mv-voice.com http://www.mv-voice.com If it is local and useful, it is on mv-voice.com. en-us <![CDATA[Stanford: Firefighters knock down Lake Lagunita fire]]> Palo Alto firefighters responded to a report of vegetation fire near Lake Lagunita at about 12:20 p.m. Friday, according to emergency alerts sent out to the Stanford University community.]]> <![CDATA[Caltrain loses bid for exemption from state environmental law on electrification project]]> Caltrain must comply with the state's environmental quality act in electrifying its rail system between San Francisco and San Jose, according to a ruling July 2 by the federal Surface Transportation Board. ]]> <![CDATA[Catering to the community]]> The founders of Ada's Cafe at Mitchell Park Community Center have created a nonprofit eatery that serves everyone. ]]> <![CDATA[District taps Palo Alto administrator as new Stevenson PACT principal]]> Following the sudden departure of former Stevenson PACT principal Tyler Graff, the Mountain View Whisman School District selected an administrator from the nearby Palo Alto Unified School District to take over for the district's choice program.]]> <![CDATA[Who wants to be a school board member?]]> The Mountain View Whisman School District has been a hotbed of internal strife that led former board president Chris Chiang to resign. Starting Monday, the district is accepting applications for a replacement to join the fray.]]> <![CDATA[Stanford Collaborative Orchestra forgoes a conductor]]> Inspired by New York's celebrated Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, a group of Stanford University undergraduates have formed a newly minted conductorless ensemble called the Stanford Collaborative Orchestra.]]> <![CDATA[Secret history of MV's Berlin Wall slab]]> Two large concrete slabs of the Berlin Wall were donated to Mountain View and were put on display outside the library in 2013. To their surprise, Mountain View officials recently learned some of the history behind these pieces. ]]> <![CDATA[Fourth of July travel to break records in California]]> This Fourth of July weekend is projected to have the highest rate of travel since 2010.]]> <![CDATA[Midpeninsula's best bets for Fourth of July]]> Independence Day celebrations will take place throughout the Peninsula on Saturday, July 4. Celebrate the red, white and blue at patriotic events, including family-friendly activities in Palo Alto, parades in Menlo Park and Redwood City and a firework display in Mountain View.]]> <![CDATA[Top planning official leaving MV]]> An influential Mountain View staffer in charge of an array of land-use and development decisions, Zoning Administrator Gerry Beaudin will be leaving his job. Beaudin has accepted to a new job to head the Community Development Department in Pleasanton, starting at the end of July. ]]> <![CDATA[Cash from rent hike earmarked for Whisman school]]> The Mountain View Whisman school board took its first concrete step toward opening a new school in the Whisman and Slater neighborhood, earmarking millions of dollars in future lease money for constructing and operating a new school.]]> <![CDATA[Governor signs bill eliminating 'personal belief' exemption for vaccinations]]> Come July 2016, California parents will no longer be able to claim a "personal belief" exemption from requirements that all children in schools or daycare be immunized.]]> <![CDATA[Growing need for garden plots in Mountain View]]> Want to grow your own veggies, herbs or flowers at a Mountain View community garden? Get to the back of the line. ]]> <![CDATA[Homeless population doubles in Mountain View]]> Santa Clara County's homeless population is the lowest it's been in a decade, bringing in praise from city and county officials who say the efforts to reduce homelessness are finally paying off.]]> <![CDATA[Waiting, and finding a voice]]> Palo Alto resident Stuart Rojstaczer has published "The Mathematician's Shiva," a novel that mixes together his Polish-Russian-Jewish roots, his exposure to advanced mathematics and a generous dollop of humor.]]> <![CDATA[Telling true stories]]> First-hand accounts of American drag queens and gender artists. Stories of children living in orphanages in Ghana. These are among the audio documentaries created by recipients of Stanford's Braden Grant.]]> <![CDATA[High schools install car-charging stations]]> The Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District announced this week that two 240-volt car chargers have been installed at both Mountain View and Los Altos high schools, according to a district press release.]]> <![CDATA[Analysis: Supreme Court ruling likely to affect equal-rights laws]]> The U.S. Supreme Court's sweeping decision that same-sex marriage is protected by the Fourteenth Amendment will have widespread implications, legal experts at Stanford Law School said Friday. ]]> <![CDATA[A friend in deed]]> Public accolades and private turmoil have marked the past 18 months for community activist Elena Pacheco. The tireless volunteer and teacher found herself battling cancer and homelessness after rent increases displaced her from the apartment she's lived in for more than 20 years. She allowed the Voice to document her struggle to reclaim her health and her life in Mountain View.]]> <![CDATA[Mountain View Whisman ratchets up spending]]> Residents who demanded that the Mountain View Whisman School District spend down its $20 million reserves may have gotten their wish. The school district's normally conservative spending habits took a different direction last fiscal year, placing the district $1.1 million in the red.]]> <![CDATA[Man arrested in package theft case]]> A man in possession of a package that is thought to have been stolen was arrested on an outstanding warrant in Mountain View early Wednesday morning, according to police.
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<![CDATA[Airbnb tent raises eyebrows]]> Paying $965 a month for a one-bedroom rental might seem a bargain in Mountain View, especially for a place featuring a garden view and nestled between the Google campus and the Caltrain station.
