Amber Humphrey

"Warchild"

Bosnia and consequences in this captivating drama
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REVIEW German director Christian Wagner's Warchild is a captivating and tragic drama about the psychological repercussions of the Bosnian war. Ten years after the fighting has ended, Senada (Labina Mitevska) comes across evidence suggesting that her daughter Aida, who was lost in the melee, might still be alive. She follows lead after lead with a kind of eerie resolve, undaunted by the fact that everyone — including her estranged husband — thinks she's behaving irrationally. Read more »

Shakespeare and sexy Jesus

Hamlet 2 moonwalks and roller skates to comic glory
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More in this issue:

>>An interview with Steve Coogan

>>More new movie reviews

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Sundance darling Hamlet 2 has been dubbed by at least one critic as this year's Napoleon Dynamite; but with an R rating and dialogue like, "I feel like I've been raped in the face," the movie isn't nearly as quirky as that assessment implies. This is a good thing. Read more »

"Trumbo"

Blacklisted but ebullient
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REVIEW "I have the feeling that if you give most people in the world the choice between enough food for their children and shelter and clothing in return for their freedom of speech, that they will go for the food, the shelter, and the necessities," said Dalton Trumbo, screenwriter of Spartacus (1960), Exodus (1960), Papillon (1973), and a number of other films, including Roman Holiday (1953) and The Brave One (1956), that either were written under an assumed name or (at the time) simply went uncredited. Read more »

Predictably good

Bottle Shock's themes may not be new, but the flick's charming
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REVIEW The year is 1976, the American Bicentennial, and snooty British wine seller Steven Spurrier (Alan Rickman) decides to organize a blind taste test, pitting French wine against the then-fledgling California wine. While in Napa he meets Jim Barrett (Bill Pullman), a perfectionist, and his long-haired surf bum son Bo (Chris Pine). Impressed by Barrett's Château Montelena chardonnay, Spurrier hopes to include it in the competition. Read more »

"Elsa and Fred"

You'd be hard-pressed to find anything more adorable
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REVIEW Bombshell Anita Ekberg embodies spontaneity as she playfully wades through the Trevi Fountain in that classic moment from Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita (1960). Inspired by this scene, spry octogenarian Elsa (China Zorilla) has a photo of Ekberg hanging on her wall and confronts each day with the exuberance of a woman a quarter of her age. Read more »

"Hancock"

It's no Men in Black, but still teems with destruction, funniness
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REVIEW This summer's obligatory Will Smith blockbuster has the ever-bankable star playing the titular role in Hancock — a foul-mouthed antihero apt to fly into action while clenching a bottle of whiskey. Though this reluctant superman of unclear origins consistently puts bad guys behind bars, the citizens of Los Angeles are none too thrilled when he arrives on the scene; Hancock's chaotic brand of crime fighting has been taking a devastating toll on the city's roads, buildings, ice cream trucks, and beached whales. Read more »

Daddy issues

Death and family dynamics in When Did You Last See Your Father?
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REVIEW Stuffy writer Blake Morrison (Colin Firth) struggles to come to terms with his father's imminent death, hoping that, in their last days together, that they can finally make peace. A dying father? I know the premise is more than a little grim, but what When Did You Last See Your Father? lacks in levity it makes up for in heartfelt storytelling and powerful performances — trusty Jim Broadbent shines as Arthur, the overbearing, attention-seeking (possibly philandering) paterfamilias. We first encounter this force of nature as the film, set in the late 1950s, opens. Read more »