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How Do You Know (review)

I’d really like to give writer-director James L. Brooks the benefit of the doubt here, because I think — as I usually don’t about asinine romantic comedies — that he means well. He simply doesn’t seem to realize that pathologically messed up characters are neither cute nor charming.

Women in Trouble (review)

Apparently, in Gutierrez’s mind, expanding the range of humanity available to women on film means they can be porn stars or prostitutes, they can be neurotic and indecisive, they’re all almost certainly suvivors of physical and emotional abuse, and they can be catastrophically dumb…

The Departed (review)

This is the smartest kind of spectacular that an international remake can be: it picks up the clever threads of story from its source material and weaves them into another world in such a way that it’s hard to see how they didn’t spring from that world in the first place.

Terms of Endearment (review)

It’s a complicated love/hate relationship that mothers and daughters share. They can be each other’s best friend and worst enemy, often at the same time. Terms of Endearment perfectly captures that morass of conflicting emotions — at least from the daughter’s point of view, as I can testify from personal experience.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (review)

It’s ironic that the image of Jack Nicholson’s character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest — R.P. ‘Mac’ McMurphy, in that black watch cap and grinning his devilish grin — has become a kind of visual shorthand for insanity. McMurphy isn’t insane. I’m not sure if very many of the characters surrounding him in this quietly shocking movie are, either.

Deep Impact (review)

Deep Impact isn’t about the audience watching the world end — it’s about us empathizing with the people watching the world end. Big diff. But the sold-out, opening-night crowd I saw Deep Impact with wanted none of that.