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'Song One' is a melancholy meander through New York's indie acoustic music scene

It's common Hollywood practice to follow an Oscar win with a trip to big budget land, where the paychecks, the trailers and the impact on the culture are potentially huge. So Sandra Bullock did "Gravity" right after "Blind Side," and Anne Hathaway did "Interstellar" not long after picking up an O... Read more

'Red Army' entertainingly reminds us of Russian Hockey's unbeatable era

For a few moments, it feels like a mistake, a director's miscalculation. Read more

Law can't manage to keep 'Black Sea' afloat

His hair is thinning and his features are thickening, and Jude Law is evolving into a more interesting actor as this happens. He's more at home in tough guy roles such as "Dom Hemingway," and the gritty submarine thriller "Black Sea" is his latest one of those. But in this case, it's a salty perf... Read more

Hathaway sings again in 'Song One'

Anne Hathaway didn't sing in "Interstellar," but she does croon a tune in her latest. When the movie's titled "Song One" and is set in the lively indie music scene of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, it's to be expected. But it's not like she's dying to cut a record or tackle more musicals. Read more

'American Sniper' screenwriter Jason Hall: His aim was truth

Jason Hall's screenplay for "American Sniper" earned him an Oscar nomination Thursday. It's not simply a look at the experiences of Chris Kyle, the Navy SEAL considered the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history, he said in a recent phone call. It's an attempt to describe war "in a way that ... Read more

Not even Michael Mann can save 'Blackhat'

January has a reputation as the tar pit of movie months, where bad films go to sink and die, leaving barely a ripple. Read more

'American Sniper' a rich study of war's impact

Clint Eastwood carried guns for generations onscreen. As a filmmaker he sees male heroism as a question, not an answer. Behind the camera he makes stories that focus on painful, alienated men. There were blue-collar Bostonians scarred by an abusive past in "Mystic River," and views of war punishi... Read more

Charming bear, less charming film

Please don't judge the film adaptation of "Paddington" by its movie poster. On the poster, Paddington the bear looks like the creepy British cousin of the Snuggle fabric softener bear. Read more

Chris Hemsworth and Michael Mann misfire in cyber-thriller 'Blackhat'

I can see casting Chris Hemsworth as Thor. After all, he's 6 feet 3, and Hollywood's physique trainers have bulked him up to Marvel superhero quality. And he was acceptable as Formula 1 racer James Hunt in "Rush." His male model looks explained Hunt's legion of lady fans better than scenes of him... Read more

Bradley Cooper takes dead aim on 'American Sniper'

Bradley Cooper has established himself over the past few years as a competent and engaging dramatic actor with roles in "Silver Linings Playbook" and "American Hustle." Before those films, he got away with banking on his natural charm and dry sense of humor. Read more

'Most Violent Year' a study of angst, anxiety and paranoia

Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) wants to be a real American man. When we meet him, he's striving to fulfill the dreams of many immigrant Latinos, speaking his New York City English with flawless intelligence and emotional restraint, trying hard to outpace anyone he regards as a business rival to his p... Read more

'Wedding Ringer' is a winner

"The Wedding Ringer" is "Wedding Crashers Redux," a "Hangover Lite" that softens manic funnyman Kevin Hart's persona into someone almost as funny, but more sentimental than abrasive. That helps "Ringer" work as a bromantic comedy that feels like a romantic comedy. Read more

'Blackhat' panders to China and punctures Michael Mann's movie making reputation

As focused as the blurred, often random moments of unsteady steadicam shots and as coherent as co-star Wei Tang's indecipherable Chinese accent, Michael Mann's "Blackhat" is a classic January fire sale thriller. Read more

Josh Gad and Kevin Hart team up for 'The Wedding Ringer'

Interesting factoid: The guy who voiced Olaf, the snowman who pines for summer in "Frozen," grew up in the Sunshine State. Read more

Oscar underdog Redmayne may have done the most impressive acting job last year

Golden Globe winner Eddie Redmayne had to come up with a few more surprised and "incredibly honored" remarks when his Oscar nomination for "The Theory of Everything" was announced Thursday. He's trying to keep his head about him, even as the acclaim piles up for his portrayal of astrophysicist St... Read more

Capsule reviews of feature films

ANNIE 2 1/2 stars. Ho-hum remake, and update, of the movie musical about a plucky orphan and the moneyed patriarch whose icy heart is toasted like campfire marshmallows once he lets the girl into his life. Beasts of the Southern Wild's Quvenzhane Wallis is a charmer in the title role, Jamie Foxx,... Read more

'Spare Parts' makes a case for the value of America's undocumented teens

"Spare Parts" is a pleasant enough run-of-the-mill outsiders-beat-the-odds dramedy in the "Race the Sun" mold. Read more

Family guide to new movie releases

"Paddington" Read more

Bonneville leaves Downton for Paddington Station, and has a bear of a time

Hugh Bonneville was more than happy to hang up his "monkey suit," the tuxedos, uniforms and evening clothes he's oft encased in on "Downton Abbey." "Oh my heavens, yes!" But it took a movie, with him co-starring with a cuddly bear, to manage it. Read more

Ewan McGregor turns bad, and then some, for 'Son of a Gun'

You've never seen Ewan McGregor quite like this - all sadistic and ruthless and what not. Read more

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