The Grand Budapest Hotel is the
latest release from Wes Anderson, the precious stylist who seems intent
on claiming the distinction of being the current iteration of early
Woody Allen — meaning he’s adept at aggressively being himself.
A flawed decision to split the final installment of the Harry Potter books into two films results in a formless narrative that overstays its welcome. For as detailed as director David Yates attempts to be with slick visual effects that periodically invigorate the movie, the overemphasized spectacle merely illustrates the film's lacking storyline. Grade: C.
The Iraq War has yielded a number of strong documentaries that tackle the topic both directly and indirectly. Successful fictional features, on the other hand, have been few and far between. Until now. Based on the first-hand reporting of journalist and screenwriter Mark Boal, 'The Hurt Locker' is an unrelenting, impressively self-contained pressure cooker that feels both deeply authentic and appropriately unsettling. Grade A.