Foreign films do well in the United States in proportion to how successfully their captivating stories feel as close as next door - not foreign at all but intimate and familiar. French filmmaker Jacques Audiard does this with startling acuity in his new movie Rust and Bone, where Oscar winner Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose) and Belgian star-in-the-making Matthias Schoenaerts ferociously embody lost souls bonded by their inner demons and outer damage.
We may never know the whole truth of what led to the killing of Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011, but the chronology and intricate plotting on display in Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty - as controversial as they have proven to be - make for riveting cinema. It's a movie whose heart pulses at a rapid rate that, in certain scenes, will match your own.
In Friends With Kids, Jason (Adam Scott) and Julie (Jennifer Westfeldt) play two best friends who decide to have a baby together while keeping their relationship platonic — so that the baby doesn't interfere with their own romantic relationships.
It's time for end-of-year lists. Fresh Air movie critic David Edelstein stubbornly refuses to either place his top picks in numerical order or make his list an even number of 10. Instead, he places his 12 favorite films from 2012 in alphabetical order, from Amour to Zero Dark Thirty.
Of the 12 films he picked for 2012, not one, Edelstein says, would he call the "M"-word — a masterpiece. That designation he reserves for the new extended DVD cut of Kenneth Lonergan's film Margaret.
At the 46th annual gathering of the Kansas City Film Critics Circle honoring achievements in film in 2012, Paul Thomas Anderson's fictitious take on a Scientology-like cult The Master squeaked out a Best Picture win over Life of Pi.
Writer/Director David O. Russell, who turned the 2010 boxing movie The Fighter into a devastating drama about a high-strung, high-maintenance family with Shakespearean flaws, is exactly the right person to be at the helm of the new black comedy Silver Linings Playbook.
Now that he's retired his Spider-Man tights, actor Tobey Maguire is comfortably growing into adult roles, like that of Dr. Jeffrey Lang, the contentiously married and sexually frustrated ob-gyn he plays in Jacob Aaron Estes' black comedy The Details.