Review Round-up: Diana, Dallas Buyers Club, Sal, The Broken Circle Breakdown, Man of Tai Chi, and Ender’s Game

MovieMaker highlights the good and bad reviews of six films out in theatres this week. Beat the winter doldrums and read what’s worth watching in theaters near you.

1. Diana (Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel)

Diana

 Thumbs up:

“Dismiss it as “A Lifetime Original Movie” if you like, but there’s something quietly compelling in this portrait of the depressing isolation of fame” -Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service (full review)

Thumbs down:

“At least it’s not quite as disastrous a political biopic as The Iron Lady, which is a horrendously awful portrait of an interesting, divisive individual. Dear reader, that is as faint as praise gets.” -Simon Miraudo, Quickflix (full review)

2. Dallas Buyers Club (Director: Jean-Marc Vallée)

Thumbs up:

“The commitment McConaughey brings is something to behold … Woodroof’s mix of Texas blowhard and eccentric bozo is clearly his strong suit.” -Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News (full review)admin-ajax-3.php

Thumbs down:

“Despite its good intentions and moxie-filled performances, Dallas Buyers Club is ultimately marred by its impulse to compromise its freewheeling humanity in favor of crowd-pleasing tropes.” -Nick McCarthy, Slant Magazine (full review)

3. Sal – (Director: James Franco)

SalThumbs up:

“As always, Franco demonstrates a talent for and interest in composition, performance, and the naked human moment.” – Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice (full review)

Thumbs down:

“It functions under the delusion that subtext will magically appear if you linger on a character long enough, and the significance of most of its scenes is nothing if not inscrutable.”
– Nick McCarthy, Slant Magazine (full review)

4. The Broken Circle Breakdown (Director: Felix Van Groeningen)

Thumbs up:

“A superb tearjerker, juxtaposing the inherent passion and sorrow of romance to masterful effect in between beautiful bluegrass ballads.” -William Goss, Film.com 

(full review)admin-ajax-2.php

Thumbs down:

“Both Baetens and Heldenbergh do their best to sell the story’s ups and downs even when the narrative gets bogged down with science-versus-religion ranting, yet you’re still left with a movie a little too reliant on playing clawhammer on your heartstrings.” -David Fear, Time Out New York (full review)

5. Man of Tai Chi (Director: Keanu Reeves)

Man-of-Tai-Chi-2013-Movie-Poster-5Thumbs up:

“For his directorial debut, Keanu Reeves crafts an exquisitely entertaining martial arts picture aimed at the international market.” -Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com (full review)

Thumbs down:

Man Of Tai Chi nevertheless feels like Reeves made exactly the movie he set out to make, assuming he didn’t set out to create a movie that was ‘good.’” -Nathan Rabin, The Dissolve (full review)

6. Ender’s Game (Director: Gavin Hood)

Thumbs up:

Ender’s Game truly captures the spirit and intensity of what is one of the most EndersGamepopular sci-fi stories of all time.” -Tony Hicks, San Jose Mercury News (full review)

Thumbs down:

“The adaptation is a shallow sci-fi spectacle that almost makes you care.” -Marc Bernardin, Hollywood Reporter (full review) MM

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