Betsy Sharkey, Film Critic

  • 'The Trip to Italy' is delicious summer fun
    'The Trip to Italy' is delicious summer fun

    Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, playing slightly more absurd versions of their selves, dissect middle age, acting and more in Michael Winterbottom's culinary road trip film 'The Trip to Italy.'

  • 'The Trip to Italy' a movable feast with Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon
    'The Trip to Italy' a movable feast with Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon

    Food, friendships and Michael Caine impressions are dissected in director Michael Winterbottom's breezy film 'The Trip to Italy,' with Coogan and Brydon playing fictionalized versions of themselves.

  • Robin Williams seized the day in every role
    Robin Williams seized the day in every role

    Shock came first on hearing the news Monday that the master comic mind we knew as Robin Williams was dead at 63, apparently overwhelmed by the kind of despair that he lightened for so many of the rest of us.

  • 'The Purge: Anarchy' ups the ante and the gore
    'The Purge: Anarchy' ups the ante and the gore

    "The Purge: Anarchy" is a good deal bloodier, but also — gulp — a good deal better than its predecessor. Make no mistake, a good "Purge" does not equal a good movie, but the post-apocalyptic thriller is slightly more interesting because it takes itself, and its menace,...

  • 'Magic in the Moonlight' is an amusing trifle of a film
    'Magic in the Moonlight' is an amusing trifle of a film

    With 'Magic in the Moonlight,' Woody Allen dallies with true romance, magicians and spirituality, plus pretty girls and scenery. The film, which stars Colin Firth and Emma Stone, is magical, but ever so slightly.

  • Director Aaron Fernandez makes 'The Empty Hours' worth the time
    Director Aaron Fernandez makes 'The Empty Hours' worth the time

    "The Empty Hours," Aaron Fernandez's balmy, blissful new film, is about an impressionable 17-year-old Sebastian, a mid-30s Miranda and an aging rent-by-the-hour beach motel nestled on a spare stretch of Veracruz, Mexico, coastline where their paths briefly cross.

  • 'Begin Again' mends any broken heart in sight
    'Begin Again' mends any broken heart in sight

    There are many reasons why "Begin Again" continues to have such great staying power against the big guns this summer. Expanding its run in L.A. this weekend, the story is a catchy one, the music is great, and it is flavored by real musicians, including Mos Def, CeeLo Green and a...

  • 'Sex Tape' lacks appeal, even with Jason Segel, Cameron Diaz
    'Sex Tape' lacks appeal, even with Jason Segel, Cameron Diaz

    Let's start with the bare facts. A big-screen shot of a naked handstand is an overshare any way you look at it of parts and places better left unexposed — even from the back, even in a raunchy sex comedy titled "Sex Tape," even when executed by Jason Segel, like costar Cameron...

  • 'Land Ho!' embarks on two men's adventures in Iceland
    'Land Ho!' embarks on two men's adventures in Iceland

    Calling something a feel-good film always feels like a pejorative, so let's just say that after seeing "Land Ho!" you are very likely to feel a good deal better.

  • 'I Origins' looks polished, but story is out of focus
    'I Origins' looks polished, but story is out of focus

    In Mike Cahill movies, bad things happen to good people, and other good people are guilt-ridden as a result. But the human connections and the spare sci-fi logic that characterized "Another Earth," Cahill's ethereal romantic dramatic debut, are muddied in his second feature,...

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