Mother of the Year

The Babadook transcends horror tropes with genuine emotion.

Movie Reviews & Stories Dressed in a flowing trench coat and tattered black hat, the apparition in the superb Aussie creeper The Babadook immediately lodges itself in your nightmares. First glimpsed in a Edward Gorey-e ... More

Dec 16, 2014 06:24 pm by AP KRYZA

Foxcatcher

World’s worst boss.

Movie Reviews & Stories If Michael Scott had been born disgustingly rich, with a crooked beak for a nose, he would’ve been John du Pont. A lot has been made of Steve Carell’s dark turn as the heir to one of the gra ... More

Dec 16, 2014 06:29 pm by MATTHEW SINGER

Annie

’Stead of treated, we get tricked.

Movie Reviews & Stories Rebooting a franchise can shed new light on a story. Take Annie: In director Will Gluck’s version, the plucky, white orphan is now a plucky, African-American foster kid, played by 10-year-old ... More

Dec 16, 2014 06:38 pm by JAMES HELMSWORTH

AP Film Studies: Free Spirit of ’77

Author larry colton on the bizarre Blazers documentary Fast Break.

Movie Reviews & Stories Most sports documentaries focus on athletes in action. Very few feature cartoon butterflies. Even fewer have sitar music. And only one boasts an NBA All-Star on a berry-picking bike odyssey ... More

Dec 17, 2014 12:01 am by AP KRYZA
 
 

Mother of the Year

The Babadook transcends horror tropes with genuine emotion.

Movie Reviews & Stories Dressed in a flowing trench coat and tattered black hat, the apparition in the superb Aussie creeper The Babadook immediately lodges itself in your nightmares. First glimpsed in a Edward Gorey-e ... More

Dec 16, 2014 06:24 pm by AP KRYZA

Foxcatcher

World’s worst boss.

Movie Reviews & Stories If Michael Scott had been born disgustingly rich, with a crooked beak for a nose, he would’ve been John du Pont. A lot has been made of Steve Carell’s dark turn as the heir to one of the gra ... More

Dec 16, 2014 06:29 pm by MATTHEW SINGER

Annie

’Stead of treated, we get tricked.

Movie Reviews & Stories Rebooting a franchise can shed new light on a story. Take Annie: In director Will Gluck’s version, the plucky, white orphan is now a plucky, African-American foster kid, played by 10-year-old ... More

Dec 16, 2014 06:38 pm by JAMES HELMSWORTH

AP Film Studies: Free Spirit of ’77

Author larry colton on the bizarre Blazers documentary Fast Break.

Movie Reviews & Stories Most sports documentaries focus on athletes in action. Very few feature cartoon butterflies. Even fewer have sitar music. And only one boasts an NBA All-Star on a berry-picking bike odyssey ... More

Dec 17, 2014 12:01 am by AP KRYZA

Wild: Movie Review

The film adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's Wild blazes a powerful trail.

Movie Reviews & Stories On the Pacific Crest Trail, hikers speak of the “green tunnel” that greets you in Oregon. This tunnel—lush layers of moss and ferns and Douglas fir—rarely breaks for views and drenches those who enter. As Reese ... More

Dec 9, 2014 06:36 pm by REBECCA JACOBSON

Top Five: Movie Review

Chris Rock makes a true Chris Rock joint.

Movie Reviews & Stories Chris Rock took way too long to play himself in a movie. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say he took far too long to make a movie that sounds like he does. That’s the immediate thing to ... More

Dec 10, 2014 12:01 am by MATTHEW SINGER

AP Film Studies: Reel Christmas Cheer

The holliest, jolliest movies at beer theaters.

Movie Reviews & Stories In December, resisting Christmas movies is impossible. But this is Portland, dammit, which means you’ve got more options than watching Charlie Brown deal with his manic depression from the sol ... More

Dec 9, 2014 06:47 pm by AP KRYZA

AP Film Studies: True Love

Cary Elwes on The Princess Bride and drinking with André.

