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

  • Betsy Sharkey's best films of 2014

    Betsy Sharkey's best films of 2014

    The imprint of the auteur not only shaped the year, it very much influences each of my top 10 (or so) choices. 1. "Boyhood": From the marvelous musing mind of Richard Linklater, the film stands alone and apart for the grand ambition behind its understated portrait of a boy, his family and change...

  • An 'Annie' without the expected sunshine, spirit or energy

    An 'Annie' without the expected sunshine, spirit or energy

    Hard to believe the sun will come out tomorrow for the new "Annie." Starring Jamie Foxx as the mogul and Quvenzhané Wallis as the moppet, there are so many reasons to rain on this parade. Director Will Gluck's glam, grim re-imagining of the Depression-era musical about the hard-hearted rich man...

  • 'Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' too often overwhelms

    'Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' too often overwhelms

    There are three big Middle-earth lessons in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," Peter Jackson's final film tribute to J.R.R. Tolkien's literary fable. Firstly: Dragons, even ones as mighty as that slithery scorcher Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch), are ever so moan-y and melodramatic when...

  • 'Monk With a Camera,' though devoted, is blurry at its center

    'Monk With a Camera,' though devoted, is blurry at its center

    As a documentary, "Monk With a Camera: The Life and Journey of Nicholas Vreeland" is as unassuming as its subject. It seems to demand nothing as it goes about sketching out Vreeland's unusual religious and creative quest. Directed by Guido Santi and Tina Mascara, the film is, indeed, about a Tibetan...

  • Chris Rock a rough, raw, rare diamond in 'Top Five'

    Chris Rock a rough, raw, rare diamond in 'Top Five'

    Movie critics irritate Chris Rock. So do obsessed fans, reality TV, celebrity culture and Hollywood in general. Frankly, I'm thrilled that all these things push Rock's buttons. That pique produces the stinging, sweet hilarity of "Top Five." It has also finally given Rock the big-screen role this...

  • Golden Globes 2015: 'Boyhood,' 'Grand Budapest' directors walk alone

    Golden Globes 2015: 'Boyhood,' 'Grand Budapest' directors walk alone

    The Golden Globe Awards' five nominations for "Boyhood" and four for "The Grand Budapest Hotel" will be analyzed many ways in a season that has seen little clarity beyond the emerging dominance of "Birdman." I call it the Texas Effect. Or to put it in modern terms, #TheTexasEffect. Both "Boyhood"...

  • 'Inherent Vice' a trippy beach noir set in '70s L.A.

    'Inherent Vice' a trippy beach noir set in '70s L.A.

    "Inherent Vice," Paul Thomas Anderson's trippy, trenchant satire, is very much a creature of Thomas Pynchon's biting deconstruction of the final daze of peace, love and understanding that gives the film its inspiration and its name. Joaquin Phoenix and the terrific acting ensemble that joins him...

  • 'Wild' shows Witherspoon's vulnerable side

    'Wild' shows Witherspoon's vulnerable side

    To put it bluntly, it took Cheryl Strayed wandering in the woods to get Reese Witherspoon back on track. In "Wild," based on Strayed's bestselling memoir of her punishing 1,100-mile solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, the actress discovers her deeper self much like the character she played. Witherspoon,...

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