Eric D. Snider

Movie Review: "The Skeleton Twins" B- September 12, 2014

Brother and sister cry, laugh, and love

On paper, "The Skeleton Twins" looks like an amalgamation of Sundance-friendly dramedies, the sort of film that already feels familiar the first time you see it. But in the execution, it benefits from the presence of Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, two of the best comedians "SNL" has produced in the last several years. Turns out they're not too shabby at drama, either, which helps when things get dark here.

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Movie Review: "The Drop" B- September 12, 2014

Where everybody knows your crimes

If you're a fan of adorable things happening in grim settings, you should know that Tom Hardy adopts a puppy in "The Drop," an average crime drama that is otherwise serious and not at all puppy-like. Although he does find the puppy in a garbage can, which is more in line with the rest of the movie's gloominess.

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Eric's Blog September 5, 2014

2014 Telluride Film Festival reviews

I spent Labor Day weekend in beautiful Telluride, Colo., where the 41st edition of that quaint mountain town's film festival was taking place, drawing cinephiles and wealthy people from around the world (guess which one I was).

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Movie Review: "The One I Love" B+ August 29, 2014

I love you, you're perfect, now change

[In theaters and Video on Demand.]

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Movie Review: "If I Stay" C August 29, 2014

Girl pretends to weigh easy decision

"Sometimes you make choices in life, and sometimes choices make you." So says an actual character in "If I Stay," which is a real movie. It's the kind of aphorism that sounds deep until you think about it, and "If I Stay," which is based on a novel for teenage girls (I'm sorry, "young adults"), is likewise the kind of movie whose profundity evaporates as soon as two or three neurons are fired in its direction.

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Movie Review: "The Congress" B August 28, 2014

Half-animated future dystopian satire

[In theaters and Video on Demand.]

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Movie Review: "What If" B- August 15, 2014

Romantic comedy, but with real comedy

"What If" doesn't exactly put a new spin on the tired romantic-comedy formula -- and the meaningless, arbitrarily assigned title doesn't help -- but it does apply enough wit and relatable human behavior to the formula to make it recommendable, which is more than you can say for most rom-coms.

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Movie Review: "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)" C- August 15, 2014

The return of the smart-mouthed reptiles

Long ago, in the closing decades of the 20th century, there was a children's cartoon, based on a comic book, called "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," in which a quartet of grotesque reptilian vigilantes lived in a sewer and fought criminals under the direction of a wise rat. There were a few live-action movies based on these characters, all of them (the movies) rancid.

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Movie Review: "The Expendables 3" D+ August 15, 2014

Stallone rallies some of the old gang

The point (such as it was) of the first two "Expendables" movies was to feature an all-star cast of action heroes past and present killing bad guys and blowing things up. The films took themselves too seriously overall, but you got the sense Stallone and his gnarled, wrinkly friends understood and embraced the scenario's inherent camp value. They were in on the joke.

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Movie Review: "Into the Storm" C- August 14, 2014

Ninnies and rubes and the blustery day

"Into the Storm" is the story of various idiots who team up to observe closely/flee in terror from a massive series of tornadoes in Oklahoma and environs. A few of the idiots are professional storm chasers, played by the likes of Matt Walsh ("Veep"), Sarah Wayne Callies ("The Walking Dead"), and Jeremy Sumpter ("Friday Night Lights"). A few more idiots come from a town in the storms' path, where the high school graduation ceremony is going ahead as scheduled. These include a lovestruck junior named Donnie (Max Deacon), his brother Trey (Nathan Kress), and their father (Richard Armitage), who for maximum convenience is also the vice principal. Finally, there are two idiot hillbillies named Donk and Reevis (Kyle Davis, Jon Reep) who hope to get YouTube famous by following nadoes in their truck (labeled "TWISTA HUNTERZ") and filming themselves doing dangerous things with them. It's PG-13, so don't expect to see as many deaths of irritating characters as you'd like to.

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