured their subject in all its richness and complexity.
Fri, 30 Oct 2015 16:44:00 -0700
Our Brand Is Crisis is meant to be a fictional version of Rachel Boynton's 2005 documentary of the same name...
Fri, 23 Oct 2015 16:44:00 -0700
Nasty Baby is alive with random energy that sets up a surprise ending without blowing the surprise. Rock the Kasbah is a two-bit Ishtar that might play better on a phone.
Fri, 16 Oct 2015 16:44:00 -0700
Although its derivations are anything but poetic -- notorious cases of real-life imprisonment and abuse, Room is as beautifully wrought as any film that's come our way in a very long while.
Fri, 02 Oct 2015 16:44:00 -0700
Knowing the premise of The Martian won't prepare you for the remarkable variety and complexity of Ridley Scott's sci-fi extravaganza.
Fri, 25 Sep 2015 16:44:00 -0700
99 Homes is a relatively small, tough-minded drama about pitiless people doing unprincipled things. And it turns out to be one of the most interesting, elegantly crafted and improbably entertaining films to come along in quite a while.
Fri, 18 Sep 2015 16:44:00 -0700
Johnny Depp creates a seethingly evil portrait of James "Whitey" Bulger, one of the pre-eminent -- and pre-eminently violent -- criminals of recent times.
Fri, 11 Sep 2015 16:44:00 -0700
Just back from the Telluride Film Festival, Joe Morgenstern introduces us to a couple of stand-outs.
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 18:44:00 -0700
In Z for Zachariah the post-apocalyptic thriller gets a renovation, if not re-invention -- as a love triangle in a valley that has somehow been spared from whatever it was that brought an end to civilization.
Fri, 21 Aug 2015 18:44:00 -0700
Top Spin starts ultra-slowly, then picks up speed. The subject of this documentary is table tennis -- or ping pong, for those of us who play it just for fun.
Fri, 14 Aug 2015 18:44:00 -0700
Straight Outta Compton is notable for its omissions as well as its strengths, but that shouldn't be surprising.
Fri, 07 Aug 2015 06:44:00 -0700
One of the many gifts conferred by the new movie The Gift is the pleasure of feeling like putty in the hands of a first-rate storyteller.
Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:44:00 -0700
Best of Enemies is a must-view film for our media-besotted age, a serious film about a serious failure to communicate ideas.
Fri, 24 Jul 2015 18:44:00 -0700
Southpaw stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a boxer in desperate need of redemption.
Fri, 17 Jul 2015 18:44:00 -0700
American comedy doesn't get much better than Trainwreck at its best. Amy Schumer is a fearless artist without borders.
Fri, 10 Jul 2015 18:44:00 -0700
Minions are mischievous sidekicks who keep getting into trouble of their own making.
Fri, 03 Jul 2015 18:44:00 -0700
Amy Winehouse was unlucky and unwise in life, but her story fell into the right hands after she died.
Fri, 26 Jun 2015 18:44:00 -0700
Seth MacFarlane's raunch-rich comedy is a sequel to his 2012 hit about an amiable guy from Boston and the foul-mouthed womanizer of a teddy bear who's been his best friend since childhood.
Fri, 19 Jun 2015 18:44:00 -0700
Actors use their faces, voices and bodies to convey what their characters are feeling, but the new Pixar film Inside Out takes a more direct approach.
Fri, 12 Jun 2015 18:44:00 -0700
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a fresh take on contemporary adolescence as a journey from ironic detachment to open-hearted feeling.
Fri, 05 Jun 2015 18:44:00 -0700
Charm has curdled into smarm in the big-screen version of Entourage.
Fri, 22 May 2015 18:44:00 -0700
Can we fix our troubled world, or not?
Fri, 15 May 2015 18:44:00 -0700
George Miller, whose Mad Max gave the movie medium a new genre almost four decades ago, is back with Mad Max: Fury Road.
Fri, 17 Apr 2015 18:44:00 -0700
Unfriended is a micro-budget horror film played out entirely one high school girl's laptop.
Fri, 10 Apr 2015 18:44:00 -0700
Alex Garland's Ex Machina is an elegant sci-fi fantasy about artificial intelligence.
Fri, 03 Apr 2015 18:44:00 -0700
Cute dogs doing cute tricks have become stars of the social networks, but White God offers a different take on man's best friend.
Fri, 13 Mar 2015 18:44:00 -0700
Call it bias if you choose, but any Cinderella with Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother couldn't be bad.
Fri, 06 Mar 2015 18:44:00 -0800
In its advocacy of skeptical thinking, An Honest Liar dovetails neatly, if accidentally, with Merchants of Doubt.
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:44:00 -0800
Queen and Country, the sequel to Hope and Glory that took John Boorman almost three decades to make, is worth the wait.
Fri, 20 Feb 2015 18:44:00 -0800
Marketing campaigns can bring movie goers into theaters to see what the fuss is all about, but they can't generate the excitement of those rare occasions when audiences discover a movie on their own. A charming curiosity from New Zealand. One more riff on mythical bloodsuckers.
Fri, 13 Feb 2015 18:44:00 -0800
Reasonable minds may differ on what the playroom is all about in 50 Shades of Grey.
Fri, 06 Feb 2015 18:44:00 -0800
In a momentous conjunction of events, Jupiter Ascending -- the mega-budget sci-fi extravaganza -- is opening around the nation and the world on the very day that Jupiter, the mega-planet, is at its annual opposition to Earth.
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 18:44:00 -0800
Timbuktu takes a deadly aim at Islamic fundamentalism by playing its own game of deft ridicule.
Fri, 23 Jan 2015 18:44:00 -0800
The opening of Red Army is good news if you're a hockey fan, a history buff or just an admirer of first-rate documentaries.
Fri, 16 Jan 2015 18:44:00 -0800
Paddington is the comic chronicle of a Peruvian bear's adventures in London, and it turns out to be a total charmer...
Fri, 19 Dec 2014 18:44:00 -0800
How did such a turkey ever escape the studio lot?
Fri, 12 Dec 2014 18:44:00 -0800
A pyrotechnic pinwheel of a personal comedy.
Fri, 05 Dec 2014 18:44:00 -0800
Reese Witherspoon is the angry, wounded soul of Wild. She commands the screen throughout her heroine's 1,100-mile journey of self-discovery and self-repair, on foot and mostly alone, from the Mojave desert to northern Oregon along the Pacific Crest Trail.
Fri, 28 Nov 2014 18:44:00 -0800
The Imitation Game, with Benedict Cumberbatch in full cry, summons up a life that changed modern history.