• Take This Waltz

    Take This Waltz

    ★★★½

    Take This Waltz is a smart portrayal of a love triangle without the kind of obvious conclusion you see in most Hollywood rom-coms. I almost turned it off after the first 15 minutes because Michelle Williams was a little TOO twee and adorable, and the dialogue between her and Daniel (the guy who isn't Seth Rogen) often feels forced and self-conscious. I could see it on the page.

    But I'm ultimately glad I stuck with it and the more obviously…

  • Back to the Future Part II

    Back to the Future Part II

    ★★½

    I did not see any Back to the Future sequels until I was in my late 20s, so I have no nostalgic memories of this movie. There's no question that the point of view of an adult living in the 2000s is going to be different from a 10-year-old in the '80s -- and not for the benefit of the movie.

    Biff in all incarnations is distractingly over the top. The world of the future and Biff's world feel gross…

  • Frances Ha

    Frances Ha

    ★★★★★

    There are not many films that explore the rocky, lovely terrain of female best-friendships. (Heavenly Creatures and Ghost World are a couple more favorites, although the comic book does it better in the case of Ghost World.) Frances Ha does it so well and so honestly. I want to wrap up a copy of this movie and give it as a gift to every creatively-minded girl graduating from college with a note that says, "Open when you turn 27 and are wondering what happened to your life." At least she'll know she's not alone. And there is hope for her yet.

  • Mud

    Mud

    ★★★★½

    In this movie, romantic love is a boat washed up into a tree: seemingly impossible, a little magical and scary too. Ellis, the 15-year-old protagonist, is exactly at the point in life where he is trying to figure out what love is, and in the course of the movie has his eyes opened to the various ways men and women can wrong, betray and misunderstand each other through the adult male characters around him. But there's still that boat in…

  • Chaplin

    Chaplin

    ★★½

    Assembled like a third grader's book report about Charlie Chaplin's life ("...and then this happened, and then he married this lady..."), but Robert Downey Jr's performance keeps it watchable throughout.

  • In the Cut

    In the Cut

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I thoroughly enjoyed Top of the Lake, the newish Jane Campion miniseries, so I decided to finally watch In the Cut, which I had always heard very mixed things about.

    My feelings are also mixed. I loved the feeling of menace throughout the film that is so strong, even innocent props become threatening. You never really trust anyone, but it doesn't feel contrived. And the final showdown between Frannie and the killer sparked some thoughts about the expectations and pressures…