new this week in U.S., Canadian, and U.K. theaters: ‘The A-Team,’ ‘The Karate Kid,’ ‘Letters to Juliet,’ ‘Brooklyn’s Finest,’ more

U.S. AND CANADA/OPENING WIDE The A-Team: A stirring drama of wrongly convicted patriots who get mad and kick some ass. If you can’t make it to the multiplex, try: • The A-Team (1983-1987): The entire series is newly available in a cool new box set. • The Great Escape (1963): This Steve McQueen military classic … more…

my week at the movies: ‘Brooklyn’s Finest,’ ‘Cop Out,’ ‘The Secret of Kells,’ ‘A Prophet (Un Prophète),’ ‘The Crazies,’ ‘The Art of the Steal’

Looks like Ethan Hawke got a promotion from his Los Angeles Training Day and a crosscountry transfer to serve with Brooklyn’s Finest (opens in the U.S. and Canada on March 5; no U.K. release date has been announced). Looks intense… And then there’s Cop Out (opens in the U.S. and Canada on February 26, and … more…

Daybreakers (review)

It’s the perfect, ultimate, brilliant extrapolation of the vampire conceit: What happens once almost everyone’s a vampire, unturned humans are nearly extinct, and the tastiest, most satisfying blood — the human kind — is running out?

trailer break: ‘Daybreakers’

Take a break from work: watch a trailer… The January release date is not encouraging, but I like this trailer. I like the new take on the very old vampire tropes. I like that this is from brothers Michael and Peter Spierig, who made the surprisingly poignant Undead on the cheap a few years ago … more…

my week at the movies: ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still,’ ‘Doubt,’ ‘Nothing Like the Holidays,’ ‘Yes Man,’ ‘What Doesn’t Kill You,’ ‘Delgo,’ ‘The Tale of Despereaux,’ ‘Valkyrie’ (and on stage, ‘Equus’)

I mentioned in comments here how December for film critics is so insanely busy it feels like there’s no time to sleep. A week like this is what makes me feel this way. Today’s not so bad, as far as being jam-packed with screenings goes, except that today my first screening was at 10am, and … more…

best writing and direction of 2004: cut and print…

BEST DIRECTOR Lars von Trier, Dogville Ever a risktaker, Lars von Trier took one of the biggest risks onscreen in 2004 with a determinedly uncinematic film that was also unabashedly political — a breathtaking and refreshingly daring combination in an era of play-it-safe “entertainment.” Setting his cast and his scene on a bare, black-box stage, … more…