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Mike Wilmington

Baz Luhrmann's often dazzling, sometimes excessive, frequently fascinating film of novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald's Jazz Age masterpiece "The Great Gatsby" is one of the best movies of 2013. Predictably crammed with cinematic excess, and done in Luhrmann's high style, it's a stunningly imaginative, sometimes madly enjoyable show. more

Sep 11, 2013 3:00 PM TV & Video

"Trance", a new erotic thriller from Danny Boyle, is a fast and fancy dance over a whirling floor of crime, suspense and sex. It begins with the theft of a world-famous painting (Francisco Goya's spooky "Witches in the Air"), swiped from a London auction in mid-sale, and it continues through all kinds of stylish neo-noir alleys and crannies full of bloody gangsterism and "Inception"-like psychological mystery, until the whole show finally ends with an unraveling that twists and turns and radically changes a lot of what went before. more

Aug 14, 2013 3:00 PM TV & Video

"42" was the number Jackie Robinson wore when he played with the Brooklyn Dodgers. It was the number on his uniform when he broke professional baseball's unwritten ban against blacks playing on the previously all-white teams. That number, and Jackie, are parts of not just sports history but of American social, cultural and political history as well. more

Aug 7, 2013 3:00 PM TV & Video

Harmony Korine's movies -- up to and including his latest, "Spring Breakers" -- are mostly outlaw pictures and weirdo comedies about people who don't want to grow up: kids, crooks, artists. "Spring Breakers" is about four college girls who take off for the collegiate bikini-flipping revels at Tampa, Florida, and descend into hell. more

Jul 17, 2013 3:00 PM TV & Video

"Warm Bodies" is an attempt to do for zombie movies at least part of what the "Twilight" series did for vampire and werewolf pictures -- mix them up promiscuously with teen romance -- as well as to attract at least part of that huge teen and twenty-something audience out there with something funnier and hipper and (what's the word?) edgier. more

Jul 3, 2013 3:00 PM TV & Video

Let's imagine a new version of one of the world's certifiably well loved movies: the 1939 MGM classic, "The Wizard of Oz". Let's envision "Oz, The Great and Powerful", directed by Sam Raimi, starring James Franco as Oz, a new movie from the Disney Studio. How to you bring this old show up to date? more

Jun 26, 2013 3:00 PM TV & Video

The fictitious drug Ablixa in "Side Effects" -- an intelligent but unpleasant movie thriller by director-cinematographer-editor Steven Soderbergh -- is supposed to handle depression. But what it actually creates here (or reveals) is a kind of hell on earth, wrapped up in slick movie thriller trimmings. more

Jun 12, 2013 3:00 PM TV & Video

"Safe Haven", directed by the estimable Swedish-born filmmaker Lasse Hallström and produced by the author himself, is the eighth movie to be derived from a Nicholas Sparks novel, and like the others, including "Message in a Bottle" (where Kevin Costner found undying love), "The Notebook" (where Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams found undying love and huge box office), it's a romantic fantasy delivered with apparently just the right amounts of warmth, coolness, poignancy, picturesque scenery, sex appeal, niceness and (let's face it), undying love. more

Jun 5, 2013 3:00 PM TV & Video

"Silver Linings Playbook" is a drama/comedy for the new millennium: a smart and amusing movie felicitously co-starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jackie Weaver, Julia Stiles and Chris Tucker in roles meatier than we usually expect and played with great big dollops of joyous spontaneity, live-wire energy, bristling wit and just a touch of psychological darkness. A multiple Oscar nominee, it was definitely one of 2012's best romantic comedies and Cooper and Lawrence one of the year's shining couples. more

May 15, 2013 3:00 PM TV & Video

An audaciously enjoyable and horrifically exciting melodrama set in the Old West and the Old South of the 19th century, Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" churns out not so much the history of our dreams, or the dreams of our history (what John Ford and D. W. Griffith gave us), but the nightmare alternative Western history of Sergio Leone and his colleagues and imitators, from the revisionist '60s and '70s, when there were movies with titles like "A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die". more

