Movies: Feb. 14, 2014
Capsule reviews of ''The Last of the Unjust,'' ''Love & Air Sex,'' and more
12 O’Clock Boys
Not Rated, 1 Hr., 15 Mins.
Documentary filmmaker Lotfy Nathan explores the outlaw appeal of an inner-city Baltimore dirt-bike gang through the eyes of a 13-year-old wannabe member named Pug. Daredevil danger is one attraction for the pint-size protagonist, but what Pug is really searching for is a sense of family and belonging. (Also available on iTunes and VOD) B —Chris Nashawaty
PG-13, 1 Hr., 32 Mins.
Much like Aaron Eckhart’s monster, this tale of a war between gargoyles and demons is made up of parts from various sources stitched together and is lacking in the soul department. C —Clark Collis
The Last of the Unjust
PG-13, 3 Hrs., 38 Mins.
Director Claude Lanzmann takes something he left on the cutting-room floor of Shoah and turns it into a glorified footnote posing as a moral inquiry. The entire movie consists of an interview done in 1975 with Benjamin Murmelstein, the last “Jewish Elder” to preside over the ghetto of Theresienstadt. Was Murmelstein, in effect, a collaborator? No: Like Oskar Schindler, he interfaced with Nazis and saved many Jews. His voice deserves to be heard, but in a film that is not an epic ramble. B- —Owen Gleiberman
Love & Air Sex
Not Rated, 1 Hr., 31 Mins.
Bryan Poyser’s crude, aggressively unfunny sex comedy would be utterly forgettable were it not for its cool Austin-slacker vibe and its climactic “air sex” contest. What’s that, you ask? Think of air guitar only with more simulated slurping, licking, and thrusting…and much less fretwork. (Also available on iTunes and VOD) C- —Chris Nashawaty
Not Rated, 1 Hr., 32 Mins.
This compassionate all-access documentary about Mitt Romney’s failed runs for the Oval Office manages to pull off what the starch-stiff candidate couldn’t: It makes him likable, warm, and human. Too bad the film isn’t as interested in policies as it is in image rehab. (Available on Netflix and VOD) B- —Chris Nashawaty
R, 1 Hr., 24 Mins.
Consider this deliriously trashy erotic thriller Single White Female in a hospital. With her steamy, screw-loose smile and breathy, sex-kitten voice, Paz de la Huerta vamps it up as a psychotic angel of mercy obsessed with a new co-worker (30 Rock‘s Katrina Bowden). (Also available on iTunes and VOD) C+ —Chris Nashawaty
PG-13, 1 Hr., 40 Mins.
A generic odd-couple comedy pitting Kevin Hart’s motormouthed pip-squeak against Ice Cube’s gruff pit bull. C+ —Chris Nashawaty
That Awkward Moment
R, 1 Hr., 34 Mins.
Three twentysomethings (Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan, and Miles Teller) make a pact to prove their manhood by not falling for the lovely ladies trying to snag them. The actors are fun, but the film sells them out with uninspired jokes and shallow ideas. C+ —Adam Markovitz
Not Rated, 1 Hr., 20 Mins.
Video engineer Tim Jenison becomes obsessed with figuring out if Johannes Vermeer used optical devices to achieve his poetics of light. And damned if he doesn’t unmask art history’s greatest trick. A —Owen Gleiberman