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<![CDATA[Supreme Court upholds same-sex marriage]]> The U.S. Supreme Court ruled by a 5-4 vote today that the federal Constitution provides a right to same-sex marriage -- an action Assemblyman Rich Gordon called historic "for all Americans who value fairness and equality." ]]> <![CDATA[In-house pick to head community college district]]> After a months-long national search for a new chancellor to head the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, the board of trustees ultimately decided to hire in-house by selecting Foothill College president Judy Miner.]]> <![CDATA[Board OKs $42 M Castro school project]]> The Mountain View Whisman school board decided Thursday night to move forward with a $42 million transformation of the Castro Elementary School campus, but only after three hours of deadlocked votes and lengthy discussion.]]> <![CDATA[Report: Cities unprepared for sea-level rise]]> The Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury has a message for city and county officials who are dragging their feet regarding sea-level rise: Get with the program.]]> <![CDATA[San Jose woman arrested on kidnapping charges]]> A 33-year-old San Jose woman was arrested last week in Mountain View after she allegedly got into someone's car and demanded the driver take her to a store to buy cigarettes.]]> <![CDATA[Order and chaos]]> The Pear's "Arcadia" may not be perfect, but it's a funny, vigorous, well-executed production of one of the most intriguing plays of the last quarter century. ]]> <![CDATA[Book Talk: New novels, memoirs and more]]> This month, Palo Alto authors publish memoirs and novels, young writers release new titles and a Mountain View novelist's young-adult book is set to become a film.]]> <![CDATA[Honey on your hands]]> Beekeeper Kendal Sager is passionate about bee education, and her workshops give newbies and backyard enthusiasts hands-on lessons for keeping bees and harvesting honey.]]> <![CDATA[Sparks fly at MV Whisman school board meeting]]> Tensions flared at the Mountain View Whisman School board meeting Thursday night over an otherwise uncontroversial contract approval -- the district's construction project manager threatened to walk out of the meeting because of some board members' questioning of cost figures.]]> <![CDATA[This week's A&E highlights]]> This week, attend the West Coast debut of Argentinian tango ensemble Orquesta Victoria, head to Kepler's Books for Mystery-Thriller Saturday and catch fine art photography at Gallery House. ]]> <![CDATA[Google contest: Paint your robo-wagon]]> Want to display your art where it's certain to get stares? Put it on the side of a Google self-driving car.]]> <![CDATA[The robo-car revolution hits Mountain View streets]]> A question kept ringing through my mind as I took my first ride Monday in one of Google's prototype self-driving cars -- Is this newfangled robo-car a better driver than I am?]]> <![CDATA[Mountain View slashes water use in May]]> Worsening drought conditions and greater pressure from the state of California may finally be having an impact on water use in the city of Mountain View. Monthly water savings in April and May show residents are saving more than enough water to breeze by the 16 percent-cut required by the State Water Resources Control Board, as compared to 2013 water use.]]> <![CDATA[Experts: Rising sea level needs to be top priority]]> Sea levels are already rising along the San Francisco Bay and local creeks, and officials can't waste time in finding a fix, experts said at a June 19 conference to address the issue.]]> <![CDATA[Council briefs: Deer Hollow, Super Bowl 50 and the Immigrant House]]> Agreements affecting the Immigrant House, Deer Hollow Farm and policing of next year's Super Bowl are among the actions taken at the Mountain View City Council's June 23 meeting.]]> <![CDATA[GoogleServe focuses efforts on local schools]]> The new, district-approved construction at Monta Loma Elementary School may not be underway yet, but the school still got a mini makeover last week, with a little help from Google.]]> <![CDATA[Police: East Palo Alto man cited in hit-and-run accident]]> A 34-year-old man who allegedly struck two vehicles before plowing through a Caltrain fence and hitting a power pole has been cited for misdemeanor hit and run and reckless driving and could face additional charges, Palo Alto police Sgt. Rich Bullerjahn said.
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<![CDATA[Five arrested on drug sale charges at Shoreline concert]]> Five people were arrested during the Vans Warped Tour concert at Shoreline Amphitheatre over the weekend after police found them in possession of over 40 grams of cocaine.]]> <![CDATA[Burglary suspect caught on camera]]> Police are asking for the public's help in identifying a man who burglarized a home in the Blossom Valley neighborhood last week.]]> <![CDATA[Lovable mutts and half-priced mochas]]> On Wednesday, June 24, Peet's Coffee and Tea will be serving up more than just your regular morning coffee. The Mountain View location at 1032 Castro St. will be hosting staff members from the Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority (SVACA) for a community meet-and-greet event with some of the dogs currently up for adoption.]]> <![CDATA[Pear Theatre announces new home]]> After months of building anticipation and community speculation, Mountain View's Pear Avenue Theatre has announced the location of its new home.]]> <![CDATA[Welcome to summer camp]]> Twirling flags, water polo and whiffle ball are among the sports being pursued at Mountain View High School's summer camps. Student athletes help pass along their skills while raising money for the high school's athletic programs. ]]> <![CDATA[Crossings vote a reprieve for SnoZen]]> Residents in the Crossings neighborhood last week voted overwhelmingly to overturn a set of new rules and fines that some believed would have forced a local dessert shop to close down. ]]> <![CDATA[Gas leak triggers church evacuation]]> PG&E stopped a gas leak in Mountain View earlier today that started when some equipment failed, a company spokeswoman said.
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<![CDATA[Clearing the air about green]]> Some say that the term "green" is so overused that it has lost its distinction, but I disagree. There is a steady stream of new green practices and technologies that challenge the boundaries of what is "fringe" and what will someday be mainstream.]]> <![CDATA[Grass fire along I-280 in Los Altos Hills]]> Firefighters are responding to reports of a grass fire involving a tree this afternoon alongside Interstate Highway 280 in Los Altos Hills, according to the California Highway Patrol.
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<![CDATA[Pedestrian dies on Caltrain tracks in Sunnyvale]]> A female pedestrian died this evening after northbound Caltrain No. 445 struck her at 7:20 p.m. in Sunnyvale just north of the Sunnyvale station, according to Caltrain.
