Actor and Hip Hop head Michael Rapaport's documentary explores the breaks and the cracks in the road that have derailed A Tribe Called Quest, one of the most widely recognized crews to ever enter the game. Grade: B-plus.
Director Lone Scherfig (An Education) teams up with novelist David Nicholls and stars Jim Sturgess and Anne Hathaway to re-create a one-day-a-year romance and drama of a pair of star-crossed lovers who meet the night of their college graduation and struggle to remain connected over the course of two decades. Grade: C-plus.
A year ago Brit Marling was just another aspiring Los Angeles-based actress and filmmaker with visions of cinematic grandeur. Flash-forward 12 months and the 27-year-old is living the Sundance dream as a promising multi-hyphenate talent whose breakout film, Another Earth, is invading art-house cinemas across the country and whose blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty has yielded glossy magazine spreads.
Hold 'Another Earth' up to one starry light and you'll see a sci-fi fantasy about parallel worlds. Seen through a grainier lens is a Sundance melodrama of moral and emotional recovery from trauma and crippling guilt. Both are goofy and good. Grade: B-plus.
Steven Quale, a second unit director on 'Avatar,' knows how to make good use of 3-D effects, but all the effects tricks in the world can't help him with narrative logic and character development. Grade: D-plus.
The concert movie's musical revue-styled song choices from all over the genre map are staged without too much muss and fuss, meaning that everything holds together thanks to sheer stage presence and vocal power. Grade: C-plus.
DreamWorks stands Mississippi native Kathryn Stockett's stock characters in front of postcard-perfect sets that recall the halcyon days of America before the reality of racial inequality and social justice intruded on our national consciousness, back when we could ignore mundane mistreatment because that was just the way of the world. Grade: D.
When a couple of numbskulls kidnap a slacker pizza delivery guy (Jesse Eisenberg), strap a bomb to his chest and order him to rob a bank in less than 10 hours, the pizza guy grabs his best friend (Aziz Ansari) and gets stone cold gangsta in this comic heist that steals as much attention thanks to its efficient thrills as for its raunchy humor. Grade: A.
New 'Apes' movie moves into a new direction via ideas that borrow more from the last decade’s worth of action thrillers rather than slavish devotion to all of those damned dirty apes and the feel-good socio-political posturing that came before. Grade: B-plus.
Director David Dobkin has no signature style (it could be argued that he has no style at all, actually), which means that he’s simply going lewd and crude, and that handcuffs his stars, Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds. Grade: F.
The film, by shifting its time periods, seems to want to draw upon the epic possibility of history but instead it locks its two leading ladies and the filmmakers into an airless and pedestrian resolution. Grade: C-plus.
Jon Favreau and his all-star producers (Brian Glazer, Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg) along with a solid cast keep the whole shebang banging, but there's not one ounce of heart or believability to be found in this genre mashup. Should rustle up a few bucks at the box office, but it won't inspire the shock and awe of a calvary ride from the good old days. Grade: C-.
James Marsh, director of 'Man on Wire,' examines the 25-year chronicle of Nim Chimpsky, a research chimpanzee who was put through the mill in the service of science when Columbia University professor Herb Terrace took the baby chimp away from his mother and attempted to train it to communicate through sign language. Grade: A.
As directed by Raja Gosnell, 'The Smurfs' hits every required element for such movies: musical number, toilet gags, rib-nudging pop-culture references, sloppy sentimentality. The familiar blue faces from the '80s cartoon, now in CGI, form-fly through a vortex from their Smurf village to New York City, where they can be a problem for an overworked, soon-to-be-first-time-dad marketing executive (Neil Patrick Harris). Grade: D-.
Cal is the latest Steve Carell iteration from directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (the writing/directing combo behind 'I Love You Phillip Morris') facing his moment on the precipice. Having completed dinner with his wife Emily (Julianne Moore), he proposes that, on the count of three, they offer up the first thing that comes to mind. He's scanning dessert options; she asks for a divorce. Grade: B-.