Sufficiently gripping and sprawling enough to qualify as epic-scale, and sunny enough despite its subject matter to land a Best Foreign Language Film nomination, “Outside the Law” presents the revolutionary struggle for Algerian independence as if it were a Hollywood action flick spliced with a postwar neo-realist drama spiked with DNA from “The Godfather.” Crazier still, writer-director Rachid Bouchareb generally pulls off such an unlikely saga. Read More
Do you have a weakness for windswept bowl cuts? Like your pinup boys safe, clean-cut and Canadian? Are you a 14-year-old girl with a pulse? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, you might just have a case of Bieber Fever.
Formerly quarantined to concert halls, the Internet and the streets of Stratford, Ontario, where the young pop star once wowed passers-by with acoustic renditions of his favorite songs, the Justin Bieber contagion has spread to the screen, where he bares all (figuratively, ladies) in Jon Chu’s 3-D documentary “Never Say Never.” Read More
Lesley Ann Warren’s career started out as something of a Cinderella story, filling the glass slipper of Julie Andrews for a remake of the television musical.Two decades later, Warren and Andrews shared the screen in “Victor/Victoria,” a different kind of Cinderella story that Marc Huestis will screen as a Valentine’s Day celebration at the Castro Theatre, with Warren in attendance. Read More
Unlike Jamie Bell, his co-star in “The Eagle,” a new adventure inspired by the legend of Rome’s Ninth Legion — which, around the year 117, is said to have vanished north of Hadrian’s Wall — Channing Tatum is no stranger to playing the hard guy. In 2009 alone, he starred as a bare-knuckles brawler in “Fighting,” a military hotshot in “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” and as the notorious Pretty Boy Floyd in Michael Mann’s “Public Enemies.” Read More
More than five months ago, Tom Hooper put the finishing touches on “The King’s Speech,” a fan favorite at last year’s Mill Valley Film Festival and now an Oscar nominee in 12 categories, including Best Picture. Today, the London-born director, also nominated, is counting the hours until the Feb. 27 awards ceremony — not because he’s expecting a statuette, but because he wants to go back to work. Read More
Produced by James Cameron and driven by the groundbreaking 3-D technology he created for “Avatar,” “Sanctum” is more spectacle than story, though screenwriters John Garvin and Andrew Wight have done their best to wring compelling drama out of the suicidal misadventures of spelunkers trapped in a flooded cave. Read More
Erotic, stylish and often-juicy fun, writer-director Im Sang-soo’s “The Housemaid” is an experience far fresher and more personality-rich than most of what passes for original studio material, despite its status as a remake and its familiar story involving the mistreatment and seduction of a servant girl.
Unfortunately, however, this South Korean drama does not sustain its sizzle in either of the arenas in which it initially appears headed for distinction — psycho-soaper or wicked satire — over the long haul. Read More
The Mostly British Film Festival launches its third annual lineup Thursday, and Anglophiles and cinema lovers of all stripes are likely to find something to savor. Domestic dramas, war stories, culture-clash comedies, gangster flicks, award-winning documentaries and a quirky indie about two traveling psychics are on the bill — some before a regular theatrical run and some that local filmgoers may otherwise never have the chance to see. Read More
Those who remember the 1972 thriller “The Mechanic,” starring Charles Bronson as an impenetrably stoic hit man who takes a murdered friend’s son as his apprentice, will recognize the key players in Simon West’s louder, more aggressive remake. Jason Statham is Arthur Bishop, younger but no less disillusioned than Bronson’s solitary killer; Ben Foster is Steve, his depraved understudy; Donald Sutherland is Harry, Bishop’s friend and Steve’s estranged father, whose association with the murder-for-hire crowd ends as violently as one might expect. Read More
Father Lucas doesn’t toe the company line. The Vatican’s resident exorcist for more than 20 years, he struggles with misgivings — about God, and the Catholic church’s stringent interpretations of His laws — but rather than hide them behind a cloak of righteous certainty, he flaunts them with something like pride. He is, as a former governor of Alaska might say, a maverick. Read More