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<![CDATA[African Methodist Episcopal members mourn in aftermath of Charleston killings]]> The killing of nine African American churchgoers by a white gunman in Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday has sent shock waves across the nation, and many people, including those at Palo Alto's University African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, are calling for a discussion on race and acceptance, Rev. Kaloma Smith said.]]> <![CDATA[Firefighters put out dryer fire]]> A clothes dryer fire broke out inside of a home on Sierra Vista Avenue Friday morning. Fire crews put out the flames, and there were no injuries, according to the Mountain View Fire Department.]]> <![CDATA[Los Altos board asks MV to fund park purchase]]> The Los Altos School District is looking to partner with the city of Mountain View to build a new school in the San Antonio area and provide green, open space to go with it, but that's a part of the city where parks and grassy fields are pretty hard to come by.]]> <![CDATA[Down the rabbit hole]]> Inspired by Lewis Carroll's tale of the girl who falls down a rabbit hole and discovers a strange new world, "'Twas Brillig" is an original musical from teen theater academy, A Theatre Near U.]]> <![CDATA[The jazz days of summer]]> From June 20 through August 8, the Stanford University campus comes alive with the Stanford Jazz Workshop and Festival, this year featuring artists including Joshua Redman, Keb' Mo' and Charles Lloyd.]]> <![CDATA[Lost in translation]]> In "Chinglish," David Henry Hwang's comedy about Chinese-American miscommunication, an American CEO discovers the dangers of doing business in a foreign culture.]]> <![CDATA[Locavore hot spot]]> Local Union 271 opened in early April in downtown Palo Alto. It's spacious, communal, loud, open long hours -- and the food is really good. ]]> <![CDATA[Behind the scenes]]> Our film critic Peter Canavese interviews the director and cast of "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl," out in theaters this Friday.]]> <![CDATA[Waste not, want not]]> For "Zero Waste Chef" blogger Anne Marie Bonneau, zero waste means using absolutely no plastic, reusing everything, simplifying shopping habits and making almost everything from scratch. ]]> <![CDATA[A&E Digest: Pear Avenue Theatre to relocate and more]]> The Pear Avenue Theatre prepares to move, Cantor Arts Center acquires an Edward Hopper painting and winners of the teen Congressional Art Competition are announced.]]> <![CDATA[Flooded with red tape]]> A torrential downpour is a welcome sight in the midst of drought, as long as it does not result in your living room resembling a poorly planned swimming pool.]]> <![CDATA[21st-century tribe]]> Since 2000, Mountain View Open Floor has been offering participants a place to get in touch with their bodies and build community.]]> <![CDATA[Bare bones dim sum]]> Cho's Mandarin Dim Sum's beloved potstickers, cash-only menu and utilitarian charm relocated to downtown Los Altos in February.]]> <![CDATA[At Sunset's Celebration Weekend, small is beautiful]]> Living in a 400-square-foot cottage might seem antithetical to the current penchant for building mega homes, but that's the trend to be featured at the Sunset Celebration Weekend on June 6 and 7]]> <![CDATA[Shuck it to me]]> Oysters should be your first choice at Shell Shock, where offerings change according to what's in season and oysters are flown in daily for ultimate freshness. ]]> <![CDATA[In living color]]> There is nothing drab about Judith Content's world.]]> <![CDATA[Modern -- all the way]]> Eichler purists should be delighted to visit a largely untouched, original Bob Anshen and Steve Allen-designed home in Palo Alto, which is featured on this year's Silicon Valley Modern Home Tour on May 16.]]> <![CDATA[Some assembly required]]> The densely plotted "Age of Ultron" is writer-director Joss Whedon's follow-up to 2012's megahit Marvel Comics superhero team-up "The Avengers." The Comic-Con crowd has never been better served.]]> <![CDATA[Spring 2015 Home & Garden Design]]> This edition of Home & Garden Design features an updating of a 1960 Atherton home; a revamp of an Eichler incorporating a previously roofed-in atrium; a Tudor with trade-offs; and a small home that stays true to its roots.]]> <![CDATA[Primating rituals]]> "Monkey Kingdom" follows a group of macaques in Sri Lanka over a period of months as they eat, groom, mate and fight for survival.]]> <![CDATA[Memoir-able]]> In telling the story of real-life fallen journalist Michael Finkel and the convict who stole his identity, "True Story" encourages audiences to be skeptical of truth in the modern media age.]]> <![CDATA[Tips for saving water]]> Wondering how much water the average household function consumes? Read on to find out and also for tips on saving water. ]]> <![CDATA[Inspiration galore on Gamble Garden tour]]> There are few places quite like the woodlands garden that's one of five private gardens featured in this year's Gamble Garden Spring Tour on April 24 and 25.]]> <![CDATA[Spring 2015 Home & Garden Design]]> This edition of Home & Garden Design features an updating of a 1960 Atherton home; a revamp of an Eichler incorporating a previously roofed-in atrium; a Tudor with trade-offs; and a small home that stays true to its roots.]]> <![CDATA[Taken for a 'Ride']]> "The Longest Ride," like all Nicholas Sparks movies, is cinematic Jello: It sells well, the number one ingredient is sugar and there's always room for it.]]> <![CDATA[Reclaiming California's natural aesthetic]]> California's native plants are giving the classic lawn a run for its money.]]> <![CDATA[She was framed]]> A Nazi-enabled "finders keepers" claim comes under scrutiny in the based-on-a-true-story drama, "Woman in Gold."]]> <![CDATA[Real Estate Matters]]> Although the practice is completely legal and widely accepted in California, it seems impossible for one real estate agent to zealously represent both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction, even when the situation is properly disclosed.]]> <![CDATA[Nothing to write 'Home' about]]> In the over-saturated market for CGI-animated kids' films, "Home" doesn't stand out as anything special: It's another conspicuously packaged product seemingly designed to wear down an audience more than entertain it. ]]> <![CDATA[Ax me why]]> Amidst the Smoky Mountains circa 1929, a power couple conspires to expand its lumber enterprise, even if it means ... muuuurder! It's a story ripe for dark atmosphere or social satire, but "Serena" winds up sawing logs.]]> <![CDATA[Life in the fun-house mirror]]> Quentin Tarantino, move over. Argentinian writer-director Damián Szifron has his own "Wild Tales" to tell -- six of them, in fact -- in the take-no-prisoners black-comedic anthology film that scored an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.]]> <![CDATA[Boots on the ground]]> Lean, mean craftsmanship defines the compact (para)military thriller "'71," set during the titular time of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. ]]> <![CDATA[Rags to riches]]> This "Cinderella" is a lavish, classy affair. Ultimately, though, the film isn't joyful enough to supplant Disney's first take, or sophisticated enough to surpass it in speaking to today's girls. ]]> <![CDATA[Instant help for garden design]]> People come to garden shows looking for inspiration, ideas and sometimes solutions to a nagging problem.]]> <![CDATA[Deep waters]]> In this enigmatic, slow-paced film of ideas, an auto-repair shop owner must fight to keep his home and land from being seized by the crooked mayor of a remote fishing village in northern Russia. Cinematographer Mikhail Krichman's stunning images complement the narrative. ]]> <![CDATA[Check-in time]]> Though "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" won't be to everyone's taste, returning screenwriter Ol Parker and returning director John Madden keep a collective eye on the quality control, delivering an amiable sequel that will surely please fans of the first film.]]