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new this week in U.S., Canadian, and U.K. theaters: ‘Despicable Me,’ ‘Predators,’ ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,’ more

U.S. AND CANADA/OPENING WIDE Despicable Me: “It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!” is my new go-to phrase for when I’m excited about anything. If you can’t make it to the multiplex, try: • The Incredibles (2004): the last great animated movie about supervillains (and the superheroes who thwart them). • 101 Dalmatians (1961): For one … more…

my week at the movies: ‘Shrink,’ ‘In the Loop’

Slow screening week, as holiday weeks tend to be… Kevin Spacey is a Hollywood psychiatrist in Shrink (opens in the U.S. on July 24; no U.K. release date has been announced yet). I hope he goes all American Beauty on the asses of all his celebrity clients and tells them to shove their problems while … more…

ho ho no: anticonsumer movies for your holiday pleasure

A day after a man was trampled to death at a Long Island Wal-Mart — not by starving hoards rushing for the last can of Spam but by holiday shoppers desperate to save ten bucks on a cheap-ass made-in-China DVD player — Entertainment Weekly posted a DVD roundup called “Shop ‘Til You Drop: 20 Movies … more…

American Beauty (again) (review)

Was American Beauty the single best film of 1999? I can’t decide. The second time I watched the film, on a widescreen video screener after it won the Oscar for Best Picture, I thought with horror: I named this sitcom one of my best films of the year? On a third viewing, also on the small screen, I saw once again all the brilliance that I saw the first time around, and more.

top 11 movies of 1999

Like Nigel Tufnel’s amp, this one goes to 11. I agonized over this, trying to whittle down a list of about 25 great movies of 1999 to a mere 10, and I just couldn’t go that far. It pained me to eliminate some wonderful — and wonderfully adult — dramas from the list. The Cider … more…

American Beauty (review)

The Lester that American Beauty offers us at first is anything but inspirational — in fact, he may be one of the most unlikable protagonists to hit the screen in a while. A ‘horny geek boy,’ as his teenage daughter calls him, a ‘gigantic loser’ as he calls himself, Lester tells us right as the film opens that he’ll be dead in less than a year. And we don’t care.