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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.