Moira Macdonald

Moira Macdonald reviews films for The Seattle Times.

 

Articles by Moira Macdonald

 

“Girls Rock!” – Moira Macdonald reviews

Much of “Girls Rock!,” the cheerfully raucous documentary co-directed by Shane King and Arne Johnson, is pretty cute. But this tale of a group of girls at a Portland rock ‘n’ roll summer camp is not at all about cuteness, or really even about music: It’s about female empowerment. Read more>>

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“No Country For Old Men,” review by Moira Macdonald

Cormac McCarthy’s dark Western yarn “No Country for Old Men,” written in prose as spare as prairie grass, comes to the movies as something unexpected: a showcase for the talents of Tommy Lee Jones. Read more

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“Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium,” review by Moira Macdonld

In a season filled with depressing movies for adults, someone’s finally thought to give equal time to the kids. Read more

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“Bee Story,” review by Moira Macdonald

In the world of animated movies, there’s Pixar (whose “Ratatouille” may well turn up on many 10-best lists this year), and then there’s everyone else. And even when “everyone else” includes Jerry Seinfeld, it’s still second best. Read more

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“Michael Clayton,” review by Moira Macdonald

There’s a key casting decision in “Michael Clayton” that instantly raises this film above nearly every Hollywood thriller this year — and it isn’t George Clooney, good as he is. Read more

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“Assassination of Jesse James,” review by Moira Macdonald

Unlike “3:10 to Yuma” and many Westerns, “The Assassination” isn’t about suspense; we’re told what’s going to happen in the film’s title. Rather, it’s about mood and theatricality. Read more

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“For The Bible Tells Me So,” review by Moira Macdonald

Daniel Karslake’s remarkable documentary boldly takes on a loaded topic — Christianity and homosexuality — and examines it both intellectually and emotionally; the result may well leave you blinking away a few tears. Read more

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“The Brave One,” review by Moira Macdonald

It’s about how a random act of violence changes a woman who survives it; how she becomes someone darker and colder, unafraid to do what she needs to take back the night. And it’s that rarity: a violent action movie with a heart and soul. Watching it is difficult; forgetting it is more so. Read more

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“The Nanny Diaries,” review by Moira Macdonald

Ever made a cake, assembled from a delicious-sounding recipe and an array of fresh and delightful ingredients, only to find that it was a flat, unappetizing failure? Read more

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“Stardust,” review by Moira Macdonald

Complete with a corset-wearing pirate, a witch whose beauty is only skin deep, a cranky star and a dying king, “Stardust” is a wildly crowded and sporadically entertaining fantasy adventure. Read more

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“Becoming Jane,” review by Moira Macdonald

Austen purists may scoff: Quite possibly, “Becoming Jane” may be pure fiction. But fiction, for a novelist, is as natural as breathing; here, art and fact intertwine, with the former perhaps overshadowing the latter. Read more

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“No Reservations,” review by Moira Macdonald

So here you have it — a heaping serving of warmed-over themes: uptight woman meets looser man, childless person has life changed by sudden arrival of child, wide-eyed child faces tragedy and must find happiness again, food as metaphor for love. What was so pleasing about “Mostly Martha” was the way it took familiar territory and made it new. Read more

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“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” review by Moira Macdonald

Books and movies offer different kinds of pleasures, and nowhere is this more evident this summer than in the newest movie about a certain bespectacled teen wizard. Read more

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“License to Wed,” review by Moira Macdonald

Like some weddings, “License to Wed” is a long sit and a bland buffet. Read more

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“Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soapbox,” review by Moira Macdonald

Emanuel Bronner (1908-1997), the German-born master soapmaker who founded the popular organic brand Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, is memorialized on his tombstone with these words: “A life dedicated to God, mankind and Spaceship Earth.” In Sara Lamm’s intriguing documentary “Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soapbox,” we get to know the complicated man behind those words and the unique family business he created. Along the way, we get something else: genuine inspiration. Read more

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“Ratatouille,” review by Moira Macdonald

How good, and how much fun, is “Ratatouille”? So good that when it was over, all I wanted to do was watch it again. Read more

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“Red Road,” review by Moira Macdonald

There’s an unexpected moment in Andrea Arnold’s psychological thriller “Red Road” that’s perhaps the most heartbreaking illustration of grief I’ve seen in a movie in a long time, and it’s all the more effective for being absolutely quiet. Read more

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