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AugustTable
AugustTable
AugustTable

August: Osage County

Great plays almost never make for great films. I’ve said it a million times. So it goes with the screen adaptation of Tracy Letts’ landmark play, “August: Osage County,” which debuted on Broadway in 2007...
 
Drama
 
Trust10
Trust10
Trust10

Trust: Another Overlooked Gem From 2011

With the films of 2013 being pretty disappointing so far, we at Tour de Force are looking back at the many under-rated films of 2011, which are ripe for reconsideration — and Netflix streaming. If you’re looking for...
 
Drama
 
Pines
Pines
Pines

Place Beyond the Pines: Starts Out Great but Devolves into Soap Opera

“The Place Beyond the Pines” represents something of a step back for filmmaker Derek Cianfrance. His first feature, “Blue Valentine” (2010), starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, a near-masterpiec...

 
Drama
 
Lincoln3
Lincoln3
Lincoln3

Lincoln: Imperfect, but Packed with Content and a Must-See

“Lincoln” is a quietly moving, serious film for grown-ups. It has its flaws, chiefly that it’s too worshipful of its subject. Director Steven Spielberg lays on the hagiography very thick. Surely Abraham Lincol...
 
Drama
 
zero8
zero8
zero8

Zero Dark Thirty: Good Thriller, But Not a Major Work of Art

What is the most over-rated film of 2012? “Zero Dark Thirty” from director Kathryn Bigelow. “Zero Dark” is a good film; almost everyone will agree on that. But is it the best film of the past 10 years, a...
 
Drama
 
Amour1
Amour1
Amour1

Amour: Thin Exploration of Death

In reviewing Michael Haneke’s disturbing film “The Piano Teacher” from 2001, I said that a distinctive trait of Haneke’s direction was that it was “pitiless in its depiction of human frailty”...

 
Drama
 
Starlet2
Starlet2
Starlet2

Mourning Besedka Johnson: Breakout Star at 85

Today we were heart-broken to learn that Besedka Johnson had died at age 87, two years after she was discovered by a film producer and started acting for the first time. She graced the screen in only one film, Sean Baker’...
 
Drama
 
argostill2
argostill2
argostill2

Argo: Solid But Simple Political Thriller

“Argo” is directed and edited so well and is about such serious subject matter that I fear people are going to over-estimate its merit. It’s a very effective but rather shallow political thriller based on a tr...
 
Drama
 
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday

Sunday Bloody Sunday: Courageous and Revolutionary, But Not a Great Film

After his global triumph with the revolutionary film “Midnight Cowboy” (winner of the Best Picture Oscar for 1969), English filmmaker John Schlesinger came back in 1971 with the equally revolutionary “Sunday B...

 
Drama
 
magic-mike1
magic-mike1
magic-mike1

Magic Mike: Mildly Charming

“Magic Mike” is mildly charming, but that’s about it. If you like seeing a lot of tight male buttocks, there’s plenty of that. Among the actors, Matthew McConaughey is the stand-out. He gives a strong, s...