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Posts under ‘film reviews’

A grim ‘Knight,’ a melancholy ‘Waltz’ and more

Reviews of this week's new releases in Portland-area theaters.

Christian Bale in “The Dark Knight Rises”The big release of the weekend — and likely the month and maybe the …

Levy’s High Five, July 20 – 26

The five films playing in Portland-area theaters that I'd soonest see again.

“Beasts of the Southern Wild”1) “Beasts of the
Southern Wild” A dreamy and joyous film about lif…

‘Neil Young Journeys’ review: Demme and Young together again, to lesser effect

A third pairing of the great director and the great musician is strictly for die hards.

Neil Young in “Neil Young Journeys”“Neil Young Journeys” is the third document…

‘The Dark Knight Rises’ review: Batman, resurrected, in an epic, downbeat battle

The final chapter in an gigantic trilogy is more impressive as spectacle than as story or meditation.

View full sizeBane (Tom Hardy) vs. Batman (Christian Bale) in “The Dark Knig…

‘Take This Waltz’ review: marriage, interrupted

A chance encounter tests a woman's marital resolve.

Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen in “Take This Waltz”“Take This Waltz” is a film about a romance that looks h…

Levy’s High Five, July 13 – 19

The five films playing in Portland-area theaters that I'd soonest see again.

“Moonrise Kingdom”1) “Beasts of the
Southern Wild” A dreamy and joyous film about life, death,…

‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ review: joy, danger and beauty in the bayou, through a child’s eyes

A triumphant debut blends dreams, fears and hardscrabble life in sometimes breathtaking fashion.

Quvenzhané Wallis in “Beasts of the Southern Wild”There’s a sens…

‘Lola Versus’ review: a drab comedy centered on a rising star

Greta Gerwig shines through a dim and uninspired indie romcom.

Zoe Lister Jones (l.) and Greta Gerwig in “Lola Versus”The best thing about the wan comedy “Lola Versus&#8221…

Movies: ‘Spider-Man’ reboots, Woody does ‘Rome’, bloody ‘Savages’ and more

Reviews of this week's new releases in Portland-area theaters.

Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield in “The Amazing Spider-Man”The big movie opening of the week is “The Amazing Sp…

Levy’s High Five, July 6 – 12

The five movies playing in Portland-area theaters that I'd soonest see again.

Emily Blunt (l.) and Rosemarie DeWitt in “Your Sister’s Sister”1) “Moonrise Kingdom”
Wes Ander…

‘To Rome with Love’ review: Woody Allen anthologizes himself, with mixed results

A quartet of stories set in the Eternal City find the director in a late-career glide.

Roberto Benigni in “To Rome with Love”In the wake of the popular and critical success of &#…

‘Grand Illusion’ review: one of the very few forms of film perfection

Jean Renoir's 1937 prisoner-of-war drama is one of the standards to which all films must aspire.

Erich Von Stroheim in “Grand Illusion”Sometimes I’m asked why I almost…

‘Savages’ review: Oliver Stone gets back to bloody good fun

A sexy, gory, drug-infused novel gets a treatment worthy of the Oliver Stone of "Natural Born Killers" and "The Doors."

Blake Lively and Benicio Del Toro in “…

‘The Do-Deca-Pentathalon’ review: Oh, brother, why art thou so annoying?

Brothers wage war — in 25 steps.

Steve Zissis (l.) and Mark Kelly in “The Do-Deca-Pentathalon”In “The Do-Deca-Pentathalon,” the writing-directing brothers Duplass, J…

‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ review: a tale repeated, with less freshness

A superhero franchise is rebooted, and while it's not a disaster, it is a puzzle.

Andrew Garfield in “The Amazing Spider-Man”The tale of Spider-Man, the teen nerd turned web…

Movies: ‘Ted’ swears, ‘Mike’ grinds, a lovely ‘Wish’ and more

Reviews of this week's new releases in Portland-area theaters.

Matthew McConaughey in “Magic Mike”There’s an intriguing variety of new titles in Portland this weekend: …

Levy’s High Five, June 29 – July 5

The five movies playing in Portland-area theaters that I'd soonest see again.

Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman (and Jason Schwartzman’s head) in “Moonrise Kingdom”1) “Moonrise…

‘Magic Mike’ review: it’s hard out there for a hardbody

Channing Tatum's sizzle is skin-deep in Steven Soderbergh's dark film about male strippers.

Channing Tatum (center) in “Magic Mike”The come-on of “Magic Mike&#822…

‘I Wish’ review: a sad boy’s scheme to save his family lifts the heart

The director of "After Life" and "Nobody Knows" weaves a sweetly shambling story about hopes and dreams.

Ohshiro (l.) and Koki Maeda in “I Wish”A sweet and sh…

‘Ted’ review: the potty-mouthed plush toy is kind of a hoot

A living teddy bear with decidedly grownup issues gives Mark Wahlberg a hangover and a headache.

Mark Wahlberg and chum in “Ted”Ted the living teddy bear is crude, crass and spor…

‘A Cat in Paris’ review: attractive but paper-thin French animation

An Oscar-nominated feature that's lovely to look at but short on story.

“A Cat in Paris” A surprise nominee for Best Animated Feature at the most
recent Academy Awards, th…

Movies: A ‘Brave’ princess, a ‘Lincoln’ who kills, a sweet ‘End of the World’ and more

Reviews of this week's new releases in Portland-area theaters.

Benjamin Walker in “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”A little bit of everything in movie theaters this weekend…

Levy’s High Five, June 22 – 28

The five films playing in Portland-area theaters that I'd soonest see again.

Emily Blunt (l.) and Rosemarie DeWitt in “Your Sister’s Sister”1) “The Deep Blue Sea&#8221…

‘Your Sister’s Sister’ review: torn between two lovers, who are themselves torn

A trio of engaging actors in a sweet, sad, lowkey romcom rondelay.

Mark Duplass, Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt (l. to r.) in “Your Sister’s Sister”“Your Sister’s S…

‘Brave’ review: a princess from Pixar…and other disappointments

The tale of a plucky Scottish lass feels more like second-tier Disney than the top-shelf stuff its Pixar subsidiary usually turns out.

Merida lets fly in “Brave”In January, 2006,…

Movies: Cruise is a ‘Rock’, Gyllenhaal’s in ‘Hysteria’ and more

Reviews of this week's new releases in Portland-area theaters.

Tom Cruise in “Rock of Ages”Not very much new stuff in the hopper this weekend.  We have reviews of the ‘…

Levy’s High Five, June 15 – 21

The five movies playing in Portland-area theaters that I'd soonest see again.

“Bernie”1) “The Deep Blue Sea” Terence Davies
is the finest director you’ve …

Levy’s High Five, June 8 – 14

The five films playing in Portland-area theaters that I'd soonest see again.

Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Edward Norton and Bruce Willis (from l.) in “Moonrise Kingdom”…

‘Moonrise Kingdom’ review: Wes Anderson’s sweetly cracked vision of love at first flight

The tale of 12-year-old sweethearts on the run is delightfully light and filled with the director's iconoclasm and quirks.

Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman (and Jason Schwartzm…

‘Prometheus’ review: a sci-fi prequel sacrifices storytelling for beauty

The director of "Alien" prequelizes his brilliant 1979 invention with mixed — but always handsome — results.

Michael Fassbender in “Prometheus”When he gave the world …

‘Monsieur Lazhar’ review: a delicate situation, and the perfect man to handle it

An Oscar-nominated Canadian film is a small triumph of delicacy and restraint.

Mohamed Fellag in “Monsieur Lazhar”Discreet, delicate, and cautious, “Monsieur Lazhar” …

‘This Is Not a Film’ review: a sly and daring expose of life under house arrest

An Iranian director subtly — and bravely — reveals his fate.

View full sizeJafar Panahi and friend in “This Is Not a Film”In December 2010, the Iranian director Jafar Panahi (&…

‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ review: a classic tale raucously retold

A truly evil queen and some delightful dwarves balance out a bland heroine.

Chris Hemsworth and Kristen Stewart in “Snow White and the Huntsman”Sometimes wondrous, sometimes over…

‘Polisse’ review: a multi-threaded tale of French police and their woes

The personal and professional lives of a child protection squad make for a volatile, uneven drama.

