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DVD Review: ‘Odd’ fantasy explores challenges of parenting

You may have missed The Odd Life of Timothy Green. It slipped into theaters at the end of the summer just as we were heading back to school. A lovely autumn movie filled with golden leaves and burnished tones, it arrives on DVD as that rare film that works for parents and kids, giving all of us a deeper appreciation of the gift and challenge of family.

‘The Hobbit’ barely survives overblown production

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images The first question on many fans’ minds when director Peter Jackson announced he’d be filming The Hobbit as a follow-up to his nine-hour Lord of the Rings adaptation, was: Will this one be produced on a smaller […]

Film Review: ‘Lincoln’ depicts politics in all its unsavory glory

The film covers just a segment of Lincoln’s life. In 1865, the war rages on and Lincoln’s desperate battle to save the Union is still in doubt. The Battle of Gettysburg, and the inspirational speech given there, is a raw memory. Lincoln has won and begun a second term as President. His Emancipation Proclamation, a wartime edict freeing slaves, has been in effect for two years.

Animated Disney adventure holds plenty of charm

By Rebecca Cusey, Special Contributor… Wreck-It Ralph Rated PG for some rude humor and mild action/violence If Disney’s latest animated creation, Wreck-It Ralph, feels a little familiar, hewing closely to the lines of Pixar’s Toy Story, who can say that’s a bad thing? It’s like comparing a new car to a Ferrari. It may not […]

Film review: Argo works as thrill ride, but retains human drama

Six embassy staffers manage to evade capture, leave the building and find shelter in the home of the Canadian ambassador. For the next two months, the U.S. State Department scrambles for a way to rescue them in secret, and thus avoid jeopardizing the safety of the 52 hostages.

Film Review: ‘Sugar Man’—an artist’s resurrection and rebirth

By Christian Hamaker, Special Contributor… Searching for Sugar Man Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some drug references This September, a singer from Detroit performed what the Washington Post called “a charming and awesomely odd show”—his first in the D.C. area in many years. It was a wonder he attracted a paying audience, given […]

Film Review: Star-powered Hope Springs prompts talk about marriage

By Rebecca Cusey, Special Contributor… Hope Springs Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content involving sexuality It’s become quite fashionable to cluck and sigh at romantic comedies that end with the girl getting her guy and, perhaps, a ring. “That’s just the beginning,” we scold. “What happens after that? What about grown-up romances? The ones that […]

DVD Review: Bernie’s story on film feels odd but engaging

Bernie Rated PG-13 for some violent images and brief strong language The lines between comedic drama and documentary seem a little blurred in Bernie. At least, that’s true until we adjust to writer-director Richard Linklater’s unusual approach. Local “interviews” (mostly scripted with co-writer Skip Hollandsworth) are used throughout to narrate this tale of money, murder […]

Film Review: Who will save us from the coming storm?

By Rebecca Cusey, Special Contributor… The Dark Knight Rises Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language   So you say you want a revolution? Are you—to paraphrase a character in this story—tired of the rich living so large and leaving so little for the rest of us? Do the […]

Film review: Pixar’s latest serves up some pleasant surprises

By Rebecca Cusey, Special Contributor  Brave Rated PG for some scary action and rude humor Brave, the first release from Pixar to star a female lead, is a bit of a conundrum for the movie critic. It’s one of those flicks in which a writer should not reveal the central surprise that comprises the bulk […]