‘Life Itself’: A great life makes a great movie, just as Roger Ebert wanted it


Far more than just a tribute to the career of the world’s most famous and influential film critic, the often revelatory “Life Itself” is also a remarkably intimate portrait of a life well lived — right up to the very last moment.

Work on “Life …

‘Hateship Loveship’: Kristen Wiig as an oddball who’s pretty awesome


Kristen Wiig’s performance in the unfortunately titled “Hateship Loveship” is so beautifully muted it takes a while to appreciate the loveliness of the notes she’s hitting. I can’t remember the last time someone made eavesdropping or scrubbing a bathtub so interesting.

I know. Kinda weird, …

‘The Railway Man’: Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman in harsh, heartrending history lesson


Even as “12 Years a Slave” was garnering four-star reviews and winning numerous awards on its way to the Oscar for Best Picture, many film fans told me they were sure it was a fine and important picture, but they just couldn’t bring themselves to …

Marlon Wayans takes the offense on being inappropriately funny


Marlon Wayans could’ve used some extra beef to handle a boisterous situation at an open air question and answer session at the culmination of his “A Haunted House 2” premiere in Chicago.

‘Heaven Is for Real’: Pedestrian script saved by diving acting


Spring 2014 has been a strong season for faith-inspired films to hit the multiplexes. On the heels of “Son of God,” “Noah” and “God’s Not Dead,” we now get “Heaven Is for Real.”

Based on the bestselling book about the real-life story of Todd Burpo, …

‘Under the Skin’: Brilliant mood piece about a fascinating femme fatale


RICHARD ROEPER: Scarlett Johansson plays some kind of alien in a beautiful woman’s body, seducing Scottish chaps in the year’s most memorable movie so far.

‘Hunger Games’ top winner at MTV Movie Awards


“Hunger Games” stars also took home some of the night’s biggest awards. Jennifer Lawrence won best female performance and Josh Hutcherson was voted best male performer.

‘Draft Day’: A cast of pros executing great plays


Sometimes my Pop Culture Radar doesn’t work for spit. When I first heard about a TV show in which secondary celebrities would team up with professional instructors for a dancing competition, I thought that show would last about as long as “Cop Rock.” And when …

‘Oculus’: A carefully paced, great-looking psychological thriller


Here is a horror movie that will reach out and grab that spot on your spine that produces all the chills.

It takes a high level of confidence, maybe even audacity, to set out to make yet another haunted-mirror movie — but thanks to the …

‘Cuban Fury’: All the usual moves in Nick Frost’s salsa comedy

A little more fury might have been a whole lot better. One of the most interesting things about Nick Frost (Simon Pegg’s sidekick in “Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz” and “The World’s End”) as a comic actor is the suggestion that, deep down inside …