Maiwenn, Jeremie Elkai and Joey Starr (l. to r.) in “Polisse”“Polisse&#82…

‘The Color Wheel’ review: mumblecore becomes fumblecore in comic road movie

An indie comedy about bickering siblings lack the polish of its low-budget peers.

Alex Ross Perry and Carlen Altman in “The Color Wheel”If you think that the tiny indie movies kn…

‘Men in Black 3’ review: an unsought sequel affords surprising delights

Josh Brolin adds a dash of droll magic to a time travel subplot and lifts a film above its expected quality.

Josh Brolin (l.) and Will Smith in “Men in Black 3″It’s rarely …

‘Hit So Hard’ review: a grunge musician’s real-life survival story

She drummed for Hole and babysat for Kurt and Courtney — and lived through hell and tells the tale.

Drummer Patty Schemel, star and subject of “Hit So Hard” In many ways, &#8220…

‘Bernie’ review: Richard Linklater’s light and lighthearted Texas true-crime story

The unlikely comic trio of Shirley MacLaine, Jack Black and Matthew McConaughey brings a sordid little tale to sparkling life.

Shirley MacLaine and Jack Black in “Bernie”Based on…

QDocs, "Plymptoons" and EFF Portland make for a busy week of film festivals

A diversity of film events turn up at once, making for a rich and hectic week.

Vito Russo from “Vito” at QDocsThe weather may be hollering, ‘get outside,’ but Portlan…

‘Mansome’ review: a lighthearted look at the culture of male grooming

The director of "Super Size Me" takes a look at men (like himself) who take care with their appearance.

Jason Bateman (l.) and Morgan Spurlock in “Mansome”In “Man…

‘Mansome’ review: a lighthearted look at the culture of male grooming

The director of "Super Size Me" takes a look at men (like himself) who take care with their appearance.

Jason Bateman (l.) and Morgan Spurlock in “Mansome”In “Man…

‘The Dictator’ review: in a tired fiction, Sacha Baron Cohen loses his comic bite

He's still crude and sometimes quite funny, but there's little electricity in the make-believe compared to his real-world exploits, and the result is Sandler-esque.

Sac…

Levy’s High Five, May 11 – 17

The five films playing in Portland-area theaters that I'd soonest see again.

Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston in “The Deep Blue Sea”1) “The Deep Blue Sea” Terence…

‘Headhunters’ review: the tables turn terrifyingly on a yuppie art thief

An agreeable Norwegian comic thriller with touches of the Coen brothers.

Aksel Hennie in “Headhunters”Like a Norwegian cousin of a Coen brothers film, “Headhunters” p…

‘Dark Shadows’ review: a bloodless spoof with neither laughs nor chills

The eighth collaboration of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp is their most lifeless and least necessary yet.

Johnny Depp in “Dark Shadows”Tim Burton and Johnny Depp need some fresh air…

Levy’s High Five, May 4 – 10

The five films playing in Portland-area theaters that I'd soonest see again.

Tom Hiddleston and Rachel Weisz in “The Deep Blue Sea”1) “The Deep Blue Sea” Terence…

‘The Avengers’ review: They assemble, they fight, and then they fight some more

Joss Whedon's film manages the hard part of building a team of superheroes but is a bit puzzled trying to figure out what to do with them

View full sizeAvengers assembled: T…

‘We Have a Pope’ review: the wrong man for the job

Overwhelmed by the thought of his new position, a would-be-Pope flees the Vatican — and silliness ensues

Michel Piccoli in “We Have a Pope”There’s a peach of a set-up to N…

Movies: a ravishing ‘Sea,’ quirky ‘Damsels,’ a funny ‘Goon’ and more

Reviews of this week's new releases from today's A&E.

Tom Hiddleston and Rachel Weisz in “The Deep Blue Sea”What a busy, eclectic weekend — and so many reviews!&nb…

Levy’s High Five, April 27 – May 3

The five films playing in Portland-area theaters that I'd soonest see again.

Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston in “The Deep Blue Sea”1) “The Deep Blue Sea” Terenc…