> <![CDATA[Real Estate Matters: Mountain View's year in review]]> Two of the clearest trends in the Mountain View homes market during 2014 were the speed at which homes sold and the consistent increase in initial asking prices. We'll look at these two statistics and some others to learn how the market fared during the last calendar year.]]> <![CDATA[Rent Watch]]> Because the utility costs are so high, I am thinking of increasing the rent on my apartments by $80 per person. My wife, however, is concerned that we might get in trouble under the Fair Housing laws for doing this. Are we allowed to institute such a policy?]]> <![CDATA[Exotic proteas come to local markets]]> Reading under a gas lamp on a Santa Barbara winery, Mike Astone had no idea that one book from the shelf would soon redirect the course of his life.]]> <![CDATA[Bloody hilarious]]> Cross "Bram Stoker's Dracula" with the Britcom "The Office," and you get "What We Do in the Shadows," a brilliantly funny new vampire-themed mockumentary out of New Zealand. ]]> <![CDATA[That'll learn 'em]]> Kody Keplinger was seventeen when she published her novel, "The DUFF," which struck a chord with readers. It's possible the film version will do the same with teen girls, if they can get past the the changes made to sanitize the book's approach to sex.]]> <![CDATA[Run for your life]]> Though "McFarland, USA" tells an inspiring true story of underdog triumph, audiences of all ethnicities deserve far better than the easy racial stereotypes the film trades in.]]> <![CDATA[Penthouse forum]]> Yes, "Fifty Shades of Grey" is absolutely ludicrous, dramatically clumsy, 50 shades of wrong. Yet every small adjustment the movie makes to E. L. James' thinly veiled romance novel qualifies as an improvement.]]> <![CDATA['Service' is rather poor]]> "Kingsman: The Secret Service" doubles down on glib ultraviolence while pressing buttons of class-consciousness and teasing out pop culture allusions. All the mayhem is ultimately exhausting.]]> <![CDATA[Beauty lures the beasts]]> As a boy growing up in Phoenix, like many 10-year-olds, Drew Martinez was fascinated by carnivorous plants. Today, his backyard is filled with greenhouses containing nearly 20,000 of them.]]> <![CDATA[Crash landing]]> If what we go to the movie theater for now is spectacle, the science fiction epic "Jupiter Ascending" fits the bill. But to the extent that we still demand rich characters and sensible plotting, the Wachowskis' latest is a few planets short of a galaxy.]]> <![CDATA[Sea-minus for effort]]> "Sponge Out of Water" treads water with a plot line that's as old as the gills. The film is often mildly amusing, but the concept dried up some time ago.]]> <![CDATA[No gray area]]> Acknowledging the discomfort of brushing against racial stereotypes and prejudices occasionally takes "Black or White" into intriguing territory, but it's too little, too late to balance the film's scale-tipping sentiment.]]> <![CDATA['Two Days,' one dark night of the soul]]> Turning workplace ethics into moral fable is delicate work, but directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne prove they're up to the task of creating wrenching drama that avoids melodrama. Above all, Marion Cotillard's heartbreakingly raw work carries the day.]]> <![CDATA[Standing still, 'Alice' moves]]> There's a master class in screen acting coming to a theater near you, which is reason enough to see "Still Alice." Heavily favored to take home a Best Actress trophy at this year's Oscars, Julianne Moore plays the titular character afflicted with early-onset Alzheimer's.]]> <![CDATA[Oil and blood do mix]]> "We Set the Standard" goes the motto of Standard Heating Oil, the fictional small business at the center of urban drama "A Most Violent Year." The motto slyly announces the allegory writer-director J.C. Chandor is after, but could just as well describe the rising auteur's mature filmmaking style.]]> <![CDATA[Ready ... aim ... mire]]> Iraq warrior biopic "American Sniper," about the late Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, affords director Clint Eastwood another opportunity to wrestle with violence. Yet the film gets mired in military hero worship.]]> <![CDATA[King for the day]]> "Selma" isn't a Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic, something that has still eluded Hollywood. But it is the first feature film to put King front and center as protagonist, and it stands an excellent chance of educating a generation about the hard work and imagination required for political change. ]]> <![CDATA[The 'Vice' is right]]> Set in 1970 Los Angeles, "Inherent Vice" captures a moment of disillusionment at the end of the swingin' sixties. The plot is a sideshow to the film's luxuriant atmosphere, cracked sense of humor and idiosyncratic characterization. ]]> <![CDATA[Hackers, meet hackwork]]> How did we get here? Never in the history of movies has there been a situation like the one surrounding "The Interview," the action comedy scripted by Dan Sterling, directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, and starring Rogen and James Franco.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'Unbroken']]> Angelina Jolie directs this flatfooted recounting of the life of Louis Zamperini, the Italian-American Olympic runner whose Army Air Forces service found him adrift in the Pacific Ocean, then trapped in a Japanese P.O.W. camp.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'Into the Woods']]> The 1987 Broadway musical "Into the Woods" -- with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim ("Sweeney Todd") and book by James Lapine is a multilayered work. Luckily, Walt Disney Pictures and director Rob Marshall ("Chicago") haven't broken it with their cinematic adaptation.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'The Gambler']]> Mark Wahlberg as a verbose literature professor isn't exactly likely casting, but the star walks away a winner with "The Gambler," Rupert Wyatt's remake of Karel Reisz's 1974 drama "The Gambler."]]> <![CDATA[Let my people 'Whoa!']]> Ever since the 2004 megahit "The Passion of the Christ," Hollywood has been open-minded to faith-based entertainment, and 2014 has seen both economic true-believer productions ("Left Behind," "God's Not Dead," and "Heaven is for Real") as well as would-be blockbusters "Noah" and now, Ridley Scott's $140 million Moses epic "Exodus: Gods and Kings." There's gold in them thar sand dunes, or so 20th Century Fox hopes.]]> <![CDATA[Like a rock]]> When it comes to comedy, funny always wins, and Chris Rock's third directorial effort does run on engagingly amusing riffs. But "Top Five" also steers hard into undisciplined storytelling, damning the comic's overhyped awards-season comedy with the faint praise of being better than (though just as cannily commercial as) the typical Adam Sandler vehicle.]]> <![CDATA['Wild' woman blues]]> Kübler-Ross' "Five Stages of Grief" aside, the conventional wisdom goes that everyone grieves differently, the devil being in the details. For Cheryl Strayed, author of the Oprah-approved memoir "Wild," those details included binging on sex and heroin before hitting rock bottom and committing to a soul-cleansing, 1,100-mile, 94-day solo hike.]]> <![CDATA[Crazy like a fox]]> From the stranger-than-fiction department comes the true-crime story "Foxcatcher," a disturbing meditation on madness enabled by money to run rampant.]]> <![CDATA[Black and white and ... all over]]> "Comic relief" isn't quite the phrase for the quartet of penguins in the "Madagascar" franchise, though the words capture the characters' absolute buffoonery. Now thrust into the spotlight in "Penguins of Madagascar," the aquatic birds prove that they're better in small doses.]]