Betsy Sharkey, Film Critic

  • Roman Polanski knows the ropes in 'Venus in Fur'

    Roman Polanski knows the ropes in 'Venus in Fur'

    "Venus in Fur," a whip-smart dissection of gender politics via some teasing S&M, is arch. So arch in fact that it is surprising it's a Roman Polanski film. The director has spent a great deal of creative energy over the course of his career exploring the dark side of punishing psychosexuality in...

  • Paul Mazursky made incisive, edgy comedies without a mean streak

    Paul Mazursky made incisive, edgy comedies without a mean streak

    It's hard not to take the death of Paul Mazursky personally. When Jill Clayburgh's character was unceremoniously uncoupled in Paul Mazursky's "An Unmarried Woman" in 1978, a generation of American women were right there with her, rocked by the realities of being replaced by a trophy wife. Her issues...

  • '22 Jump Street' pokes its R-rated finger at everything — hilariously

    '22 Jump Street' pokes its R-rated finger at everything — hilariously

    Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill head to college for yet another crime caper in '22 Jump Street.' This sequel's spoof of its predecessor's riff on the original TV show is an irreverent, imperfect riot.

  • A badly jumbled 'Moment' gets lost in a woman's mind

    A badly jumbled 'Moment' gets lost in a woman's mind

    "The Moment" is a psychological thriller more muddled than the mind and the maze it is caught up in. Director Jane Weinstock, who co-wrote the screenplay with Gloria Norris, is deconstructing a series of traumas that have left one woman catatonic and confused, then tracing her long journey back...

  • 'Tammy' not much fun, and talented Melissa McCarthy needs to wise up

    'Tammy' not much fun, and talented Melissa McCarthy needs to wise up

    Oh, "Tammy." Can I call you Tammy? I hate to break it to you, but the thrill is gone. I'd like to say it's me, not you. But I really think it's you. As the latest, loudest, R-rated, plus-size incarnation of Melissa McCarthy's comic psyche, you had such promise. But the party's over. The fun has...

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