Lisa Schwarzbaum and Owen Gleiberman offer their opinions on this year's festival, ranking five films that stood out — for better or for worse

Lisa’s Take
Silver Linings Playbook

Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence click as a pair of misfits in a wonderfully eccentric mental-illness-slash-football comedy. Bonus: great stuff from Robert De Niro.


Based on a true story, director-star Ben Affleck’s corker of a political thriller blends scenes of almost unbearable tension with sharply funny stuff about the movie biz.

The Gatekeepers

Calm, thoughtful, unprecedented commentary from six former heads of Israel’s secretive secret-service agency results in a riveting Fog of War-like documentary that’s alternately unnerving, surprising, depressing, and vital.

The Place Beyond the Pines

Ryan Gosling, tarted up in faux-grunge tattoos, plays a Drive-like soulful/crazy loner in the kind of inauthentic indie-style movie that passes as cool and ”gritty” today.

The Company You Keep

The aging radicals (Robert Redford and Susan Sarandon among them) in this tediously noble-minded make-believe drama about putting away ’60s-era ideals appear to have stepped out of a Tommy Hilfiger ad.

Owen’s Take
Cloud Atlas

In their best film since The Matrix, the Wachowskis team up with a third director, Tom Tykwer, to tell half a dozen stories at once. It’s a wildly overstuffed, time-tripping sci-fi smorgasbord that seems to be wearing the history of Hollywood genre films on its sleeve.

Love, Marilyn

Watching Liz Garbus’ rapt and searching documentary, we hear Marilyn Monroe’s voice and touch her soul as never before. The entire movie offers Marilyn stripped bare of mythologies.

Greetings from Tim Buckley

As the fallen indie-rock idol Jeff Buckley, Penn Badgley carries himself with spooky self-possession in a moving piece of musical mumblecore.

To the Wonder

Terrence Malick’s latest makes The Tree of Life look like a Noel Coward play. It’s a dreamy vision of a troubled couple (Ben Affleck and Olga Kurylenko), but who, exactly, are they?

Call Girl

It won a critics’ prize in Toronto. What were they thinking? This dramatization of Sweden’s underage-prostitution scandals of the ’70s is a draggy dud that fumbles its theme: how permissiveness rotted Sweden from within.

Festival Deals

Focus Features nabbed U.S. distribution rights to The Place Beyond the Pines for an estimated $3 million.

Lionsgate purchased the Kristen Wiig comedy Imogene and Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing, starring Nathan Fillion.

Millennium Entertainment bought the Julianne Moore — Alexander Skarsgård drama What Maisie Knew, to be released in 2013.

IFC acquired the Saoirse Ronan vampire tale Byzantium.

HBO picked up Love, Marilyn for approximately $1.5 million.

Cloud Atlas
  • Movie
  • 164 minutes