Archive for category: by Robert Horton

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Film Review: ‘The Boxtrolls’

26 September, 2014 (08:47) | Animation, by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

One of the impressive things about The Boxtrolls is how quickly it establishes just what exactly boxtrolls are. It’s complicated: Boxtrolls are odd gnomelike creatures that live beneath the streets of Cheesebridge, living off the town’s rubbish and clothing themselves in discarded boxes. Cheesebridge is a vertiginous 19th-century hamlet, apparently in England. This is key, because […]

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Film Review: ‘20,000 Days on Earth’

26 September, 2014 (08:44) | by Robert Horton, Documentary, Film Reviews, Musicals | By: Robert Horton

Given his distinctive and ultra-dramatic stage presence, it makes sense that a documentary portrait of Nick Cave would not be the usual thing. And 20,000 Days on Earth is not the usual thing. At first this film appears to be a rumination on where the Australian-born rock star is these days: 20,000 days of life puts […]

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Film Review: ‘Take Me to the River’

26 September, 2014 (08:39) | by Robert Horton, Documentary, Film Reviews, Musicals | By: Robert Horton

There’s been a steady drumbeat of music-history documentaries this century, paying proper homage to the great players of pop music. These movies are invariably tuneful and nostalgic. Actually, there have been so many of these — “Standing in the Shadows of Motown,” “Muscle Shoals,” the recent Oscar winners “Searching for Sugar Man” and “Twenty Feet […]

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Film Review: ‘The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them’

18 September, 2014 (06:30) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

A suicide attempt, hauntingly staged: Eleanor (Jessica Chastain) walks across a New York City bridge on a pleasant day, and at one point abruptly dodges out of frame. The startled reaction of a passerby tells us where she goes. The rest of the movie is an attempt by Eleanor—and her family, friends, and husband Conor […]

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Film Review: ‘The Guest’

18 September, 2014 (06:26) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Whatever Adam Wingard is drinking, please keep ’em coming. The director’s most recent two features are uneven but brimming with nerve and invention: You’re Next (released here last year) upends the conventions of the home-invasion slasher movie and let viewers laugh through their gasps; and The Guest works increasingly daffy variations on the mysterious-stranger subgenre. […]

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Film Review: ‘Life of Crime’

18 September, 2014 (06:19) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

The best thing about Life of Crime is the cast, a lively combination of character types, scene-stealers, and one slumming superstar. And yet the movie feels like a community-theater walk-through. Despite the tentpole presence of Jennifer Aniston and its roots as an Elmore Leonard adaptation (it shares characters with Leonard’s Rum Punch, which Quentin Tarantino […]

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Film Review: ‘My Old Lady’

18 September, 2014 (05:52) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Most of My Old Lady is set in the kind of apartment you have dreams about after eating Camembert late in the evening: old, rambling, with a garden view through big upper-floor windows in the back. And, oh yes, it’s in Paris. The film is based on a play by Israel Horovitz, and no wonder […]

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Film Review: ‘The Drop’

11 September, 2014 (05:58) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

The easiest knock against The Drop is that it operates in an overexposed milieu: current urban American crime. It’s hard to pump something new into this world, but the film succeeds because of its rich attention to detail and a Dennis Lehane script with a surplus of tasty dialogue. Lehane, the author of Mystic River […]

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Film Review: ‘Jealousy’

11 September, 2014 (05:51) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

In the opening scene of Jealousy, a relationship comes to an end. Shaggy-haired actor Louis (Louis Garrel) is leaving his girlfriend Clothilde (Rebecca Convenant) as their young daughter Charlotte looks on. The moment isn’t hugely original, or even especially dramatic. It’s a thing that has to happen, and everyone knows it, and each person’s reaction […]

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Film Review: ‘Love Is Strange’

11 September, 2014 (05:46) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Of the titles from Hollywood’s golden age that aren’t broadly recognized as classics but really ought to be, Make Way for Tomorrow is on the short list—no arguments brooked. Leo McCarey, a director with a notable human touch, crafted this 1937 masterpiece from a simple story about two long-married folks forced to live apart when […]

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Film Review: ‘The Identical’

4 September, 2014 (08:22) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

The website for The Identical has more endorsements from pastors than movie critics—this is not one of those evangelical pictures trying to hide its agenda. It’s produced by a Nashville-based company with roots in the born-again world and some legit music-biz credentials. That agenda acknowledged, the picture has two notable strong points: an urban-legend storyline […]

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Film Review: ‘A Letter to Momo’

4 September, 2014 (08:17) | Animation, by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Goblins are disconcerting, even if their worst offense (in this case) is stealing food. For an 11-year-old girl named Momo, they are more annoying than terrifying, just another tiresome aspect of moving to the countryside with her mother. Not only is Momo expected to meet new friends and make nice with her grandparents, she’s also […]

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Film Review: ‘The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears’

4 September, 2014 (08:12) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Robert Horton

The Belgian writer/director team Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani are obsessed with the 1970s Italian horror subgenre known as giallo. Their 2010 Amer was a cool one-off, a clever compendium of lovingly imitated giallo motifs that also created a lush experience in and of itself. Except it wasn’t a one-off, because here’s another excursion into […]

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Film Review: ‘The Trip to Italy’

29 August, 2014 (07:51) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

I’m not sure what the competition is, but I will declare that The Trip to Italy contains the funniest scene ever set at the site of the Pompeii volcanic eruption. Pompeii— not generally associated with comedy— is one stop on the itinerary for Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, the British comedians hitting the road again […]

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Film Review: ‘A Five Star Life’

28 August, 2014 (05:13) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Irene is keen at finding flaws and reluctant to commit to permanence. In that sense, her job couldn’t be more ideal: secret hotel inspector. She travels to first-class resorts around the world, sampling the food, checking the dust on the mantels, rating the efficiency of the staff. Already deep into a stylish middle age, Irene […]

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