> <![CDATA[Solitary man]]> With "Rosewater," Stewart makes comprehensible for a broad audience the contemporary political situation in Iran.]]> <![CDATA[Quantum mechanical]]> The film relies on convention and mawkish melodrama, keeping the deeper implications of Hawking's disease and his research submerged. Only Redmayne's performance overcomes to elevate "The Theory of Everything" to something special: an actor's showcase.]]> <![CDATA[Let's get metaphysical]]> "Interstellar" compellingly posits what life could look like in the last days of the American Empire, but the film's strengths are undercut by its seriously sappy tone.]]> <![CDATA[Late bloomer]]> In "Laggies," Keira Knightley plays 28-year-old Megan, a woman who's trying not to feel the burn of a quarter-life crisis.]]> <![CDATA[Super-ego superhero]]> Alejandro González Ińárritu's "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)" may be something less than the sum of its dazzling parts, but it is a sight to behold and an entertaining farce of life as an actor in the time of Marvel Studios.]]> <![CDATA[Incendiary Revelations]]> But Laura Poitras' exemplary documentary "Citizenfour" shares the privileged access NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden granted to her and Guardian reporters, thereby humanizing a man previously seen mostly in iconic terms.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Dear White People']]> At this point in American history, we'd like to believe we've come a long way on the subject of race. But viewers of this engaging satire will have to confess we've still got a long way to go.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Whiplash']]> What does it take to be "one of the greats?" That's the question at the dark heart of "Whiplash," an indie "Amadeus" set in a New York City music conservatory.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Fury']]> Brad Pitt and Logan Lerman shine in "Fury" a throwback combat movie that offers vivid performances and a decidedly anti-war sentiment.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Boxtrolls']]> "The Boxtrolls" falls into the category of classical fairy tale, with its shadowy world inhabited by innocents in contention with monstrous adults.]]> <![CDATA[Kill the Messenger]]> This weak-tea drama follows San Jose Mercury News senior investigative reporter Gary Webb as he investigates the CIA's involvement in domestic crack cocaine sales that are funding the rebels in Nicaragua. ]]> <![CDATA[The Judge]]> Here comes "The Judge." It's been a while since we've seen a movie so…Grisham-y. But here we are again with big movie stars and character actors facing courtroom cases converging with personal crises -- including, crucially, one of conscience.]]> <![CDATA['Pride']]> In telling the little-known story of how gay and lesbian activists in 1980s England supported striking miners, Matthew Warchus' "Pride" pays heartwarming testament to the many faces of solidarity.]]> <![CDATA[Gone Girl]]> David Fincher's film adaptation of Gillian Flynn's runaway bestseller goes from intriguingly puzzling to downright alienating.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Equalizer']]> Denzel Washington's commanding performance slightly elevates the immoral message and boilerplate plot of this violent vengeance fantasy.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'A Walk Among the Tombstones']]> Writer-director Scott Frank brings clever writing and moody atmosphere to this crime thriller centered on ex-cop and recovering alcoholic Matthew Scudder, played by Liam Neeson.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Maze Runner']]> A group of teens struggle for survival in a dystopian world in this film, which, like the novel on which it's based, can be read as an allegory of puberty.]]> <![CDATA[Review: The Skeleton Twins]]> Erstwhile "SNL" cast-mates Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader star as adult siblings Maggie and Milo who struggle with depression in this likeable Craig Johnson dramedy.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'My Old Lady']]> Kevin Kline shines in playwright Israel Horovitz's directorial debut about a down-and-out New Yorker forced to face his demons in Paris.]]> <![CDATA[Mary Kom]]> Mary Kom holds enough world boxing championship titles and influence in the sport to merit a keen cinematic look at her career's progression. However, this film botches that opportunity, succumbing instead to the common pitfalls of its genre, and topping it off with an inelegant style of execution.]]> <![CDATA[Dolphin Tale 2]]> "Dolphin Tale 2" will no doubt be a delightful experience for animal-loving tots. But for the adults who bring them, it's pretty much guaranteed to be a surreal experience.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Last of Robin Hood']]> There's something telling about "The Last of Robin Hood" being the first project to emerge from Lifetime Films. The sordid tale of Errol Flynn's last days clinching with a Lolita and soaking in booze and drugs, Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland's by-the-numbers account technically qualifies as a true crime tale, and seems to exist mostly because of its marketable prurience: a hallmark of Lifetime's infamous cable movies.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Love Is Strange']]> Marital domesticity is tough enough. Add in the obstacle of Kafkaesque sociopolitical forces -- still the lot of many gay couples -- and any marriage would feel the strain.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Trip to Italy']]> Comedy sequel "The Trip to Italy" is almost exactly like its predecessor "The Trip," and for the most part, that's a good thing.]]> <![CDATA[Review: If I Stay]]> "Romance novels" function on idealization, including fulfilling a teen's yen for drama -- any kind of drama -- to alleviate the tedium of school days and curfew nights. ]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall']]> In a sense, "When the Game Stands Tall" the Hollywood-ization of De La Salle High School's legendary Spartans football team -- is about what it's not about. It's not about winning.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Giver']]> It's odd to watch a film about the rediscovery of love, faith, passion and color, and for the film to be so by-the-numbers colorless.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Calvary']]> To believe or not to believe: That is the question of religious faith. And while the Catholic Church, battered by scandal, may be waning, it remains that you can take the man out of Catholicism, but not Catholicism out of the man. Just ask John Michael McDonagh, writer-director of "Calvary."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles']]> Unless you're an 8-year-old just getting acquainted with them, you probably made up your mind about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles long, long ago. ]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Hundred-Foot Journey']]> There's a moment in "The Hundred-Foot Journey" -- Lasse Hallstrom's film adaptation of Richard C. Morais's bestselling novel -- when the female ingenue gives the male ingenue a hot tip on how to prepare corn.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Into the Storm']]> Sometimes the line between real-life tragedy and action escapism is mighty fine. Wide-release movies have been known to get cold feet (post-9/11 and post-mass shootings) but always return to the well of exploiting our anxieties for cash.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Magic in the Moonlight']]> There have long been notable connections between filmmakers and magicians. Houdini became a film star, Orson Welles delighted in performing magic (sometimes on film), and stand-up performers turned actor-directors Steve Martin and Woody Allen have also shown a marked interest in magic and affectionately spoofing it.