The Emperor’s Club
Criticism

The Emperor’s Club

Honor System Inspirational boys-school drama makes the grade Despite a superficial similarity between Dead Poets Society and The Emperor’s Club (including their markedly comparable titles), this morality tale set at an all-boys school presents quite a different story than Robin Williams’ inspirational weeper. Less concerned with seizing the day than pursuing integrity, it focuses on … Continue reading

The Guru
Criticism

The Guru

Bombay Schemes Sex and spirituality collide in The Guru In India’s distinctive Bollywood movie-extravaganzas, musical numbers abound and happy endings are always a foregone conclusion. So it is with The Guru, a merry – if quirky – romantic comedy that pokes gentle fun at Bollywood even as it gleefully embraces every corny convention of the … Continue reading

The Hunted
Criticism

The Hunted

Off Track Despite the star power in The Hunted, there’s no thrill in this chase What happened to William Friedkin? Early in his career, he gained notoriety by directing acclaimed hits like The Boys in the Band, The French Connection and The Exorcist. But for the past several years, when he hasn’t been devoting himself … Continue reading

The Recruit
Criticism

The Recruit

Spies Like Us Al Pacino and Collin Farrell go undercover in The Recruit Somewhere during his long and illustrious career, after The Godfather but before Scent of a Woman, Al Pacino became a parody himself. Once the king of larger-than-life yet vividly real characterizations, he now substitutes bravado for emotional truth. These days, Pacino tends … Continue reading

The Pianist
Criticism

The Pianist

Solo Effort Roman Polanski’s latest strikes a perfect chord There’s a pivotal moment in The Pianist when its protagonist, celebrated composer and pianist and real-life Holocaust survivor Wladyslaw Szpilman (Adrien Brody), is called upon to give a singularly crucial command performance. Discovered hiding in the parlor of an abandoned house by a Nazi soldier (Thomas … Continue reading

The Ring
Criticism

The Ring

Duped Thriller about a deadly videotape is a pale copy of the original A remake of the most popular Japanese horror flick of all time, The Ring centers around a mysterious videotape that causes viewers to die precisely seven days after watching it. After exposing the tape’s contents (a hysterical mixture of surrealist imagery and … Continue reading