Movie Reviews & Stories Presumably due to a bout with being “nearly dead” or interference by the Dread Pirate Roberts, actor Cary Elwes has postponed his Portland visit this week to Dec. 17—making us all, like so ... More

Dec 2, 2014 07:08 pm by AP KRYZA

The Great Invisible: Movie Review

Built to spill.

Movie Reviews & Stories In contrast to its name, The Great Invisible opens with something very much visible: ribbons of copper-colored oil floating in the otherwise shockingly blue Gulf of Mexico, like an exquisite mod ... More

Dec 2, 2014 06:56 pm by KAT MERCK

The Homesman: Movie Review

Wigging out in the Wild West.

Movie Reviews & Stories Mary Bee Cuddy is an eligible bachelorette, and not just for the 1850s. She owns land in the Nebraska Territory, has a fine singing voice and can fry up a delicious chicken dinner. But, as cru ... More

Dec 2, 2014 06:01 pm by MICHAEL NORDINE

AP Film Studies: Portland’s Poet

Walt Curtis on Mala Noche, Portland’s literary history and Hollywood dildos.

Movie Reviews & Stories Poet Walt Curtis sits in a tiny room in his shared house in Kerns, amid stacks of books and papers and an in-progress abstract nude painting. As the smell of grilled meat wafts in from the Mexican ... More

Nov 26, 2014 12:01 am by AP KRYZA

Goodbye to Language

Farthouse cinema.

Movie Reviews & Stories Jean-Luc Godard could make a movie about a potato and produce something engrossing. Goodbye to Language is a new 3-D essay film by this luminary of the French New Wave, which is another way of s ... More

Nov 25, 2014 06:30 pm by MICHAEL NORDINE

The Way He Looks

Bach and Belle (and Sebastian)

Movie Reviews & Stories Forget the love triangle. The Way He Looks gives us the love rhombus. Giovana loves Leonardo but Leonardo loves Gabriel and Gabriel loves Belle and Sebastian. The film, from Brazilian writer-d ... More

Nov 25, 2014 06:30 pm by DEBORAH KENNEDY

Keep On Keepin’ On

Too much of a good thing.

Movie Reviews & Stories There’s nothing inherently bad about a happy film. But there’s nothing inherently good, either. That’s the case with Keep On Keepin’ On, a documentary about jazz trumpeter Clark Terry and hi ... More

Nov 18, 2014 08:19 pm by JAMES HELMSWORTH

The Theory of Everything

Relatively speaking.

Movie Reviews & Stories A brief history of Stephen Hawking’s 30-year marriage to Jane Wilde, The Theory of Everything fits a tad too snugly into the biopic tradition. Anyone who’s seen Errol Morris’ expressionist ... More

Nov 18, 2014 08:21 pm by MICHAEL NORDINE

AP Film Studies: Insane in the Ukraine

The psychedelic mania of Ivan Kupalo.

Movie Reviews & Stories With imagery that makes Dali’s surrealism look like a kids’ coloring book—pig-riding demons, bleeding bread, slain children—and enough psychedelic color washes to give Dario Argento a ... More

Nov 19, 2014 12:01 am by AP KRYZA

Rosewater

Jon Stewart goes to Iran.

Movie Reviews & Stories Rosewater is a torture film in which suffering is beside the point—it’s a lovely romp in the fields of tyranny. Gael García Bernal, who plays unjustly imprisoned Iranian-Canadian journalist ... More

Nov 11, 2014 07:04 pm by MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Force Majeure

On thin ice.

Movie Reviews & Stories The family of four lies on the bed, limbs intertwined. They’re Swedish. So of course they’re gorgeous—they look ripped from a Hanna Andersson catalog, down to their matching thermal underw ... More

Nov 11, 2014 07:07 pm by REBECCA JACOBSON

Willamette Whoops

Remembering 40 years of misguided film criticism.

