Sam Eifling



“American Sniper”

“American Sniper”

It’s hard to evaluate “American Sniper” on its merits alone, without considering its subject, the late Chris Kyle. The sharpshooter killed something like 255 people in Iraq, a stupefying total for a single lifetime, even if you accept only the confirmed number of 160. That’s a hell of a lot of humans to perforate across read more

“Selma”

“Selma”

Early in “Selma,” the story of the 1965 marches from that small Alabama town to Montgomery, we get a disagreeable meeting of two heavyweights. Lyndon Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) welcomes Martin Luther King (David Oyelowo) into the Oval Office to dissuade him, maybe, from the next act of social agitation, whatever that may be. King explains, read more

“Inherent Vice”

“Inherent Vice”

If you didn’t know that Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest, “Inherent Vice,” was derived from the 2009 novel by Thomas Pynchon, an author equally beloved and feared for the sprawl of his sagas, you could imagine its pitch meeting as Philip Marlowe meets the Big Lebowski, transported to early ’70s stoner Los Angeles. At its center, read more

“The Babadook”

“The Babadook”

At the end of a year that saw remakes of reboots and retreads of rehashes, a year of more ninja turtles and another Godzilla and a worse “Robocop” and all the rest, I found myself slinking into one of the only movies among the 50 or so I saw in theaters this year that wasn’t read more

“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”

“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”

Rarely can you call a 144-minute war saga that pits elves and dwarves and orcs and men and savage bat creatures anything other than “epic.” Yet in “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” director Peter Jackson closes his second Middle-Earth trilogy with so much digital warfare that the plot mostly just drops in read more

“Exodus: Gods and Kings”

“Exodus: Gods and Kings”

“Exodus: Gods and Kings,” the second big-budget Biblical epic of the year, demonstrates on multiple fronts why we need more big-budget Biblical epics. For one, the source material is some of the most fantastic stuff in world literature: The Old Testament wouldn’t stand as the backbone of multiple major religions if it were not, at read more

Movie Review

Movie Review

“The Theory of Everything,” the biopic about cosmologist Stephen Hawking and his first wife, Jane, works handsomely as a movie about a genius, one who tried to understand the universe at the deepest levels and then tell us about it in an airport paperback. Eddie Redmayne plays Stephen, improbably and rather brilliantly, all the way read more

“Horrible Bosses 2”

“Horrible Bosses 2”

From behind bars, one of the horrible bosses from the predecessor to “Horrible Bosses 2,” here a savage Kevin Spacey, asks the three dundering heroes at the center of these movies who, in fact, is the worse boss: him or them? He might be evil, yes, but early in the sequel, the schmucks — Nick, read more

“Rosewater”

“Rosewater”

“Rosewater,” Jon Stewart’s uplifting directorial debut about solitary confinement, follows the capture and imprisonment of Maziar Bahari, a real journalist who was held on suspicion of being a CIA spy after the 2009 Iranian presidential election. The Canadian-Iranian reporter on assignment for Newsweek really did get scooped up, held for months and interrogated, roughly, for read more

“Dumb and Dumber To”

“Dumb and Dumber To”

“Dumb and Dumber To,” the sequel no one wanted for the past 20 years, is pretty asinine even by the standards of a movie with a misspelling and the word “dumb” twice in its title. It makes children who sound too young to be at a PG-13 movie laugh aloud in dark theaters, so it read more