Movie Review

Veteran movie reviewer Jim Erickson shares his no-holds-barred opinions on Hollywood's best efforts. Tune in every Thursday for the latest review.

It isn't so much the beatings that make 12 Years A Slave hard to watch-- they will, in any case, not appall the moviegoers who have made the Saw and Hostel franchises profitable, and there are only a few of them-- it's the endless pitilessness of the white characters' attitudes toward the black characters, their utter inability to recognize them as human beings. Paul Giamatti and Benedict Cumberbatch are miles apart morally, but notice how each feels about separating families at the auction...

Ender's Game is more doggedly devoted to mid-teenaged players of video games than anything I have seen.

The Counselor has this in common with The Butler : that the main character has very little to do with the action of the movie.

Almost nobody is as ignorant about internets and websites and computers as I am, so I assume that almost anybody will understand The Fifth Estate better than I did.

Captain Phillips is the supposedly true story of the hijacking of an American cargo ship by Somalian pirates in 2009, and on the whole its a suspenseful and convincing account with, unfortunately for me, two or three elements that grind me. But they may not bother you, and may actually appeal to you. If you sit farther back from the screen than I did, you might not be as bothered by the jumpy, jerky handheld camera that seems to be intended to related the movements of a ship at sea, because...

Enough Said is a very good realistic romantic comedy in which people act very much like people do in real life, and life rolls along at a nice steady pace without a lot of shouting and battle.

Rush is a superior race car movie that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Prisoners starts out as a pretty realistic story about youngsters who go missing, morphs into a story of how people react to terrible loss and lust for vengeance-- almost an anti-vigilante story-- and ends up as a fairly standard mystery with a lot of twists and turns. And, and is common these days, it's less a trail of clues to be unraveled to a logical solution than a story of dogged pursuit of possible suspects, until almost by accident the truth comes out. It works well at every stage,...

The Family seems to want to be a comedy, but its supposedly sympathetic protagonists react to even the slightest discontents with excessive violence.

Closed Circuit is another of those mystery thrillers in which everybody is keeping secrets from everybody else, to the extent that defense attorneys Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall are not allowed to communicate with each other, and their defendant won't speak to them.