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy']]> If the denizens of the Island of Misfit Toys were packing heat, you might get the Guardians of the Galaxy, the heroes of the latest Marvel comic-book-to-screen extravaganza. As shepherded by director James Gunn ("Super"), "Guardians of the Galaxy" lurches along a bit awkwardly, but always with utterly dazzling visuals and a goofy gag at the ready.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Get On Up']]> Trying as hard as possible can be the most valuable asset an artist possesses or a liability. ]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Lucy']]> Big-budget mind-expansion sci-fi has been a thing of late, with "Limitless," "Transcendence" and now Luc Besson's "Lucy" exploring what happens when humanity gains "access to previously unexplored cerebral zones."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Boyhood']]> You've watched actors grow up on screen before, whether it be Mickey Rooney, Elizabeth Taylor or Jerry Mathers (as the Beaver). But Richard Linklater's "Boyhood" makes cinematic poetry of the experience by presenting us with a single narrative consumable in one sitting.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Sex Tape']]> There's a sequence early on in "Sex Tape" during which the married couple played by Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel try repeatedly to rekindle their sexual flame. Time after time, they almost get "there," but something keeps frustrating their enjoyment.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Wish I Was Here']]> Gee, life is tough. But "We move forward -- that's the only direction God gave us." These and other Big Important Life Lessons can be yours for the low, low price of a movie ticket to "Wish I Was Here," Zach Braff's mawkish new comedy-drama.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes']]> "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" is the latest in a series of modern Hollywood action reboots, which aim to transform a campy and droll movie into a gloomy and serious film. In the case of "Dawn," it has succeeded.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Tammy']]> By all rights, the new comedy "Tammy" would be the ultimate expression of Melissa McCarthy's comedy. Written by the film and TV star with her husband Ben Falcone -- who also directs -- "Tammy" should have all the right moves to drive McCarthy fans wild with pleasure. Instead, it's likely to inspire the question "Is this all there is?"]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Third Person']]> Oscar-winning screenwriter Paul Haggis ("Crash") raises navel-gazing to an art form with "Third Person," a "Crash"-y, borderline trashy entry in the genre of global interlocking stories. Those who scoffed at "Crash" will have even more to sniff at here, and the Best Picture's defenders may think twice after slogging through the 137 minutes of "Third Person."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Obvious Child']]> The title of "Obvious Child" refers to its heroine, another protagonist suffering from severely arrested development. What makes "Obvious Child" different is that this protagonist is a woman saddled with an unwanted pregnancy.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Jersey Boys']]> Let's face it: "Jersey Boys" has never been high art. The wildly successful jukebox musical about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons ran on chart-topping hit songs and ample corny shtick in nominally telling the story of the beloved pop act. Now, it's all been folded into a Clint Eastwood film that's neither theatrical fish nor cinematic foul.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'How to Train Your Dragon']]> Children's movies don't really have to work very hard for their target audience, but of course, they're better when they do. A good children's film doesn't talk down to kids, and the animated adventure "How to Train Your Dragon 2" fits this bill.]]> <![CDATA[Review: '22 Jump Street']]> "Do the same thing!" Ice Cube bellows at Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum -- or, rather, Captain Dickson bellows at Schmidt and Jenko, the buddy-cops of "22 Jump Street."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Edge of Tomorrow']]> The new Tom Cruise sci-fi action movie "Edge of Tomorrow" uses the narrative structure of a video game to present a "what-if" scenario: What if we could keep pressing "restart" every time we fail?]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Driving Miss Daisy on Broadway"]]> "Driving Miss Daisy on Broadway" is a terrific gift for American theater lovers who can't just hop a plane to Melbourne to see the 87-year-old Lansbury play Miss Daisy opposite the 82-year-old Jones.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Maleficent']]> In spite of a virtual feature-length stampede of CGI special effects, it's good old-fashioned movie-star wattage that stuns in "Maleficent." Disney's revisionist take on its own "Sleeping Beauty" almost certainly wouldn't have been made were it not for Angelina Jolie. If only the film around Jolie were worthy of her.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'A Million Ways to Die in the West']]> There's no accounting for taste, they say, which might explain the $549 million worldwide gross for Seth MacFarlane's 2012 comedy "Ted." Something tells me the planet won't go quite so gaga for his Western-themed sophomore effort, "A Million Ways to Die in the West," but it's considerably better -- even within spitting distance of good.]]> <![CDATA[Review: X-Men: Days of Future Past]]> The best superhero movies in some way work against the grain. "X-Men: Days of Future Past," A loose adaptation of the beloved two-part comic book story by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, does just that. With an outstanding cast and strong editing, the film is poignant and coherent.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: Blended]]> Sometimes Adam Sandler works for others (notably Paul Thomas Anderson and Judd Apatow) and makes an interesting and sophisticated film. Mostly, though, he churns out branded "Adam Sandler comedies," in which he doubles as both producer and star. "Blended" is one of the latter.]]> <![CDATA[Review: Million Dollar Arm]]> A struggling sports agent works to teach a pair of hard-throwing cricket players from India to hit the strike zone in the hopes of making them big league ballplayers in "Million Dollar Arm." Weekly film critic Susan Tavernetti says the result is a heartwarming tale, which despite its lack of urgency is ultimately "charming and uplifting."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Godzilla']]> In one way or another, Godzilla has always represented humanity's arrogance. It's a concept that is artfully articulated in Gareth Edwards' latest addition to the franchise.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Palo Alto']]> The film "Palo Alto" universalizes its setting to an archetypal upscale suburbia, populated by disaffected white kids and their "free-range" parents (Gia Coppola shot the film in southern California). Freely adapting James Franco's stories, writer-director Coppola eschews melodrama, coaxing powerfully resonant performances from her young leads while never pushing style or content into blatant manipulations.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Neighbors']]> Even more so than its recent forebears (and this is saying something), the new comedy film "Neighbors" is all about the riff. With Seth Rogen taking center stage, that's not such a bad thing: a steady flow of one-liners improves the odds for laughs.