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ENTERTAINMENT

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

  • Oscars 2015: Powerful foreign-language film nominees incite with insight

    Oscars 2015: Powerful foreign-language film nominees incite with insight

    A simple cattle herder in the sand dunes of Mali finds his fate in the hands of edgy, insolent Islamic extremists. An Estonian tangerine farmer is caught in the crossfire between Georgian and Chechen ground forces in the disputed region of Abkhazia. An orphaned Polish Jewish Catholic novice has...

  • Strong acting can't right topsy-turvy priorities in 'The DUFF'

    Strong acting can't right topsy-turvy priorities in 'The DUFF'

    "The DUFF," starring Mae Whitman, Bella Thorne and Robbie Amell, is the latest teenage comedy to explore the ever-expanding list of ways kids torture one another in high school. For those who don't recognize the acronym, it stands for "designated ugly fat friend" and is used in the social media...

  • Struggling teen faces a rocky road in 'All the Wilderness'

    Struggling teen faces a rocky road in 'All the Wilderness'

    When we meet James Charm in "All the Wilderness," the sullen, isolated, insolent teen played so eloquently by Kodi Smit-McPhee is in an open field, focused on his journal, making notes and sketching a dead bird. A few minutes later, as he's making his way back home, James clashes with friends....

  • 'Paddington' is stuffed with family fun

    'Paddington' is stuffed with family fun

    If you've resisted the cheery enjoyment of "Paddington," thinking it merely a movie for kids, reconsider. Artful in its look and clever with its tale, it's been carefully constructed by writer-director-conjurer Paul King into an absolute delight. A big screen and dark theater only amp up the magical...

  • Oscars 2015: the best movies not up for best picture

    Oscars 2015: the best movies not up for best picture

    When it comes to the Oscar endgame — winning, losing or just being in the running — it's all about the numbers: the votes cast, promotion dollars spent, red carpets walked, interviews granted, pounds lost. ... The most confusing count this year — and every year since 2011 — might be the number...

  • In 'Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem,' unhappy and unequal

    In 'Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem,' unhappy and unequal

    Disturbing and shocking, "Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem" is a fiction about an unimaginable fact of life in present-day Israel. The divorce-centered drama is so provocative it's become a lightning rod for debate inside the country. Even watching from a distance is unnerving. For all intents...

  • 'The Last Five Years' feels a bit stage-bound

    'The Last Five Years' feels a bit stage-bound

    "The Last Five Years," starring Anna Kendrick, Jeremy Jordan and their powerful pipes, plays like a Broadway musical, because basically it is a musical. A very distinctive Jason Robert Brown musical, albeit the run was off-Broadway. With clever lyrics, contemporary music, and a playful relationship...

  • Suave yet with comic book energy, 'Kingsman' goes spying

    Suave yet with comic book energy, 'Kingsman' goes spying

    "Kingsman: The Secret Service," starring a natty Colin Firth, a newbie Taron Egerton and a naughty Samuel L. Jackson, is a dry, wry sendup of the 007 world, which is itself a sly, dry sendup of the spy game. Directed by "Kick-Ass" action specialist Matthew Vaughn with slightly more vigor than necessary...

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