Movie Reviews & Stories Everyone’s had opinions they regret. Part of being a critic means having those opinions published and preserved. No one nails every review, especially when overnighting a challenging movie. Even ... More

Nov 5, 2014 12:01 am by WW Staff

Interstellar

Christopher Nolan aces art class but flunks astronomy.

Movie Reviews & Stories Christopher Nolan is Hollywood’s most masterful huckster: a blockbuster auteur who uses incredible sleight of hand to elevate into art what other directors would leave as garbage. He is the ki ... More

Nov 4, 2014 07:39 pm by AP KRYZA

Citizenfour

With every move he makes, another chance he takes.

Movie Reviews & Stories History happens in real time in Citizenfour, a behind-closed-doors account of Edward Snowden’s decision to reveal the dizzying extent of government surveillance programs. Much of Laura Poitr ... More

Nov 4, 2014 07:40 pm by MICHAEL NORDINE

AP Film Studies: H.I. and Mighty

Raising Arizona and the art of loquacious lowlifes.

Movie Reviews & Stories Did somebody tell the Coen brothers to shut up? ILLUSTRATION: Allison KerekMaybe it’s a response to Tom Hanks’ silver-tongued jackass in the reviled 2004 remake of The Ladykillers, but with th ... More

Nov 4, 2014 07:37 pm by AP KRYZA

Fuss and Feathers

Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman can’t quite take flight.

Movie Reviews & Stories In Birdman, our protagonist is Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton), a washed-up actor who once wore wings as the titular superhero. But in this film, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, the ... More

Oct 29, 2014 12:01 am by REBECCA JACOBSON

AP Film Studies: Bleeding Kansas

The creepy, logical consequences of Return to Oz.

Movie Reviews & Stories Dorothy Gale is facing lobotomy. Oz is a wasteland dominated by a giant rock monster. An evil witch with a collection of interchangeable heads roams the land, while the folks walking a destroyed ... More

Oct 29, 2014 12:01 am by AP KRYZA

Listen Up Philip

Schwartzman unbound.

Movie Reviews & Stories Oh, the bittersweet deliciousness of being an asshole. Listen Up Philip revels in it. Director Alex Ross Perry has said in interviews that his film is an amalgamated homage to Philip Roth, and t ... More

Oct 29, 2014 12:01 am by MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Whiplash

Jazz as blood sport.

Movie Reviews & Stories Whiplash clefts music from dance, love and spirituality. What’s left is muscle, red and raw, beating faster and faster against a drum. That’s how Damien Chazelle’s beautiful but troubling ... More

Oct 29, 2014 12:01 am by JAMES HELMSWORTH

The Color Line

Dear White People is for everybody.

Movie Reviews & Stories When Justin Simien began work on Dear White People, early drafts of the screenplay included an over-the-top college party featuring white students in blackface. But at some point, he ruled it ... More

Oct 22, 2014 12:01 am by REBECCA JACOBSON

AP Film Studies: Oh, the Horror

A survival guide to Halloween at Portland movie houses.

Movie Reviews & Stories It’s the week before Halloween, and your chances of escaping the season without watching at least one horror flick are about as good as the chances of a buxom babysitter surviving a night at a ... More

Oct 22, 2014 12:01 am by AP KRYZA

The Blue Room

Sex and death.

Movie Reviews & Stories Like the Black Lodge in Twin Peaks, the blue room is everywhere in The Blue Room. At least, it's everywhere that French director Mathieu Amalric (who starred in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) ... More

Oct 22, 2014 12:01 am by MATTHEW KORFHAGE

John Wick

Keanu Reeves brings the ruckus.

Movie Reviews & Stories John Wick treads familiar ground: A retired hit man is roped back into the life. But this is the rare film that excels as much for what it puts on display as for what it holds back. It oozes s ... More

Oct 22, 2014 12:01 am by AP KRYZA
 

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