May 1, 2013 3:00 PM TV & Video

Nine years after Peter Jackson's "The Return of the King", the third of his "Ring" trilogy, seemed to close the book on his movie Middle Earth, back he comes with his company's (WingNut) version of Tolkien's prelude novel from the '30s: "The Hobbit, or There and Back Again". Hurrah. This new movie, which only a goblin would call a prequel, is a delight. more

Apr 17, 2013 3:00 PM TV & Video

The movies changed after Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho", and so did the director himself -- as we see in the compelling but not always satisfying new movie "Hitchcock", directed by Sacha Gervasi and starring Anthony Hopkins as the Master of Suspense and Helen Mirren as his longtime wife and most important collaborator, Alma Reville Hitchcock. more

Mar 27, 2013 3:00 PM TV & Video

"The Master" is Paul Thomas Anderson's dark tale of post-war America, of a master (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a follower (Joaquin Phoenix), and the master's wife (Amy Adams). It's the epic yarn of how a con job became a big cult, and of how the seemingly placid Eisenhower-era '50s planted the seeds that grew later into the Abbie Hoffman '60s -- the story of an explosive friendship between a charlatan and a drunk, between a preacher and a hell-raiser, sabotaged by the preacher's determined wife. more

Mar 13, 2013 3:00 PM TV & Video

Based on fact -- although it's fact run through the usual big-movie embellishing machines -- "Argo" tells the story of a CIA "exfiltration" expert (director-star Ben Affleck as real-life operative Antonio "Tony" Mendez), who joins forces with an Oscar-winning makeup man (John Goodman as the real-life studio legend John Chambers) and a few other movie people, to cook up a real-life great escape. more

Feb 27, 2013 4:00 PM TV & Video

Martin McDonagh mixes the worlds of "real life" crime and the movies in "Seven Psychopaths", a lively dark comedy about the perils of being an Irish screenwriter named Martin, writing a crime thriller screenplay called "Seven Psychopaths" in modern L.A., where your best friend is a psychopath, and at least six other certifiable psychos are hobnobbing around. more

Feb 13, 2013 4:00 PM TV & Video

It is July 14, 1789, in France, the day the Bastille was stormed and fell to an angry revolutionary mob. In "Farewell, My Queen", though, we are not with the revolutionaries, nor with the king's soldiers fighting them, or giving up before the fight. more

Feb 6, 2013 4:00 PM TV & Video

One of my favorite movies of the past year is a documentary by a new young Swedish filmmaker about a little-known (at least here) American musician of the '70s. It's called "Searching for Sugar Man" -- and it's a rock 'n' roll chronicle of a great singer/guitarist/songwriter about whom you've probably never heard named Rodriguez. more

Jan 30, 2013 4:00 PM TV & Video

Two of the best things Tim Burton ever did were a couple of black-and-white cartoons he made for Disney back in the early '80s, when he was a lad in his 20s. One of them, "Vincent" (1982), was the tale in rhyme of a little boy who adored Vincent Price. The other gem, "Frankenweenie", was a Frankenstein parody set in a sit-commy stop-motion suburb, about a child named Victor Frankenstein who revives his dead pet dog with electricity. more

Jan 16, 2013 4:00 PM TV & Video

Ai Weiwei, the Chinese conceptual artist and subject of Alison Klayman's documentary "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry", is a heavy-set guy with a frizzy mustache and beard, who has 40 cats and a taste for Carnegie Deli pastrami sandwiches, developed when he lived in New York City. Now back in China, he blogs and tweets all the time and is probably, right now, the word's most famous living artist -- as well as the winner of a Nobel Peace Prize for his brave and outspoken activism and protests against the Chinese government and its anti-democratic policies. more

Jan 9, 2013 4:00 PM TV & Video

"Ted" is a vulgar, irreverent, dirty-mouthed comedy about a vulgar, irreverent, dirty-mouthed teddy bear named, of course, Ted -- a fuzzy horny little stoner who is the best friend of a sweet, somewhat Peter-Pannish Boston guy named John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg, as likeable and undangerous as he can get). more

Dec 26, 2012 4:00 PM TV & Video