jessica chastain

Matt Damon relaxes on Mars in Ridley Scott's "The Martian."

Review: “The Martian”

“The Martian,” when it succeeds, does so despite itself. It is a survival-in-space movie almost entirely free of tension, its tone set always to comic relief, its grand imagination and serious plot almost completely ruined by its own sarcasm. The film stars Matt Damon as Mark Watney, an astronaut in dire straights. After the crew …

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Review: “Interstellar”

The large number of reviews comparing Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” to Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” is rather perplexing. Sure, both films tell stories involving intergalactic travel, but “Intersellar” is narratively straightforward where “2001” was enigmatic, and Nolan’s focus is on characters where Kubrick’s was on ideas. I do not say this to be dismissive …

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Review: “Mama”

Just when you thought that the critically celebrated Jessica Chastain had finally done her first “paycheck movie,” the actress once again proves that she will only participate in cream-of-the-crop projects. “Mama,” while certainly not in the same league of cinematic excellence as Chastain’s other film of the moment, the masterwork “Zero Dark Thirty,” is nonetheless …

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Review: “Zero Dark Thirty”

The killing of Usama bin Laden is widely regarded as the United States’ biggest foreign policy triumph since the Cold War, so when the inevitable film about how the C.I.A. accomplished the heroic task was announced, it was reasonable to dread that the result would be blindingly patriotic and full of phony climaxes. I pictured …

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Review: “Lawless”

“Lawless,” an ultra-violent gangster tale by John Hillcoat (“The Proposition,” “The Road”), is a textbook example of why the final act of a film is its most important. Movies that start off poorly have the potential to rebound, gaining the audience’s trust and respect with future developments. The ones with weak midsections can often be …

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