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2']]> It feels a bit uncharitable to chide a blockbuster superhero movie for providing too much. But "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" certainly crams quite a bit in. And runs quite long. Still, Palo Alto Weekly film critic Peter Canavese says, the film is fun and doesn't embarrass itself. Plus, the kids (and kids at heart) are bound to love it.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Particle Fever']]> Physicist turned filmmaker Mark Levinson gets (and thrillingly shares) VIP access to that moment, as those physicists rev up CERN's Large Hadron Collider to reproduce the conditions just after the Big Bang.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Other Woman']]> The women in "The Other Woman" get the equal opportunity, like the men in Judd Apatow movies, to behave like overgrown children, but the power they give their cheatin' man to occupy all their waking hours makes this comedy more sad than funny.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Transcendence']]> "Transcendence" is as silly as it is sinister. But with Christopher Nolan's longtime cinematographer Wally Pfister -- an Oscar winner for "Inception" -- in the director's chair, "Transcendence" has a sobriety of tone that effectively works against its inner mad scientist.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Finding Vivian Maier']]> Photographer John Maloof was only looking for some historical photos of the Chicago area when he purchased a box of undeveloped negatives at an auction in the winter of 2007. He ended up discovering the work of a previously unknown artist -- Vivian Maier -- who is now being compared to some of the greatest street photographers of all time.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Draft Day']]> It says something about the culture that the latest American sports-themed movie has almost nothing to do with game play and everything to do with wheeling and dealing: dealmaking itself has become a sport worthy of analysis.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Rio 2']]> Rio 2, like its predecessor, is a run of the mill CGI-animated kid flick, Palo Alto film critic Peter Canavese says. Yet, while the story is "pretty much boilerplate at best and unpleasant at worst," the animation is a "colorful, advanced 3D spectacle." ]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'The Raid 2: Berandal']]> There's a moment in "The Raid 2" when a goon begs, "Please have mercy," and his assailant responds by raising his pickax. It's that kind of movie. And I'm half-joking when I say that if you gleefully identify with the assailant in that scene, this is the movie for you. Others may feel more like the goon.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'Captain America: Winter Solider']]> Give this to the films of the "Marvel Cinematic Universe": they have a consistency of quality. By treating their comic-book-derived films more as regular "issues" than film events, Marvel may never produce a film as great as "The Dark Knight," but it'll never sink to a low like "Batman and Robin" either. And there we have "Captain America: The Winter Soldier."]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'The Lunch Box']]> The way to a man's heart is through his stomach, so they say. And so says writer-director Ritesh Batra in his debut feature "The Lunchbox." Though considerably more understated than a Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan movie, one might call this wry-at-times romantic drama "You've Got Lunch."]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'Bad Words']]> There's an old showbiz adage that directing is 90 percent casting, and that's also true of casting the directors themselves. Take "Bad Words," the directing debut of actor Jason Bateman.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'Muppets Most Wanted']]> A self-aware sequel to the 2011 film "The Muppets," "Muppets Most Wanted" provides more testament to the enduring appeal of the post-Vaudeville likes of Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and the Great Gonzo, as well as the love and care they inspire in generation after generation of performers and audiences.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: The Grand Budapest Hotel]]> If there were a valid critique to be given of "The Grand Budapest Hotel" -- writer and director Wes Anderson's latest, highly stylized ode to a place that might have been -- it would be that Anderson has fallen victim to his own tropes. But you won't hear that here.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'Need for Speed']]> Manifestly overlong at 130 minutes, "Need for Speed" includes some eye-popping racing scenes of some very pretty high-performance sports cars. But in a world with thousands of cable channels and six "Fast & Furious" movies (with a seventh on the way), fast cars aren't enough.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'Tim's Vermeer']]> Watching paint dry has never been more fascinating than it is in "Tim's Vermeer," a documentary produced by the magicians Penn & Teller.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: '300: Rise of an Empire']]> Both blood-bathetic and deliriously entertaining high camp, this prequel-sequel-parallel plotline to Warner Brothers' 2006 hit will appeal mainly to meatheads, but those with a tolerance for over-the-top violence may appreciate it on other levels.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'The Wind Rises']]> "All I wanted to do was to make something beautiful." So said aeronautical engineer Jiro Horikoshi, whose Mitsubishi A5M and A6M Zero served the Empire of Japan during WWII. Amid some controversy, living-legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki has written and directed his own latest "something beautiful," this one a hand-drawn fantasia about Horikoshi: "The Wind Rises."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Pompeii']]> The new action picture "Pompeii" is a bit like its own villain, Mount Vesuvius: massive, full of hot air and brainless.
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<![CDATA[Review: 'RoboCop']]> Word leaked two years ago that José Padilha, director of the new "RoboCop" remake, was struggling mightily against studio suits to achieve his vision for the film. "It is hell here," the Brazilian director told a filmmaker friend. Now the film has arrived, and it's fairly clear that this "RoboCop" is a product of unhappy compromise.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Winter's Tale']]> If your girlfriend, boyfriend or spouse asks you to take them to "Winter's Tale" for Valentine's Day, my relationship advice is to immediately say yes. But leave a copy of this review lying around, and you may get a chance at making better plans.]]> <![CDATA[The Monuments Men]]> Say this for George Clooney, film director: He consistently makes films for adults. So it's too bad that, with his new WWII film "The Monuments Men," he sometimes treats that adult audience like children in need of a spoon-feed.]]> <![CDATA[The Lego Movie]]> Kids' toys and games have a poor track record as the basis for films. Since the broad-ranging "Toy Story" franchise doesn't really count (and with apologies to "Transformers" fans), the bar hasn't been set any higher than "Kit Kittredge: An American Girl," "Clue" or perhaps "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra." But, in a minor miracle of pop cinema, "The Lego Movie" changes all that.]]> <![CDATA[Review: Labor Day]]> One name for Hollywood that's stuck is "The Dream Factory," implying a big-screen projection of our fantasies. The trend of late favors the fantasies of tween-age boys (of all ages), as played out in "genre" pictures, but the new drama "Labor Day" steps out in other directions.
