Editorial
Endorsement: Clinton would make a sober, smart and pragmatic president.Trump would be a catastrophe
Los Angeles Times

Betsy Sharkey, Film Critic

  • 'Little Accidents' mines small-town tragedy with Gothic grit

    'Little Accidents' mines small-town tragedy with Gothic grit

    In "Little Accidents," a drama set in a West Virginia coal-mining town, a boy, a woman and a man become inextricably and painfully linked in the aftermath of a mine explosion that left nine men dead. Elizabeth Banks, Boyd Holbrook and Jacob Lofland star as the three broken people whom writer-director...

  • Daring films lifted the artform in 2014

    Daring films lifted the artform in 2014

    Like voices crying in the wilderness — rising above that vast wasteland of movie mediocrity — came the roar of the auteurs in 2014. A rangy group with varying aesthetics, they've left an indelible imprint on cinema despite the 400 or so of the marginal that clogged our theaters and muddled our...

  • Golden Globes 2015: Sweet wins for audacious filmaking

    Golden Globes 2015: Sweet wins for audacious filmaking

    "Unapologetic." Michael Keaton invoked the idea as he accepted the Golden Globe for playing a fading movie actor trying to rise like a phoenix on Broadway. He was referring to his all-too-human character in "Birdman," directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, another Globe winner. "Audacious" would have...

  • An 'Annie' without the expected sunshine, spirit or energy

    An 'Annie' without the expected sunshine, spirit or energy

    Hard to believe the sun will come out tomorrow for the new "Annie." Starring Jamie Foxx as the mogul and Quvenzhané Wallis as the moppet, there are so many reasons to rain on this parade. Director Will Gluck's glam, grim re-imagining of the Depression-era musical about the hard-hearted rich man...

  • 'Taken 3's' Liam Neeson fires up action, and unintended laughs

    'Taken 3's' Liam Neeson fires up action, and unintended laughs

    "Taken 3" is so unintentionally hilarious I couldn't help but wonder — do movie contracts carry a humiliation bonus clause these days? The high-octane action thriller once again features Liam Neeson as the former black ops guy with all those particular skills intact. But this time around the dramatics...

  • Chris Rock a rough, raw, rare diamond in 'Top Five'

    Chris Rock a rough, raw, rare diamond in 'Top Five'

    Movie critics irritate Chris Rock. So do obsessed fans, reality TV, celebrity culture and Hollywood in general. Frankly, I'm thrilled that all these things push Rock's buttons. That pique produces the stinging, sweet hilarity of "Top Five." It has also finally given Rock the big-screen role this...

  • 'Two Days, One Night' has Marion Cotillard at her best

    'Two Days, One Night' has Marion Cotillard at her best

    It is strange to think of "Two Days, One Night" as a thriller. The new drama from Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, the accomplished Belgium filmmaking brothers, stars French actress Marion Cotillard as a factory worker trying to win her job back. But a thriller is exactly what they've created, setting...

  • Betsy Sharkey's best films of 2014

    Betsy Sharkey's best films of 2014

    The imprint of the auteur not only shaped the year, it very much influences each of my top 10 (or so) choices. 1. "Boyhood": From the marvelous musing mind of Richard Linklater, the film stands alone and apart for the grand ambition behind its understated portrait of a boy, his family and change...

  • Tim Burton's 'Big Eyes' feels too paint-by-numbers

    Tim Burton's 'Big Eyes' feels too paint-by-numbers

    Whether leaving his mark with the bizarre yet sweet sentimentality of "Edward Scissorhands" and "Beetlejuice," the brilliant Oscar-nominated stop-motion animation of "Frankenweenie" and "Corpse Bride," or the brashness of his "Batman" reboots, Tim Burton has always been one of film's boldest visionaries....

  • 'Monk With a Camera,' though devoted, is blurry at its center

    'Monk With a Camera,' though devoted, is blurry at its center

    As a documentary, "Monk With a Camera: The Life and Journey of Nicholas Vreeland" is as unassuming as its subject. It seems to demand nothing as it goes about sketching out Vreeland's unusual religious and creative quest. Directed by Guido Santi and Tina Mascara, the film is, indeed, about a Tibetan...

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