Urbanite

Movie review: 'Her,' 4 stars

her movie

(Credit: Joaquin Phoenix stars in "Her." (Warner Bros. Pictures))

"Her" imagines a futuristic world in which a lonely man falls in love with an advanced, sentient operating system. That's not too far-fetched in this era of smartphones and tablets, with our lives becoming increasingly contained within those devices.

Spike Jonze's tender romance has more on its mind than a heightened commentary on a pervasive cultural trend, however. It's a movie...

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Movie review: 'Lone Survivor,' 3 stars

lone survivor

(Credit: Taylor Kitsch and Mark Wahlberg in "Lone Survivor" (Greg Peters))

In one sense, "Lone Survivor" is a myopic enterprise. Writer-director Peter Berg demonstrates an abiding lack of interest in the larger geopolitical and human circumstances surrounding Operation Red Wings, the failed 2005 SEAL Team 10 mission in Afghanistan that the movie re-creates.

But what the picture lacks in perspective it makes up for in sheer visceral force: This is a steadfastly...

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Movie review: 'The Wolf of Wall Street,' 3.5 stars

wolf of wall street

(Credit: Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio in "The Wolf of Wall Street." (Paramount Pictures and Red Granite ))

Time and time again, the same scene greets us in "The Wolf of Wall Street." Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) strides to the front of the Stratton Oakmont trading floor, the alpha dog facing his pack, where he delivers a frenzied stem-winder on the American Dream, masculinity, the joys of financial prosperity and the thrill of a good sale.

Martin Scorsese's camera lingers behind...

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Movie review: 'Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues' -- 3 stars

"Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues": Ron Burgundy and

(Credit: Gemma LaMana)

"Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" arrives in theaters following an endless promotional campaign that has seen Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy starring in everything from Dodge Durango commercials to North Dakota news broadcasts.

That relentless push followed years of stops, starts and speculation concerning this sequel to Ferrell and Adam McKay's 2004 hit about an incompetent, sexist...

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Movie review: 'Saving Mr. Banks,' 1.5 stars

Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson in "Saving Mr.

(Credit: Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson in "Saving Mr. Banks")

Saving Mr. Banks Directed by John Lee Hancock Starring Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell Rated PG

"Saving Mr. Banks" is an amiable but profoundly confused bit of corporate propaganda. That's to be expected, given that it's a Disney movie about Walt Disney essentially browbeating the reluctant P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson), the creator of "Mary Poppins," into consenting...

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Movie review: 'American Hustle,' 2 stars

From left: Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner,

(Credit: From left: Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence)

American Hustle Directed by David O. Russell Starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence Rated R

My goodness, a lot happens during "American Hustle," David O. Russell's live-wire late '70s/early '80s- style show loosely based on the FBI Abscam operation.

The camera dances and darts, pushes in and pulls away, as stars Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley...

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Movie review: 'Some Velvet Morning,' 2 stars

Stanley Tucci

(Credit: Stanley Tucci)

Some Velvet Morning Directed by Neil LaBute Starring Stanley Tucci, Alice Eve Not Rated

"Some Velvet Morning" is essentially a hybrid of cinema and theater, joining the tradition of conversation-centric movies such as "My Dinner with Andre."

There's a camera, two actors and a script, with the greatest visual embellishment consisting of the contrast between a character's...

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Oscar Isaac chats about star-making turn in 'Inside Llewyn Davis'

oscar issac

(Credit: Oscar Isaac in "Inside Llewyn Davis" (CBS Films))

The career of any great movie actor often can be traced back to a single moment, or series of moments, in a single film, where the audience takes notice as a star is born.

You know what I mean: Tom Cruise sliding across the floor in "Risky Business"; Liza Minnelli exploding onto the stage in "Cabaret."

Oscar Isaac ("Drive") has a scene like that about two-thirds...

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Movie review: 'Inside Llewyn Davis' -- 4 stars

Llewyn Davis

(Credit: Oscar Isaac, left, and Justin Timberlake in "Inside Llewyn Davis." (CBS Films))

"Inside Llewyn Davis" begins with the chattering of a crowd, the tuning of a guitar, a close-up on a microphone and an emotional rendition of the folk standard "Hang Me, Oh Hang Me" by star Oscar Isaac.

Unfolding in the one-time MacDougal Street institution Gaslight Café in 1961, it's an auspicious beginning to the latest masterwork from Joel and Ethan Coen, lodging a lump...

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Stanwyck favorites at Film Forum

Barbara Stanwyck

(Credit: Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray in "Double Indemnity")

Few screen legends compare to Barbara Stanwyck, the Brooklyn-born icon who matched her beauty with equally formidable talent and strength over the course of a sterling career.

Beginning Friday and running through the end of the month, Film Forum offers a tribute to the classical Hollywood star, screening many of her career highlights.

Don't miss these:

'The Lady Eve'

Stanwyck...

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