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<![CDATA[Review: The Invisible Woman]]> History, they say, is written by the victors. Indeed, popular English novelist Charles Dickens was a winner who jealously protected his legacy. But don't they also say the truth will out? ]]> <![CDATA[Review: The Nut Job]]> OK, so you didn't plan ahead, but don't worry. The new animated flick "The Nut Job" has squirreled away enough lame nut puns to get you through the winter. More than enough.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Lone Survivor']]> One word you won't see used to describe "Lone Survivor," the fact-based movie about a FUBAR Navy SEALs operation: "contemplative."]]> <![CDATA[Review: "August: Osage County"]]> It may be 30 below in Cass County this week, but on screen it's 108 degrees in "August: Osage County." And as the old story goes, when the day is hot, there's no escaping a brawl.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'American Hustle']]> "American Hustle" is a dark-comedy lark with flair, letting the best (con) man win.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty']]> Reborn as a flashy but soppy new adventure directed by and starring Ben Stiller, the film is sentimental claptrap about (to paraphrase a character) "courage and going into the unknown."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Past']]> In 2012, Asghar Farhadi's "A Separation" became the first Iranian picture to win the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. This is his follow-up.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Wolf of Wall Street']]> "The Wolf of Wall Street" charges out of the gate with immediate evidence of Martin Scorsese's skill, abetted by Terence Winter's whip-crack screenplay and Thelma Schoonmaker's brilliant editing. ]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Her']]> All people in romantic relationships want to know their love is real. But when half of the intelligence involved is artificial, can love be real? ]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Inside Llewyn Davis']]> Like a rolling stone, singer-guitarist Llewyn Davis tumbles through the Greenwich Village folk-music scene of the '60s. It's the Coen Brothers' most compelling character study to date.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'American Hustle']]> "American Hustle" is a dark-comedy lark with flair, letting the best (con) man win.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug']]> Peter Jackson's grandiose vision of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth reaches a crescendo with this thrilling second installment in "The Hobbit" trilogy.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Great Beauty']]> It is, perhaps, impossible to make an ode to Rome without invoking Fellini. Though Paolo Sorrentino does so only indirectly in "The Great Beauty," it's impossible not to think of how he pales in comparison to the maestro.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Out of the Furnace']]> What, one might ask, is the point of understated melodrama? It's a bit like decaf coffee or near-beer. But understated melodrama, for the most part, is the stuff of "Out of the Furnace."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Homefront']]> Standard Statham action gets a solid acting boost courtesy of James Franco in the Louisiana-based "Homefront." We can put this in the "co-stars you thought you would never see" category.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Philomena']]> The film "Philomena," starring Judi Dench, takes the perspective of a wronged Irish mother coerced, in 1952, into giving her baby away. Co-producer and co-screenwriter Steve Coogan plays a journalist investigating the story.
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<![CDATA[Review: 'Nebraska']]> It's never too late to play a few grace notes. With Alexander Payne's "Nebraska," this proves true for two septuagenarians: addled heartland grump Woodrow "Woody" Grant and the Hollywood royal who plays him, Bruce Dern.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Delivery Man']]> This tale of an accidental (multiple) father manages to be high-concept and squishy at the same time. At least the star power of Vince Vaughn adds some comedy.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Book Thief']]> There will, of course, never be enough Nazi Germany-set dramas to fill the awards-season maw. Unfortunately, "The Book Thief" is conspicuously phony in its ruthless attempt to manipulate audiences.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire']]> It would be easy to damn "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" with the faint praise of calling it a competent sequel, which it is. But the film gives audiences more to chew on than its predecessor.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Blue Is the Warmest Color']]> This movie is billed as "The story of a young lesbian couple's beginning, middle and possible end." It's also an NC-17 film with a seven-minute sex scene that has made it cinema non grata in Idaho.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Armstrong Lie']]> The title of Alex Gibney's film derives from a 2005 headline in the French paper "L'Equipe." The paper alleged what many had assumed to be true: Banned substances had fueled Armstrong's endurance and speed.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Dallas Buyers Club']]> Yes, "Dallas Buyers Club" is classic "Oscar bait," and falls into some of the common traps of exploiting a true story. But it's also lively, funny and scary.]]> <![CDATA[Review: '12 Years A Slave']]> This is the story of a man: another tale of physical and emotional survival that, unlike "All is Lost" and "Gravity," derives from a true story.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'About Time']]> Though you'll feel like you've seen this movie before, the film's strength is the ensemble cast effortlessly exuding affection for one another.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Last Vegas']]> At first glance, "Last Vegas" seems like "The Hangover" for the 60-and-over crowd (minus the raunch). But the class-act cast and a solid script keep the film fresh and funny.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Kill Your Darlings']]> An oft-overlooked chapter in literary history comes to life in "Kill Your Darlings," a lurid yet penetrating look into Allen Ginsberg's formative influences.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Fifth Estate']]> This slickly edited drama plays like the account of a jilted lover, with the would-be dazzle attempting to misdirect from the ordinariness of the personal melodrama.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'A.C.O.D.']]> "A.C.O.D." stands for "Adult Children of Divorce," a demographic big enough to ensure this dry-witted indie comedy a wide audience.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Romeo and Juliet']]> Call it the "Drunk History" version of "Romeo and Juliet." -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Captain Phillips']]> The "real-life thriller" "Captain Phillips" may be obvious and it may be clumsy, but it's also a little bit thoughtful, and there's never a dull moment. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Gravity']]> Life is one hell of a ride, as George Clooney's character puts it. So is "Gravity." -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Runner Runner']]> What are the odds you'll be satisfied with your movie-ticket purchase? -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Enough Said']]> Two powerhouse performances and some nicely written scenes that, in tandem, provide some of the most enjoyable romantic and comedic moments of the year. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Rush']]> The director of "Frost/Nixon," Ron Howard, brings us in "Rush" another Morgan match-up: 1970s Formula One racers James Hunt and Niki Lauda. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Afternoon Delight']]> Jill Soloway's new comedy-drama about clambering to stay above the yawning pit of middle-aged ennui. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Short Term 12']]> Writer-director Destin Cretton bears witness to the agony and the ecstasy of foster care in "Short Term 12," a fiction film inspired by his own experiences working in a group home. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Riddick']]> The man with the night-vision eyes is back: Vin Diesel's science-fiction anti-hero returns to something like his "Pitch Black" roots in the simply titled -- and R-rated -- "Riddick."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Grandmaster']]> If there's one thing not to expect from cinematic grandmaster Wong Kar Wai, it's a driving plot. But that's what we love about the languorous director. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Closed Circuit']]> You've seen worse than the new boilerplate legal thriller "Closed Circuit," but you've also seen a lot better. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The World's End']]> You can go home again, but it's going to involve drinking. That's the starting point of "The World's End," the latest from the most exciting team in film comedy. -P.C.]]>