movie reviews

Immediate Family

Glenn Close, James Woods, Mary Stuart Masterson

Directed by: Jonathan Kaplan

Lucy Moore, The Seventeen-year-old played by Mary Stuart Masterson, is pregnant by Sam (Kevin Dillon), a Guns n' Roses fanatic with no job prospects. Lucy doesn't want an abortion, so a lawyer arranges an open adoption with Linda and Michael Spector, an infertile couple from Seattle. Problem number 1: Glenn Close and James Woods play the well-meaning Spectors; he's a veterinarian, she sells real estate. Both actors make yeoman efforts to look like they stepped out of thirty-so... | More »

October 18, 1989

Apartment Zero

Hart Bochner, Colin Firth, Dora Bryan

Directed by: Martin Donovan

Adrian leduc, played with uncommon skill by Colin Firth, manages a movie house in Buenos Aires that specializes in revivals. During off hours, Adrian grudgingly allows his cashier and her friends to use his theater for political meetings. A series of grisly murders around the city has led human-rights groups to believe that the killings are the work of a former member of an Argentine death squad. But Adrian can't be bothered with such matters. His business is failing, and he must now thi... | More »

October 13, 1989

Story of Women

Isabelle Huppert, François Cluzet, Nils Tavernier

Directed by: Claude Chabrol

This film may be in french, but that won't stop its star, Isabelle Huppert, from winning acting accolades in every country where her work is shown; she's already won at the Venice Film Festival. Huppert, whose American movies include The Bedroom Window and Heaven's Gate, has seized the role of a life-time. The film is based on the real story of Marie-Louise Giraud (here called Marie Latour), one of the last women to be executed in France. Her crime, for which she was guillotine... | More »

The Fabulous Baker Boys

Jeff Bridges, Michelle Pfeiffer, Beau Bridges

Directed by: Steve Kloves

It's parsley," says susie diamond, A professional escort turned singer on the cocktail-lounge circuit. She's trying to explain to Frank Baker (Beau Bridges), one-half of the piano-playing duo that employs her -- Jack Baker (Jeff Bridges) is the other half- why she wants to cut that shopworn standard "Feelings" from the act Frank, a worrywart with a wife, kids, a mortgage and a penchant for pop drivel, is stung. "It's parsley," Susie says again. "Take it away and no one would kn... | More »

Crimes and Misdemeanors

Martin Landau, Woody Allen, Bill Bernstein

Directed by: Woody Allen

What we have in Crimes and Misdemeanors is the first American film comedy about the absence of God. Naturally, it's from Woody Allen, the director-writer-actor for whom laughs are never enough. That attitude rankles those drawn to Allen's simple comedies, from his first, Take the Money and Run (1969), to this year's New York Stories. No matter that Allen's more complex comedies, the kind suffused with melancholy, are his six masterworks (Annie Hall, Manhattan, Zelig, The p... | More »

Breaking In

Burty Reynolds

Directed by: Bill Forsyth

Burt Reynolds has tweaked his he-man image before; he was Cosmo's first nude male centerfold. But this? In his latest, a wry comedy about thieves, Burt sports a potbelly, gray hair and yellow teeth and limps around on a game leg. Don't panic. It's makeup. Reynolds's Ernie Mullins is an old-timer from Portland, Oregon, a safecracker who can't keep pace with the new technology but can't resist one last big job that could finance his retirement. His one mistake is h... | More »

Look Who's Talking

John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Olympia Dukakis, George Segal, Abe Vigoda

Directed by: Amy Heckerling

Ever since his smash in Saturday Night Fever, John Travolta has taken heat for making too many movies that show off his body and little else. None of that here. As a cabdriver named James in this witless farce, written and directed by Amy Heckerling (Fast Times at Ridgemont High), Travolta looks puffy and pooped. But, oh, is he sensitive. James helpfully speeds Mollie (Kirstie Alley of Cheers), an unmarried, pregnant CPA, to the delivery room. Later, he babysits, offers moral support, friends... | More »

October 6, 1989

Drugstore Cowboy

Matt Dillon

Directed by: Gus Van Sant

Casting teen dream Matt Dillon as a junkie going straight sounds like one of those noxious notions dreamed up by a politician for yet another Just Say No campaign. Admirable causes usually make for deadly moviemaking. The film's beginning suggests this is no exception. Dillon's Bob Hughes, shot by a kid pusher, is near death. Bob narrates the story in a long flashback, waxing poetic about his days of robbing drugstores for a fix. Hearing Dillon's thick tongue trip over such twi... | More »

The Old Gringo

Jessica Tandy

Directed by: Luis Puenzo

You expect more of the film version of Carlos Fuentes's acclaimed novel of Mexico than Jane Fonda caught in the middle of a ¿Quién es más macho? match between Gregory Peck and Jimmy Smits. Still, it's a welcome diversion from the dull blur Argentinian director and co-writer Luis Puenzo (The Official Story) has made of the book's vivid vision of clashing cultures. nda has the thankless role of Harriet Winslow, a spinster from D.C. who revolts against... | More »

September 29, 1989

Welcome Home

Kris Kristofferson

Directed by: Franklin J. Schaffner

Another bring-the-Vietnam-War-home movie. This one is so bad that it makes the faults of In Country seem like artistic flourishes. Kris Kristofferson is Lieutenant Jake Robbins, shot down over Cambodia in 1970 and presumed dead. His wife, Sarah (JoBeth Williams), certainly presumed so. She stayed in Vermont near Jake's widowed father, Harry (Brian Keith), but remarried, this time to Woody (Sam Waterston), a businessman who is raising Sarah and Jake's son, Tyler (Thomas Wilson Brown)... | More »

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