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2008 Stories by J. Hoberman

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  • Lord of the Ring

    published December 24, 2008

    The Wrestler may be plenty visceral, but it's no more a sports movie than professional wrestling is a competitive sport. Chronic... More >>

  • Five Greats preview: Our guide to the season’s must-see movies

    published December 24, 2008

    In the days and weeks ahead, several tremendous (dare we say Oscar-caliber?) films will be arriving in Bay Area theaters. They're poignant,... More >>

  • Our critics name the best films of 2008

    published December 24, 2008

    Is it a sign of the apocalypse? Something in the water? Or is it just the way the wind is blowing? Whatever the case, when our... More >>

  • Nixon in a Deep Frost

    published December 10, 2008

    I hear America singing and I see ... Richard Nixon. Not the man but the muse: Has any president since Lincoln inspired more movies, TV... More >>

  • Happy-Go-Lucky

    published December 10, 2008

    After extended cameos in two previous Mike Leigh films (as a resourceful pop tart in All or Nothing and the date-raped rich girl in Vera... More >>

  • Proposition Hate

    published November 26, 2008

    Gus Van Sant has never been what you'd call a risk-averse filmmaker, but he directs his Harvey Milk biopic so carefully, there might be a Ming... More >>

  • Holiday Feast, Extra Stuffing

    published November 19, 2008

    Arnaud Desplechin is a cinema maximalist: A Christmas Tale feels like all 12 days of seasonal merriment and then some. This comic,... More >>

  • A Christmas Tale

    published November 19, 2008

    A Christmas Tale feels like all 12 days of seasonal merriment, and then some. This comic, ultimately touching family melodrama is a heady... More >>

  • Happy-Go-Lucky

    published November 19, 2008

    After extended cameos in two previous Mike Leigh films (as a resourceful pop tart in All or Nothing and the date-raped rich girl in Vera Drake),... More >>

  • JCVD

    published November 12, 2008

    JCVD wastes little time working itself into a pretzel. The action begins under the credits with Jean-Claude Van Damme working his way... More >>

  • Repo! The Genetic Opera

    published November 12, 2008

    Based on a campy sci-fi/horror rock opera first staged in Toronto in 2002, Repo! is also an offshoot of the slash-mash-gash Saw... More >>

  • Gene Slicing

    published November 5, 2008

    Movie cults are born, not made. A youthful audience discovered Donnie Darko on its own, even as another demographic transformed The... More >>

  • JCVD

    published November 5, 2008

    JCVD wastes little time working itself into a pretzel. The action begins under the credits with Jean-Claude Van Damme working his way... More >>

  • WWJCVDD?

    published November 5, 2008

    JCVD wastes little time working itself into a pretzel. The action begins under the credits with Jean-Claude Van Damme working his way... More >>

  • Parent Trap

    published October 22, 2008

    Thirtyish guy — bit of a shlub, but married, with a newborn baby — comes back from California to visit his aging parents in New... More >>

  • Religulous

    published October 22, 2008

    Bill Maher's one-man stand-up attack on religious fundamentalism is a dog that has more bark than bite—a skeptical, secular-humanist hounding... More >>

  • W.

    published October 22, 2008

    Oliver Stone’s W., which is as much edited as it is directed, working from a script by Stone buddy Stanley Weiser, has a patchwork... More >>

  • When X Met A

    published October 15, 2008

    The winner of the 1961 Venice Film Festival, Alain Resnais's Last Year at Marienbad returns to us after years of public-domain limbo in a... More >>

  • Bush's Brain

    published October 15, 2008

    W. may be less frenzied than the usual Oliver Stone sensory bombardment, but in revisiting the early '00s by way of the late '60s, this... More >>

  • Female Persuasion

    published October 8, 2008

    The protag of Mike Leigh's Happy-Go-Lucky is a modestly gaudy people's heroine industriously repairing the social world, one frayed... More >>

  • Oh, God! You devil's advocate

    published October 1, 2008

    Redolent of Roman decadence and authority gone mad, the title Religulous rolls pleasingly off the tongue. But Bill Maher's one-man... More >>

  • Allah That and a Bag of Chips

    published September 24, 2008

    For the three Muslim-American stand-up comics showcased in the concert film Allah Made Me Funny, terror is something more than stage... More >>

  • Religulous

    published September 24, 2008

    Bill Maher’s one-man stand-up attack on religious fundamentalism is a dog that has more bark than bite—a skeptical, secular-humanist... More >>

  • Intolerable Cruelty

    published September 10, 2008

    Masters of the carefully crafted cheap shot, Joel and Ethan Coen have built a career on flippancy. Given their refusal to take anything... More >>

  • Droll Chabrol

    published September 10, 2008

    Claude Chabrol, who should soon be shooting his 70th feature, is at once wildly prolific and utterly faithful—at least to the conventions of... More >>

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