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

  • 'SpongeBob' ventures ashore with mixed results

    'SpongeBob' ventures ashore with mixed results

    All of the strangely charming cartoony undersea nonsense of SpongeBob that's delighted kids and stoners for year comes to the surface in "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water." Prepare to giggle. It's been a long, dry decade since 2004's "The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie," though the ongoing...

  • 'Seventh Son's' medieval fantasy falls flat on every level

    'Seventh Son's' medieval fantasy falls flat on every level

    I know it's early, but "Seventh Son" may actually be the worst movie of the year. It will most certainly be a contender. The medieval/fantasy/action/drama/romance hits pretty close to a perfect 10 on the egregious scale. Let's start with the beginning and work our way down from there. Scene: a...

  • 'Timbuktu' takes a stand against Islamic extremism

    'Timbuktu' takes a stand against Islamic extremism

    Islamic extremists are the butt of the bone-dry joke in the new drama "Timbuktu," with director Abderrahmane Sissako taking a satiric swipe at the armed fundamentalists who've overtaken the northwestern African desert outpost. The film, one of five vying for a foreign-language Oscar, will be at...

  • Vegas-set 'Wild Card' draws an, oh, so predictable hand

    Vegas-set 'Wild Card' draws an, oh, so predictable hand

    Do you know what happens when you push a bone-breaking jujitsu expert to the, well, breaking point? Action, baby, action, and the bodies they do pile up like presents under the tree in the new action movie "Wild Card." Jason Statham stars as Nick Wild, a P.I. who specializes in the low-life scene...

  • 'Timbuktu' a compelling exploration of extremism's absurdities

    'Timbuktu' a compelling exploration of extremism's absurdities

    The intriguingly unorthodox "Timbuktu," one of five films vying for a foreign-language Oscar, is a provocative, sometimes satiric drama about the sort of Islamic extremists who make life, especially in the outer reaches, so treacherous these days. Though the film, set around 2012, is specific to...

  • We view movies through the lens of our times; case in point, 'Selma'

    We view movies through the lens of our times; case in point, 'Selma'

    It is impossible to see "Selma," Ava DuVernay's Oscar-nominated drama tracing the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic 1965 march to demand voting rights be accorded all citizens of this land, and not feel the weight of Ferguson, Mo., in 2014, and the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, felled...

  • Biopics find new life at the Oscars and beyond

    Biopics find new life at the Oscars and beyond

    Looking across the Oscar nominations you'll see a landscape populated by pictures about real people. Look beyond the Oscars and you'll see even more. The last 12 months has produced an abundance of biographies. It's as if film's current artistic collective decided to figure out what subject matter...

  • 'Winter Sleep' haunting portrait of one man's crumbling world

    'Winter Sleep' haunting portrait of one man's crumbling world

    "Winter Sleep," the drama from acclaimed Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, requires, like the snowfall that blankets a village in Cappadocia, where this story unfolds, that you settle in for a while. Three hours, 16 minutes to be precise. And Ceylan is precise. There are no wasted moments as...

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