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Men, Women & Children

A potentially interesting premise is handled so badly that what might have been a provocative drama quickly and irrevocably devolves into the technological equivalent of…

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The Boxtrolls

"The Boxtrolls" is a beautiful example of the potential in LAIKA's stop-motion approach, and the images onscreen are tactile and layered. But, as always, it's…

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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Tom Shales

Tom Shales

Tom Shales served as TV critic of The Washington Post for 25 years, winning the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1989. He left the once-proud paper in Ruins. Shales also spent two decades reviewing movies for NPR's Morning Edition and is the coauthor of two bestsellers: "Live from New York," on "Saturday Night Live," and "Those Guys Have All the Fun," on ESPN. No wonder he's tired.

Leno, late night & me

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Jay Leno and I go way back. One of my fondest memories is of Jay chasing me around the parking lot of the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles. I always tell people that I thought of the Bel-Air, which I could still afford in those days (long long ago), as more a sanitarium than a hotel. You know how in L.A. your waiter has probably written a screenplay or two? At the Bel-Air, one of the parking attendants had actually starred in an ABC network series several years earlier! He played a wolf-boy.

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The Oscars: Captain Kirk was right

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Listen -- a billion people are throwing up. That's a rough estimate of course, but every year somebody at the Oscars says a billion people on the planet are watching the program; however many watched this year's Oscar show, they may well have felt sickened by it. It was a stomach-churning, jaw-dropping debacle, incompetently hosted and witlessly produced.

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The rousing return of Robin Roberts

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Roughly five months ago, back in the summer of '12, the spectacularly popular Robin Roberts, co-anchor of ABC's "Good Morning, America," left the show for a sabbatical of indeterminate length. She might be gone for six or eight months, viewers inferred, or for a year. Or, forever.

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This one's a keeper

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Back in ancient days of rampant ignorance and sexist effrontery, a TV commercial for a product now forgotten depicted a happy married couple whose cheer seemed guaranteed by the woman's subservience to the man. At the end of the ad he uttered a phrase that entered, to the dismay of millions, the iconography of the time: "My wife -- I think I'll keep her."

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