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Betsy Sharkey

ColumnistWriter

Former Los Angeles Times film critic Betsy Sharkey is an award-winning entertainment journalist and bestselling author. She left the newsroom in 2015. In addition to her critical essays and reviews of about 200 films a year for The Times, Sharkey’s weekly movie reviews appeared in newspapers nationally and internationally. Her books include collaborations with Oscar-winning actresses Faye Dunaway on “Looking for Gatsby” and Marlee Matlin on “I'll Scream Later.” Sharkey holds a degree in journalism and a master’s in communications theory from Texas Christian University.

Recent Articles

  • SAG Awards 2015: 'Birdman' yes, but 'Theory'? Cast nominations a puzzle

    SAG Awards 2015: 'Birdman' yes, but 'Theory'? Cast nominations a puzzle

    These scenes began flashing through my mind just as the Screen Actors Guild Awards began announcing nominations for performance by a cast in a motion picture: "Birdman" — actors in constricted spaces using dressing rooms and winding corridors to stage an intimate ballet; bodies and egos ever in...

  • In 'Miss Julie,' Liv Ullmann is too faithful to Strindberg play

    In 'Miss Julie,' Liv Ullmann is too faithful to Strindberg play

    The comely mistress of the manor is hot and bothered, the homely cook is cool and collected, and the dashing valet is desired by both. In "Miss Julie," an Irish period piece of class divides, sexual politics and power games, things will end badly, one suspects, though the denouement still shocks....

  • 'Wild' takes Reese Witherspoon into raw, bracing new territory

    'Wild' takes Reese Witherspoon into raw, bracing new territory

    "Wild" opens high atop the Pacific Crest Trail, where at first all the eye can see is the sweeping beauty of a rugged land, unmarred and untamed. The scene is breathtaking, serene, until it is broken by pain and pierced by a scream. The pain comes from Cheryl Strayed, portrayed by a wonderfully...

  • Ben Affleck gets the manipulated man's every twist and turn right

    Ben Affleck gets the manipulated man's every twist and turn right

    Ben Affleck has played virtually every style of loser lug on-screen, each lug better than the last. Even when his character appears to be in charge, like his CIA agent in "Argo," you're not surprised that the Americans he's supposed to be saving in Iran during the 1980 hostage crisis are nervous....

  • 'The Babadook,' smart and dark, delivers grown-up horrors

    'The Babadook,' smart and dark, delivers grown-up horrors

    "The Babadook" is a smart, darkly drawn modern-day horror movie of monsters, memories and mothers. For it is a mother's love on the line that heightens the provocation in this thriller set off when a children's book about the dreaded Babadook comes to life — dook, dook, dook — three bumps in the...

  • Critic's Pick: 'Theory of Everything' proves power of ideas, emotions

    Critic's Pick: 'Theory of Everything' proves power of ideas, emotions

    It's simplistic to think of "The Theory of Everything," which traces many years of Stephen Hawking's life, as one of those typical scratch-the-surface movies about the man. To be sure, Hawking's ground-breaking work in theoretical physics and the origins of the universe, as well as his refusal...

  • 'Penguins of Madagascar' hit by a blizzard of puns

    'Penguins of Madagascar' hit by a blizzard of puns

    It's hard to go wrong with penguins. They can be elegant and emotionally engaging in real life, as the Oscar-winning documentary "March of the Penguins" beautifully captured. They can also be toe-tapping hysterical and wildly musical, as they proved in the animated hit "Happy Feet." So how did...

  • 'Horrible Bosses 2' has horribly funny moments, but too few

    'Horrible Bosses 2' has horribly funny moments, but too few

    In the sexually inappropriate and politically incorrect "Horrible Bosses 2," the bumbling workplace underdogs played by Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day are about to try their hand at being in charge. And at times, they are horribly funny. Being the boss makes for a lot of incredibly...

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