Los Angeles Times

Betsy Sharkey, Film Critic

  • 'Two Faces of January' a twisted tale driven by talented trio

    'Two Faces of January' a twisted tale driven by talented trio

    Ambiguity is the intrigue in "The Two Faces of January," the new thriller starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac. Acclaimed writer Hossein Amini, making his feature directing debut, sets it up beautifully on a sun-washed day in Athens, Greece, in the early 1960s. Rydal (Isaac),...

  • Any way you slice it, 'Boxtrolls' is an unwieldy visual feast

    Any way you slice it, 'Boxtrolls' is an unwieldy visual feast

    Many intriguing unlovelies are found in "The Boxtrolls," a new 3-D animated fable that lifts liberally from the sketches and dark sensibility of Alan Snow's creepy-good children's novel "Here Be Monsters." A rich voice cast adds oomph, led by a vamping Ben Kingsley as villainous Archibald Snatcher...

  • 'Alexander's' day isn't so terrible, film isn't so great

    'Alexander's' day isn't so terrible, film isn't so great

    Like so many family movies of the past, "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" rests on the idea of the innocent and the unsuspecting caught in embarrassing, but amusing, situations. I believe it's technically referred to as the shock-and-scream effect. All of the Coopers...

  • 'Men, Women & Children' is artificial look at Internet world

    'Men, Women & Children' is artificial look at Internet world

    "Men, Women & Children," Jason Reitman's new anti-Internet screed, plays like one of those email rants you're better off not sending. Reitman's world is not just wired; it's a war zone. And the wreckage of broken connections that the Internet facilitates lies everywhere. The question that keeps...

  • 'Tracks' vividly captures true story of woman's desert trek

    'Tracks' vividly captures true story of woman's desert trek

    The desert trek in "Tracks" is as brutal as it is beautiful; the performance by Mia Wasikowska as raw as the reality. And the camels? If they don't steal your heart it must be stone-hinged. Director John Curran, whose visual imprint is always artfully drawn in films such as "The Painted Veil,"...

65°