Betsy Sharkey, Film Critic

  • 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."

  • '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.

  • 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,...

  • 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.

  • 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...

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