Membership
Get unlimited digital access. Try it today for only $0.99.
Los Angeles Times

Betsy Sharkey, Film Critic

  • 'The Last Five Years' feels a bit stage-bound

    'The Last Five Years' feels a bit stage-bound

    "The Last Five Years," starring Anna Kendrick, Jeremy Jordan and their powerful pipes, plays like a Broadway musical, because basically it is a musical. A very distinctive Jason Robert Brown musical, albeit the run was off-Broadway. With clever lyrics, contemporary music, and a playful relationship...

  • In 'Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem,' unhappy and unequal

    In 'Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem,' unhappy and unequal

    Disturbing and shocking, "Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem" is a fiction about an unimaginable fact of life in present-day Israel. The divorce-centered drama is so provocative it's become a lightning rod for debate inside the country. Even watching from a distance is unnerving. For all intents...

  • Oscars 2015: Powerful foreign-language film nominees incite with insight

    Oscars 2015: Powerful foreign-language film nominees incite with insight

    A simple cattle herder in the sand dunes of Mali finds his fate in the hands of edgy, insolent Islamic extremists. An Estonian tangerine farmer is caught in the crossfire between Georgian and Chechen ground forces in the disputed region of Abkhazia. An orphaned Polish Jewish Catholic novice has...

  • Oscars 2015: Julianne Moore and the art of effortlessness

    Oscars 2015: Julianne Moore and the art of effortlessness

    As beautiful as Julianne Moore is, that cascading red hair, those flashing green eyes, that killer smile, there is an earthiness and an edginess about the actress and her performances that define the woman she is and the women she becomes on-screen. Hard work forges her way, with an emotional openness...

  • Oscars 2015: the best movies not up for best picture

    Oscars 2015: the best movies not up for best picture

    When it comes to the Oscar endgame — winning, losing or just being in the running — it's all about the numbers: the votes cast, promotion dollars spent, red carpets walked, interviews granted, pounds lost. ... The most confusing count this year — and every year since 2011 — might be the number...

  • 'Paddington' is stuffed with family fun

    'Paddington' is stuffed with family fun

    If you've resisted the cheery enjoyment of "Paddington," thinking it merely a movie for kids, reconsider. Artful in its look and clever with its tale, it's been carefully constructed by writer-director-conjurer Paul King into an absolute delight. A big screen and dark theater only amp up the magical...

  • 'SpongeBob' ventures ashore with mixed results

    'SpongeBob' ventures ashore with mixed results

    All of the strangely charming cartoony undersea nonsense of SpongeBob that's delighted kids and stoners for year comes to the surface in "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water." Prepare to giggle. It's been a long, dry decade since 2004's "The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie," though the ongoing...

  • Suave yet with comic book energy, 'Kingsman' goes spying

    Suave yet with comic book energy, 'Kingsman' goes spying

    "Kingsman: The Secret Service," starring a natty Colin Firth, a newbie Taron Egerton and a naughty Samuel L. Jackson, is a dry, wry sendup of the 007 world, which is itself a sly, dry sendup of the spy game. Directed by "Kick-Ass" action specialist Matthew Vaughn with slightly more vigor than necessary...

  • Struggling teen faces a rocky road in 'All the Wilderness'

    Struggling teen faces a rocky road in 'All the Wilderness'

    When we meet James Charm in "All the Wilderness," the sullen, isolated, insolent teen played so eloquently by Kodi Smit-McPhee is in an open field, focused on his journal, making notes and sketching a dead bird. A few minutes later, as he's making his way back home, James clashes with friends....

  • 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." Jason Statham stars as Nick Wild, a P.I. who specializes in the low-life scene...

Loading
83°