Gary Thompson: The Perks of Being a Wallflower takes the other side of the bullied high-school outcast story and shows us a teen who discovers the fun of belonging.
Gary Thompson: Wont' Back Down jams a sharp stick into the hornet's nest of public education reform. The result: a lot of buzz. Much of it concentrated on the movie's financing.
Gary Thompson: If you're some astrophysicist nerd who's going to "Looper" to live-blog about credibility problems with its time-travel plot, please stay home.
Gary Thompson: "End of Watch" has the feel of something pieced together from choice cop lore, heir to the Joseph Wambaugh tradition - a ride-along that allows us to see things only patrol officers see, gory and disturbing as they may be.
Gary Thompson: "Trouble With the Curve" is the AARP answer to "Moneyball."
Gary Thompson: Dredd 3D takes from the original comic strip the idea of a near-future dystopia where a post-nuked, lawless Mega-City is patrolled by law-enforcement "judges" who, if they witness a crime, are permitted to exterminate the criminals.
Director Nicholas Jarecki said when he set out to write about high finance, he avoided anything that smacked of Bernie Madoff.
Gary Thompson: Sleepwalk With Me is adapted from a popular stage play that describes Mike Birbiglia's matriculation as a standup comic and his disintegrating relationship with his lovely, tolerant girlfriend (Lauren Ambrose).
Gary Thompson: Spike Lee's "Red Hook Summer" is an erratic mix of one-crazy-summer high jinks and gathering unease that explodes, finally, in jarring conclusion.
Gary Thompson: In Hollywood, summer has come to mean momentousness, a space where you can't play unless you've got a gargantuan budget and a 2.5-hour running time.
Gary Thompson: Rashida Jones has been such a consistent, pleasant and welcome presence in movies and television, we may not have noticed she hasn't been given a lot to do.