David Ansen

Review: 'The Great Debaters'

Directed by Denzel Washington. Starring Washington, Forest Whitaker, Denzel Whitaker, Nate Parker, Jurnee Smollett, Jermaine Williams.

Review: 'Sweeney Todd'

Directed by Tim Burton. Starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman and Sacha Baron Cohen.

Truth and Consequence

In the riveting 'Atonement,' a 13-year-old girl tells a lie that destroys many lives, including her own.

A Stunning Sex Scene— With No Sex

The most erotically charged movie scene I've encountered recently occurs about 30 minutes into "Starting Out in the Evening," a small independent movie by director Andrew ("The Talent Given Us") Wagner.

The Mind-Body Problem

The hero of 'The Diving Bell and the Butterfly' can move only one eye—but he sure does get around.

Film Heroes and Zeroes

I usually avoid novels about Hollywood. I'm a movie critic: it's coals to Newcastle. So many of them are just gossip tarted up with literary pretensions. But Steve Erickson's one-of-a-kind "Zeroville" is a novel for people who love movies.

7,714 Movies, and Counting

When he was 12, NEWSWEEK's David Ansen started a list of every film he'd seen. No. 1 was 'Cinderella.' The last is—well, that's a long story. In fact, it's the story of his life, and of his generation.

A Cautionary Tale

Ang Lee's opulent new period melodrama is filled with explosive elements that never fully ignite.

Bite-Size Cinema

Three big-name filmmakers are behind three big-budget ad campaigns on TV right now. They gave us 30 seconds of cinema, so our critic David Ansen gives them 30-second reviews: Michel Gondry for Motorola: A slicker, busier version of the cardboard-cutout surrealism of "The Science of Sleep," this French ad for the Razr2 cell phone is terribly hip, but what exactly it's selling (aside from Gondry's style) is unclear.

The Hollywood War Front

Angry filmmakers are gung-ho on Iraq movies, but the war as entertainment is proving to be a tough sell to audiences.

Ansen Reviews 'Into the Wild'

How you respond to Sean Penn's vital, lyrical, unsettling adaptation of Jon Krakauer's nonfiction book—whether you find the idealistic Christopher McCandless's (Emile Hirsch) search for freedom exemplary or self-indulgent (or somewhere in between)—will depend on your own history.

Turning Back The Clock

There was a lot of grumbling last week at the Toronto Film Festival about how this venerable showcase for world cinema has been turned into a launching pad for Hollywood's Oscar campaigns.

Ansen on the Toronto Film Festival

The movies in this year's Toronto Film Festival were collectively like a wayback machine to the obsessions—and the memorable filmmaking—of the '60s and '70s.

The Train To The Plain

James Mangold's remake of the 1957 Western "3:10 to Yuma" is a decent-enough entertainment, though it's hardly going to breathe new life to a genre whose demise has been reported for at least 30 years.

Review: 'Rocket Science' Has Big Brain, Bigger Heart

Hal Hefner (Reece Daniel Thompson) is a stutterer. His problem is so severe that he has to practice ordering pizza as he stands in line at his high-school cafeteria—and has to settle for sloppy Joes because he can't get the words out fast enough.

Film: Ansen Reviews 'Stardust', 'Becoming Jane'

StardustDirected by Matthew Vaughn A young Victorian lad named Tristan (Charlie Cox) crosses over from his village into the fantasy kingdom of Storm-hold, where witches brew, pirate ships fly, unicorns prance and a fallen star turns into a beautiful but irritable girl named Yvaine (Claire Danes), who's none too happy to be Tristan's captive.

Deadly Decisions

Lucidly, dramatically and without resorting to partisan rhetoric, Charles Ferguson's not-to-be-missed documentary "No End in Sight" lays out in convincing, appalling detail the disastrous missteps of the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

'Bourne Ultimatum': Meth for Action Junkies

How fast and furious is the third installment of the Bourne trilogy? Just in the first 15 minutes it charges from a chase in Moscow to CIA headquarters in Langley, Va.; to Turin, Italy; Paris, London and New York City, barely pausing to catch its (or our) breath.

Ansen Looks at Bergman, Antonioni

On the same day, two giants of the cinema gone. For anyone who grew up in the golden age of cinephilia—that remarkable period between the end of the 1950s and the mid '70s, when movies held pride of place at the white-hot center of the culture—the passing of Ingmar Bergman, 89, and Michelangelo Antonioni, 94, is the kind of double whammy that slams the door on an era.They will be remembered, however, for the doors of perception they opened.

Review: Don Cheadle Is 'Sensational' in New Film

Don Cheadle has proved time and again that he's an actor of many faces. The only common denominator between his work in "Devil in a Blue Dress," "Boogie Nights," "Ocean's Eleven" and "Hotel Rwanda" is his quicksilver talent.