Gary Thompson: To sit at a screening is to hear sighs and snickers occurring almost at once - something the filmmakers appear to understand, and to play without shame or adherence to rules of tone or internal logic.
Gary Thompson: We tend to remember Alexander Payne movies for their comedic highlights, but he's the master of the agonizing "oooof!" moment in American movies.
Gary Thompson: "INTO THE Abyss" introduces us to a pair of flagrantly guilty killers - one about to die by lethal injection, one serving life.
Gary Thompson: "Jack and Jill" is one of Adam Sandler's occasional offerings to that portion of his audience who's crazy for fart jokes. These movies tend to drive critics crazy.
Gary Thompson: IN "Melancholia," Lars von Trier has made the wedding movie to end all wedding movies, a description that's more literal than you can imagine.
Gary Thompson: Leonardo DiCaprio is one of more than 30 actors to play J. Edgar Hoover, whose shrouded life makes him a tough target for actors.
"BUT THINK if we had been males!"
"LIKE CRAZY" tracks the imperiled, intercontinental romance of two young lovers.
Gary Thompson: The super-kinky horror of "The Skin I Live In" is like Pedro Almodovar's toxic reaction to the prospect of becoming respectable.
Gary Thompson: There are four people of note making use of 3-D technology this holiday season: Scorsese, Spielberg and Harold and Kumar.
Gary Thompson: Hollywood's long-overdue pimp-slap of loathsome pension-swindler Bernie Madoff has finally arrived, and it's surprisingly good.
For the moment, Elizabeth Olsen, star of Martha Marcy May Marlene, is best known as the younger sister of Mary Kate and Ashley. That's about to change.
Gary Thompson: "Martha Marcy May Marlene" is an effective indie about cult psychology, but it will probably be remembered as the movie that put Elizabeth Olsen on the map.
Gary Thompson: In the parallel sci-fi universe of "In Time," scientists have capped the aging process at 25, and rich people have turned time into a commodity.
Gary Thompson: You don't have to know the history of William Shakespeare or the Earl of Oxford to know that "Anonymous" is completely full of beans.
Gary Thompson: "The Rum Diary" is loosely based on Hunter S. Thompson's own experiences in 1950s Puerto Rico as a journalist, and Johnny Depp, though playing a guy named Paul Kemp, leaves no doubt he's channeling Thompson.
TIMING IN movies is everything, and the timing for the bad banker drama "Margin Call" would seem to be perfect.
The story of Cathy Rush and the 1971-72 Immaculata College women's basketball team, as recounted in "The Mighty Macs," hits those familiar beats with a happy ending to boot.
Gary Thompson: In Take Shelter, a man stops to look at ominous storm clouds, then sticks out his hand to catch raindrops that turn to greasy, yellow oil in his hands.