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Nick Schager

Every Thing Will Be Fine

Wim Wenders' Every Thing Will Be Fine Is a Movie Gone Wrong

A disheartening case of When Auteurs Go Affected, Every Thing Will Be Fine confirms that Wim Wenders — making his first dramatic feature since 2008's Palermo Shooting — is a filmmaker now light-years removed from his Paris, Texas and Wings of Desire heyday. Egregiously airless and artificial, Wenders' latest (written......
Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs in Danny Boyle's film; Credit: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Steve Jobs Shows That the Icon, Like His Products, Is Flawed

Aaron Sorkin opens up a new desktop icon with Steve Jobs, a briskly busy, talkative companion piece to the Newsroom and Moneyball writer's Mark Zuckerberg–centric The Social Network. Adapting Walter Isaacson's biography of the Apple innovator — and covering much of the same ground as Alex Gibney's recent documentary Steve......
The Look of Silence is about an ophthalmologist who confronts the perpetrators of a genocide that killed his brother

How Joshua Oppenheimer Created Two of the Best Movies of the Decade

Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing, about Indonesia’s 1965 genocide of more than half a million alleged “communists,” was not only the best documentary of 2012 but also one of the finest films of the past decade. In it Oppenheimer persuaded the perpetrators of mass murder to re-enact their crimes......
Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain; Credit: Dora Handel Corbis

Kurt Cobain Is Honored in the Stunning Montage of Heck

A post-Wikipedia biographical documentary, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck finds Brett Morgen constructing a feature-length collage of notebook entries, demo tapes, rehearsal footage, home movies, archival photos, and drawings and artwork by the late Nirvana frontman. It’s an impressive, comprehensive assemblage, designed to impart not a point-by-point historical account but,......

Rob Reiner's And So It Goes Provides More Groans Than Laughs

With Jack Nicholson still enjoying his retirement, it falls to Michael Douglas to swoon over the oh-so-cutesy Diane Keaton in And So It Goes, a timid, elder rom-com in the same wheelhouse as the 2003 Nicholson-Keaton teaming, Something’s Gotta Give. A film of nothing but soft edges, director Rob Reiner’s......
Russell as Elvis

The Welcome Return of Kurt Russell

A wise man — or, more precisely, a wise-ass trucker named Jack Burton — once opined that "it’s all in the reflexes." Few actors have had better reflexes than Kurt Russell, who makes a welcome return to theaters this weekend in The Art of the Steal. Having been largely MIA......
Yanina Studilina and Thomas Kretschmann in Stalingrad; Credit: PHOTO COURTESY OF NON-STOP PRODUCTION

All the Oscar-Nominated Shorts, Reviewed

Who says award-season winners have to be epic? If you're looking for an alternative to the lengthy features vying for recognition and box-office glory, ShortsHD and Magnolia Pictures have on offer the full slate of 2014 Oscar-nominated short films. Divided into three categories (documentary, animation, live-action), each featuring five nominees,......

The Past, Asghar Farhadi's Follow-Up to Oscar Winner A Separation

Iranian writer-director Asghar Farhadi solidifies his status as one of cinema's finest living dramatists with The Past, a superb follow-up to his 2011 Oscar-winning A Separation, which again situates audiences amid interpersonal, familial and household crises. Working from a script that incisively plumbs a thicket of logistical and emotional complications,......