Sam Eifling



“Focus”

“Focus”

Only lately could Will Smith play the sort of world-weary con artist at the center of “Focus” without seeming like he was trying on a jacket three sizes too wide. The Fresh Prince is now in his mid-forties, older than George Clooney in the first “Ocean’s 11,” and clearly aiming for a similar character here: […]

“Hot Tub Time Machine 2”

“Hot Tub Time Machine 2”

If you ever need a couple of hours of quality alone time, check out a matinee showing of “Hot Tub Time Machine 2″ the day of the Oscars. You won’t ever have this chance again, I’m afraid, given that there’s not a snowball’s chance in a hot tub that “Hot Tub Time Machine 2″ will […]

“Fifty Shades of Grey”

“Fifty Shades of Grey”

“Fifty Shades of Grey,” the tedious new romantic comedy, purports to be about sex, but is instead about two hours too long. In it, a college student named Anastasia Steele falls immediately for a striking billionaire named Christian Grey, who unlike most very good looking very wealthy people, turns out to be something of a […]

“Jupiter Ascending”

“Jupiter Ascending”

“The Matrix” is almost 20 years old now, a figure that seems longer when its shadow sits over the subsequent films by its writer/directors, Andy and Lana Wachowski. First there were the lackluster sequels, which arrived as a matching set of first-wave nostalgia in 2003. The Wachowski brothers wrote “V for Vendetta,” at least, making […]

“Project Almanac”

“Project Almanac”

The Saturday night opening-weekend screening of “Project Almanac” was without a doubt the talkiest, chattiest movie I’ve ever sat through — and that’s a title that takes some serious wrestling to win, after something like 500 movies in theaters. I saw a “Friday the 13th” reboot on Valentine’s Day, in a theater where shoddy parents […]

“Mortdecai”

“Mortdecai”

The wonderful fact of watching “Mortdecai,” a runaway tomato truck of a movie, is that it will compel you to wonder throughout, Who the hell thought this was a good idea? And unlike asking that in so many other areas of life, the answer arrives immediately: Oh! These people on screen, is who! Johnny Depp, […]

“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 […]

“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, […]

“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, […]

“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 […]