.

movie reviews

Flatliners

Keifer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, William Baldwin

Directed by: Joel Schumacher

Superficially provocative and deeply silly, this film at least starts with an original idea from first-time screenwriter Peter Filardi: Obsessed with the stories of patients who died on the operating table only to be revived after a few minutes, five medical students meet secretly. Each volunteers to be put to death under the supervision of the others and then brought back to life to report his or her experiences. They call themselves flatliners (a flat line on EKG and EEG machines signifies ... | More »

Air America

Mel Gibson, Robert Downey Jr., Nancy Travis, Ken Jenkins, David Marshall Grant

Directed by: Roger Spottiswoode

This Vietnamera mind-number stars Mel Gibson and Robert Downey Jr. as flyboys who trade quips and share close-ups as the bullets fly and the laughs come tumbling down. Downey is Billy Covington, a big-city chopper pilot who reported traffic conditions for a radio station before losing his license for razzing asshole drivers. Longing to do some real flying, Billy is recruited by the government for a secret and safe (he thinks) civilian airline in Laos. Gibson's Gene Ryack knows better; h... | More »

Two Jakes

Jack Nicholson, Harvey Keitel

Directed by: Jack Nicholson

It's ironic that the best movie about the Watergate era is Chinatown, a detective story set in 1937, nearly four decades ahead of the political coverup that shook the nation. Released in 1974, two years before the real Watergate tale was filmed in All the President's Men, Chinatown exposed moral rot masked by official sanctimony. In a juicy role, Jack Nicholson starred as Jake Gittes, a Los Angeles private eye on a divorce case who accidentally uncovers a land scam that extends to t... | More »

August 3, 1990

Metropolitan

Carolyn Farina, Edward Clements, Chris Eigeman

Directed by: Whit Stillman

It's a shock to find a summer movie in which no weapons are fired. But writer-director Whit Stillman's marvelously literate, comic and romantic debut film -- produced for under $1 million with an extraordinary cast of unknowns -- suffers no loss in impact. Admittedly, the subject sounds twitty: New York society debs and the rich college preppies who escort them to balls and then to late "after parties." But Stillman examines the "UHB" (urban haute bourgeoisie) like an anthropologist... | More »

Mo' Better Blues

Samuel L. Jackson

Directed by: Spike Lee

At least a half-dozen movies are struggling to get out of the ambitious but maddening hodgepodge that is writer-producer-director Spike Lee's Mo' Better Blues. At the center is a romantic triangle: Bleek Gilliam, the Brooklyn-born jazz trumpeter played by Denzel Washington, is juggling two women — Indigo Downes, a dedicated schoolteacher played by Joie Lee (Spike's sister), and Clarke Bentancourt, an aspiring singer and sexual bombshell played by newcomer Cynda Williams. ... | More »

August 1, 1990

Young Guns II

Christian Slater

Directed by: Geoff Murphy

Decked out in cowboy gear and ready for action is the pistol-packing cast of Young Guns II, headed by Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland and Lou Diamond Phillips. Together they look as if they might make a terrific fashion spread or a movie poster. What they can't make is a watchable movie. The first Young Guns, in 1988, was an endurance test for all but those who think ogling young actors in tight britches is a fascinating way to spend two hours. Though it seems impossible, the sequel is... | More »

July 27, 1990

Presumed Innocent

Harrison Ford, Raul Julia

Directed by: Alan J. Pakula

When a mystery novel really grips us, as Scott Turow's Presumed Innocent did in 1987, the inevitable movie version rarely turns out the way we imagined. Turow, a successful Chicago lawyer, crafted a first novel that was equal parts whodunit, courtroom drama, warped love story and insightful take on the limits of the legal system. I pictured William Hurt as Rusty Sabich, the prosecuting attorney who cheats on his wife, Barbara (I envisioned Barbara Hershey), with his ambitious, sexually a... | More »

July 20, 1990

The Freshman

Marlon Brando, Matthew Broderick, Bruno Kirby

Directed by: Andrew Bergman

Shortly after he finished shooting this screwball farce last fall, Marlon Brando disowned The Freshman as "a flop." Later, he recanted and said the movie "contains moments of high comedy that will be remembered for decades to come." Well, The Freshman is not a flop -- it's something closer to fitfully amusing. But it's hardly time-capsule material either, except for those scenes in which Brando appears. Aside from a supporting part last year in the apartheid drama A Dry White Seaso... | More »

The Unbelievable Truth

Adrienne Shelly, Robert John Burke

Directed by: Hal Hartley

Here's a typical dialogue exchange from this unwieldy but wildly hilarious black comedy. Pearl: "Josh seems like a nice man." Audry: "After he killed your father and sister and all?" Pearl: "People make mistakes." For his feature-film debut, shot for $200,000 in eleven and a half days, writer-director Hal Hartley has chosen to spin a tall story about love and greed. Seventeen-year-old Audry, played by Adrienne Shelly — a gifted newcomer with a sexy Rosanna Arquette pout — fin... | More »

The Freshman

Matthew Broderick

Directed by: Andrew Bergman

Shortly after he finished shooting this screwball farce last fall, Marlon Brando disowned The Freshman as "a flop." Later, he recanted and said the movie "contains moments of high comedy that will be remembered for decades to come." Well, The Freshman is not a flop — it's something closer to fitfully amusing. But it's hardly time-capsule material either, except for those scenes in which Brando appears. Aside from a supporting part last year in the apartheid drama A Dry White ... | More »

Movie Reviews

More Reviews »
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

www.expandtheroom.com