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'The Guest' opens with intrigue, ends flat-footed

A pretty crafty genre pastiche until it stalls, director Adam Wingard's "The Guest" introduces its title character after he knocks on the front door of a small-town New Mexico family that recently lost their older son in the Iraq War. Door opens, a man's head is turned away from the camera ... Read more

'Love is Strange' benefits from engaging stars, and little else

"Love is Strange" is a sweet, random little nothing that pairs up John Lithgow and Alfred Molina as a longtime couple whose lives change, for the worse, when they finally get married after gay marriage becomes legal in New York. Read more

'Autumn Blood' beautiful but tedious

The title, poster, premise, and the fact that it's been sitting on the shelf for three years make "Autumn Blood" seem like a direct-to-DVD, low-rent Tarantino rip-off. The reality though is that the handsomely shot feature-film debut from German director Markus Blunder is more akin to B-grade Ber... Read more

Films worth seeking on the indie circuit

We're heading into Oscar-bait season for Hollywood, when the biggest movies tend to suck up all the oxygen. Just as worthy are the offerings from the art house scene, which reliably features smaller films - indie features, classic films and documentaries - that may lack studio marketing muscle bu... Read more

Director Craig Johnson on film school and twins

"Anyone who isn't a twin is sort of fascinated by twins," said filmmaker Craig Johnson. Out of that fascination came "The Skeleton Twins," starring Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader as twin siblings reconnecting with each other. It's the second feature film for Johnson, a University of Washington gradu... Read more

'Tusk,' Kevin Smith's 'comeback,' lacks bite

Rumors of Kevin "Clerks" Smith's retirement from the silver screen to spend his dotage doing podcasts forhis aging fanbase were alas, grossly overstated. He has used that podcast to generate a tall tale, a serio-comic Canadian-joke of a horror film. Read more

'The Drop' actors say they prefer people on the edge

"The Drop" will forever be known as James Gandolfini's final performance, and fellow actor Matthias Schoenaerts finds the actor's death "insanely difficult to talk about." Read more

Fonda gives improv comedy a try with 'This Is Where I Leave You'

"At my age," Jane Fonda says, "it gets hard to find a role that's fun and sexy and a little bit outrageous." Read more

Top-drawer cast leads Gilliam's puzzling 'Zero Theorem'

"The Zero Theorem" is director Terry Gilliam's latest dazzling dose of sci-fi eye candy, and the third film in whatsome are calling his "Brazil" trilogy. Read more

Monaghan shines as a soldier torn between duty and family in 'Fort Bliss'

In sports and other walks of life, they call it your "game face," that serious expression that shows you're serious, focused on the game or job at hand. Read more

With or without money, Gilliam delivers the eye candy

Terry Gilliam's track record as a director is very much a mixed bag, in terms of box office or critical success. But the director of "Brazil" and 12 Monkeys" and "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" is often compared to the great innovators and visual stylists of the medium - Kubrick and Welles,... Read more

'Love is Strange' inspires with gentleness, empathy

Ben and George have been together 39 years, sharing a cozy New York apartment stocked with mementos, books, music, art - some of it by Ben, a painter. From the opening scene of Ira Sachs' illuminating "Love Is Strange" - a rise-and-shine, get the day going affair - it's clear these two men, playe... Read more

'Code Black' a riveting doctor's-eye view of the emergency room

Anyone who has spent time in an emergency room, regardless of the hospital, knows it can be an exercise in frustration, confusion and Kafka-like bureaucracy, along with the physical and emotional strain of whatever put you there in the first place. Read more

Assaultive 'No Good Deed' comes out at just the wrong time

Screen Gems ignores the Ray Rice controversy and national conversation about violence against women with "No Good Deed," a brutal thriller about, you guessed it, a "malignant narcissist" committing all sorts of violence against women. Read more

'God Help the Girl' a movie musical with charm, soul

Fans of Belle and Sebastian - the bookwormy Scottish pop band with the deft Dylan references and plucky anthems that practically smell of damp tweed - need no other incentive to see "God Help the Girl" than the news it exists: a movie musical written and directed by Stuart Murdoch, the group's ma... Read more

'The Drop' is a simmering thriller

They also serve whopour and observe. Read more

Capsule reviews of feature films

AND SO IT GOES 1 1/2 stars. Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton team for the first time in a wincingly sappy three-quarter-life rom-com about a Scrooge-like widower and a wifty lounge-singing widow - and the unexpected appearance of a cute-as-a-button grandchild, readymade to melt hearts. Rob Reiner... Read more

Music documentary 'Take Me To the River' covers a lot of familiar ground

There have been earlier and better movies about "The Memphis Sound," with the documentary "Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story" being among the best. Read more

'Skeleton Twins' reteams Wiig and Hader as sad-faced siblings

It's the phone call no one wants to answer. A relative has been hospitalized. He tried to kill himself. Read more

Movie review: 'If I Stay' will leave lovers of the book disappointed

Five years after the release of the award-winning novel "If I Stay," director R.J. Cutler snatches up this captivating story and brings it to the big screen. Read more

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