David Edelstein

David Edelstein is a film critic for New York magazine and for NPR's Fresh Air, and an occasional commentator on film for CBS Sunday Morning. He has also written film criticism for the Village Voice, The New York Post, and Rolling Stone, and is a frequent contributor to the New York Times' Arts & Leisure section.

A member of the National Society of Film Critics, he is the author of the play Blaming Mom, and the co-author of Shooting to Kill (with producer Christine Vachon).

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6:23am

Fri September 23, 2011
Movie Reviews

'Moneyball': A 'Bad News Bears' For MBAs

Brad Pitt plays the former Oakland A's General Manager Billy Beane who revolutionized the recruiting analysis in major league baseball.
Melinda Sue Gordon ASSOCIATED PRESS

The film of Michael Lewis's game-changing nonfiction bestseller Moneyball is inside baseball, literally, but it wouldn't be so rousing if that were all it was. The book tells the story of Billy Beane, the General Manager of a small-market ball team, the Oakland Athletics. Heading into the 2002 season, he has a quarter the amount of money to pay players as the near-perennial champions the Yankees.

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4:33pm

Thu September 15, 2011
Movie Reviews

A Twisty, Brutal 'Drive' For A Level-Headed Hero

The Fast Lane: A Hollywood stunt driver (Ryan Gosling) earns a little extra by driving getaway cars by night.
Richard Foreman FilmDistrict

The hero of Drive is called "Driver" because that's what he does, and in a thriller this self-consciously existential, what he does is who he is.

He's played by Ryan Gosling as a kind of anti-blowhard. He's taciturn, watchful, cool. He works as a mechanic and sometimes a Hollywood driving stuntman. He also drives getaway cars with astonishing proficiency and a computer-like knowledge of L.A. surface streets, holding a matchstick between his teeth as if to keep his mouth from moving, and his feelings under wraps.

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1:36pm

Wed August 31, 2011
Movies

A Graceful Search For 'Higher Ground'

Vera Farmiga plays Corinne Walker, a woman who decides to join and then flee a fundamentalist religious group. The film, directed by Farmiga, is based on Carolyn S. Briggs' memoir This Dark World.
Molly Hawkey Sony Picture Classics

Vera Farmiga's Higher Ground centers on a woman who joins and, after a decade, flees a fundamentalist religious order, but the tone isn't irreverent: The film is flushed with wonder, hope, and, finally, heartbreak. In the memoir on which it's based, This Dark World, writer Carolyn S. Briggs never stops longing for a connection to God.

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10:00am

Thu August 18, 2011
Movie Reviews

Four Hours In 'Lisbon': A Rich And Dreamy Voyage

Pedro da Silva, an orphaned boy trying to uncover his family history, appears in two different incarnations in Mysteries Of Lisbon (including Afonso Pimentel as his older self). He stages all of the events of the film on his own puppet stage, forcing viewers to question what's real and what isn't.
Music Box Films

Chilean-born director Raoul Ruiz is 70 years old has made more than 100 films, only a few of which have been distributed in the U.S. — but he's beloved at festivals and in film studies programs everywhere. I've seen seven of his movies, and five struck me as less than meets the eye — not just difficult but pointlessly disorienting, the disjunctions like manic tics meant to break up the relationship between image and language.

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9:57am

Wed August 10, 2011
Movie Reviews

Heavy-Handed 'Help' Saved By Great Acting

From left: Bryce Dallas Howard, Sissy Spacek and Octavia Spencer star in The Help, based on a novel by Kathryn Stockett.
Dale Robinette Dreamworks Pictures

Few fictional films wear their political messages as proudly or loudly as The Help, which centers on black female domestic servants in Jackson, Miss., in the early 60s and a 23-year-old white woman who induces them to tell their stories for a book to be called, appropriately enough, The Help.

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