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Ella Taylor

Nuremberg: Courtroom Drama or Genocide Porn?

Delivering the news in the late 1940s that Universal Pictures would not release Stuart Schulberg's documentary about the 1945-46 Nuremberg trials of 22 senior Nazi officers, the company's public relations flack explained to the film's producers that "The subject matter and the way it is treated is altogether too gruesome......

Meeting Spencer

MEETING SPENCER I’d pay to see the great Jeffrey Tambor if he were starring in Daffy Duck: The Prequel. But though it’s a big thrill that the world’s finest character actor has his very own lead role, one wishes there were more meat on the elegant bones of Meeting Spencer......

In a Better World

IN A BETTER WORLD If The King’s Speech was a comfy middlebrow choice for Best Picture of 2010, how much more depressing was the Academy’s squandering of its foreign-language film trophy on Susanne Bier’s In a Better World? Displaced tykes and bullies both macro and micro abound in this relentlessly......

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: RODRICK RULES Like its predecessor, the first in what will surely grow into a moneymaking franchise spun off from Jeff Kinney’s hilarious stick-figure chronicles of pre-teen agony, part deux of Diary of a Wimpy Kid chugs along inoffensively enough. But shifting from the original's focus......

Cracks

CRACKS As boarding-school bodice-rippers go, this assured debut by British director and girls' school alumna Jordan Scott fairly bursts with pent-up carnality trying to ripen under rigid autocracy laden with lesbian denial. Shot in a lushly wild corner of Ireland, Cracks looks as lovely as a colorized old postcard, all......

Winter in Wartime

WINTER IN WARTIME Updated for a skeptical age, this new World War II movie comes impeccably groomed in period-attentive tans and grays; is written in nonheroic dialogue to suggest ambiguities in the good-evil dichotomies of war stories past; and is sufficiently hopped up with thrills to warrant the interest of......

The Chaperone

THE CHAPERONE You get a bargain two high concepts for the price of one in this amiably lame offering from Stephen Herek, who, once upon a time, cooked up an excellent Adventure for Bill and Ted, then veered off into inspirational goo with Mr. Holland's Opus. Alas, this family-redemption drama......
Well pickled

Barney's Version Review

The late Canadian writer Mordecai Richler, best known south of the border for the film version of his 1959 novel The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, was a bellicose practitioner of Jewish fiction in the manner of Philip Roth and Saul Bellow, with a mad helping of Joseph Heller. The joyfully......
Owen Wilson and Reese Witherspoon talk it out.

How Do You Know Review: Funny Ha Ha and Funny Strange

An odd duck of a romantic comedy from James L. Brooks, How Do You Know strays as far from a barrel of laughs as a writer-director formed by network television can get without losing his grip altogether. The movie's rhythms are loose, disjointed and peppered with strategic silences or half-finished......

AMER

AMER Cooked up by Belgian directors Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani in homage to Italian giallo horror films of the 1960s and '70s, this tripartite melodramedy explores how a young woman's twisted childhood affects her evolving carnality — which, if you know your Dario Argento, doesn't exactly follow the high......