film review

Arts & Culture
6:00 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Film Review: Reese Witherspoon Takes A Brutal Walk On The 'Wild' Side

Reese WItherspoon in 'Wild.'
Credit Fox Searchlight

Cheryl Strayed's best-selling memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail suggested to more than a million readers that the way to tame inner demons is to redefine what it means to navigate a wild life. Jean-Marc Vallee, the director of last year's Oscar-winning Dallas Buyers Club, has adapted Strayed's book into a beautiful and gritty film with a transformative performance by Reese Witherspoon at its core.

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Central Standard
2:51 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Science Fiction and Science Fact In Interstellar

The film, Interstellar, shows us what a black hole may look like.
Credit The Verge

"Science fiction is a laboratory for experimenting with ideas," says Chris McKitterick.

The film Interstellar stretches scientific knowledge to spark our imaginations and address not-so-fictional problems. What were the dynamic take-aways for an astrophysicist, a science fiction expert, and a movie critic?

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Arts & Culture
6:28 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Film Review: 'Night Moves' A Morality Tale Where Environmental Activism Turns Deadly

Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, and Peter Sarsgaard star in 'Night Moves,' directed by Kelly Reichardt.
Credit Courtesy / Tipping Point Productions/Cinedigm.

In Kelly Reichardt’s astonishingly good thriller Night Moves, a trio of environmental activists gets trapped in a political and deadly morass of their own making. Played by Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard, they demonstrate to a fault what happens when passion for a cause is trumped by human frailty.

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6:00 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Film Review: In East Texas, Blood Runs 'Cold In July'

Sam Shepard, Michael C. Hall, and Don Johnson form an unlikely trio seeking vengeance in 'Cold in July.'
Credit courtesy: IFC Films

There's a deliberate seediness to the Texas noir Cold in July that makes it both entertaining and calculating. Directed by Jim Mickle, it stars Michael C. Hall as Richard, an ordinary man around whom extraordinarily violent things happen, all triggered by an act of self-defense that leaves a home intruder dead and his living room splattered with brain matter like a Jackson Pollock.

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5:19 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Film Review: In 'Philomena,' The Cruelties Of Youth Are Forgiven

Judi Dench and Steve Coogan become unlikely allies excavating her past in 'Philomena.'
Credit The Weinstein Company

In Stephen Frears' heartfelt and moving Philomena, the most effective shots are among the simplest a filmmaker can employ: tight close-ups. In this case, the camera’s focus is on the furrowed, and inspiringly lived-in face of the great Judi Dench. Playing a woman who longs to discover the whereabouts of the son taken from her when she was a teenager, Dench gives the title character a strength and resolve that has gotten her through the fifty years since she last saw her son.

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Central Standard Friday
9:44 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Movie Critics: The Best Movies Out In June

For years, it seems like Hollywood has been remaking the same films over and over and over again. Have they run out of original ideas? Or is it the movie theaters and the audiences themselves who keep paying for the same movie every summer?

Our movie critics Russ Simmons, Thom Poe, Loey Lockerby, and special guest Justin Scott, director of marketing for Standees theater, talk about the problem of putting all your eggs in one basket, as well as the new and unique movies that Hollywood is making.

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Central Standard
6:06 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Movie Critics: Your Guide To Movie Releases In May

It’s another summer of sequels!

With the release of Iron Man 3, The Hangover Part III, and Fast & Furious 6, it looks like Hollywood is attempting to once again attract people with the familiar and the established.

The movie critics, Russ Simmons, John Tibbetts, and Alan Rapp, discuss their favorite sequels, as well as the movies that never got a sequel, but deserve one (John Carter, anyone?).

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Up to Date
10:41 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

What's Showing In Independent, Foreign & Documentary Film


Ever pretend you were Canadian in a foreign country? A new film based on a true story has a group of Americans doing just that to sneak past Iranian border guards.

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Up To Date
2:36 am
Fri August 24, 2012

What's Showing In Art, Independent, Foreign And Documentary Film

David and Jackie Siegel, the subjects of the documentary "The Queen of Versailles".
Coourtesy of Magnolia Pictures

A dream house, the perfect woman, and one of our greatest singer-songwriters are among the topics of the films being reviewed today. 

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9:00 am
Fri May 25, 2012

'Undefeated' & 'First Position' Explore Challenges Of Youth

Coach Bill Courtney and player in "Undefeated"
Dan Lindsay and T. J. Martin

Two new documentaries arrive in Kansas City this week that look at how a young person's capability for moxie and dedication can be advantageous in two seemingly disparate fields: high school football and ballet.

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Film Review
2:03 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Jack Black Finesses Black Comedy In 'Bernie'

Shirley MacLaine & a hopelessly devoted Jack Black in "Bernie"
Deana Newcomb

Director Richard Linklater's terrific new film, Bernie, unleashes actor Jack Black from his Kung Fu Panda pajamas only to find -  lest we'd forgotten - that he's a really good actor.

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Film Review
8:14 am
Thu May 10, 2012

A Pleasant Stay At 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'

Judi Dench on passage to India in "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"

On the heels of Downton Abbey, the National Theatre of London's HD broadcasts at the Tivoli, and Adele, it seems everything British is hot again.

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Film Review
10:07 am
Thu April 5, 2012

A Quest For Excellence In 'Jiro Dreams Of Sushi'

Chef Jiro Ono surrounded by his art.

"What defines deliciousness?" is the first line of David Gelb's splendid documentary about Jiro Ono, the oldest chef on the planet to be awarded three Michelin Guide stars, the restaurant world's top honor.

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Film Review
9:12 am
Thu April 5, 2012

'Once Upon A Time In Anatolia' An Autopsy Of A Crime

Scene of the crime in "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

 An American audience spoon-fed on quick-paced television crime dramas may find the Turkish film Once Upon a Time in Anatolia a bit snoozy.

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Film Review
5:30 am
Fri March 2, 2012

Harrelson's Dark Side Shines In "Rampart"

Woody Harrelson's mean streaks in "Rampart."

Rampart, featuring a shattering performance by Woody Harrelson as a messed-up Los Angeles cop with a mean streak and a pitiful capacity for self-harm, is the second Harrelson film to be directed by Oren Moverman (The Messenger brought Harrelson an Oscar nomination in 2011) and his first collaboration with former Kansas Citian James Ellroy.

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Film Review
11:33 am
Thu March 1, 2012

'The Women On The 6th Floor' Channels Almodovar Of Yore

Maids to order in "The Women on the 6th Floor"

Fans of Spanish director Pedro Almodovar either loved his last movie, The Skin I Live In, or found it cold and bereft of the mirth and merriment of most of his previous work.

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Film Review
11:16 am
Wed February 29, 2012

'A Separation' Offers Peek Into Contemporary Iran

An Iranian couple plead their case for "A Separation."

When the Kansas City Film Critics Circle gathered in early January to honor the year in film, only about half the room had seen the Iranian movie A Separation, yet it managed to win the group's Best Foreign Film prize.

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