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

  • 'Strange Magic' casts a musical spell, but as a movie it misses

    'Strange Magic' casts a musical spell, but as a movie it misses

    "Strange Magic," the new animated musical fairy tale from the mind and the mixtape of George Lucas, is indeed strange. What's missing is the magic. The first animation feature film collaboration since Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012 seems a contrivance at best. It plays very much like a long music...

  • 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' is most magical on the big screen

    'The Grand Budapest Hotel' is most magical on the big screen

    Watching Wes Anderson's magical mystery tour of "The Grand Budapest Hotel" again recently, this time on my home TV, I was reminded that it is even more magical on the big screen. That darkened theater just puts you in the proper place to absorb its imagery, its secrets and especially, to be entertained...

  • Oscars 2015: Indie outside shot 'Whiplash' keeps hitting the mark

    Oscars 2015: Indie outside shot 'Whiplash' keeps hitting the mark

    From the very first, "Whiplash" has survived and thrived by being the different drummer — philosophically, metaphorically, literally. It's a $3.3-million indie outside shot that somehow keeps hitting the mark. Now it's got five Oscar nominations in its pocket. For an unsparingly tough movie about...

  • 'Little Accidents' mines small-town tragedy with Gothic grit

    'Little Accidents' mines small-town tragedy with Gothic grit

    In "Little Accidents," a drama set in a West Virginia coal-mining town, a boy, a woman and a man become inextricably and painfully linked in the aftermath of a mine explosion that left nine men dead. Elizabeth Banks, Boyd Holbrook and Jacob Lofland star as the three broken people whom writer-director...

  • 'Paddington' brings irresistible bear to life

    'Paddington' brings irresistible bear to life

    Where to start with the wondrous whimsy of "Paddington"? Artfully and cleverly, the sweet spirit of that young bear from darkest Peru and his many London misadventures materializes brilliantly on screen in the very good hands of writer-director-conjurer Paul King. The beloved storybook character...

  • Kevin Hart-Josh Gad chemistry highlights 'The Wedding Ringer'

    Kevin Hart-Josh Gad chemistry highlights 'The Wedding Ringer'

    It's not quite a match made in heaven, but there is considerable comic chemistry between the high-octane Kevin Hart and the energy-conserving Josh Gad. A good thing since theirs is the only relationship worth watching in "The Wedding Ringer." There sure isn't much going on between Doug (Gad) and...

  • Golden Globes 2015: Sweet wins for audacious filmaking

    Golden Globes 2015: Sweet wins for audacious filmaking

    "Unapologetic." Michael Keaton invoked the idea as he accepted the Golden Globe for playing a fading movie actor trying to rise like a phoenix on Broadway. He was referring to his all-too-human character in "Birdman," directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, another Globe winner. "Audacious" would have...

  • 'Taken 3's' Liam Neeson fires up action, and unintended laughs

    'Taken 3's' Liam Neeson fires up action, and unintended laughs

    "Taken 3" is so unintentionally hilarious I couldn't help but wonder — do movie contracts carry a humiliation bonus clause these days? The high-octane action thriller once again features Liam Neeson as the former black ops guy with all those particular skills intact. But this time around the dramatics...

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