Dark Comedy

[6.0] Christian Bale (Empire of the Sun) plays a homicidal Wall Street playboy in this Bret Easton Ellis adaptation directed by Mary Harron. By day, Bale’s character, Patrick Bateman, engages in banal chit-chat with other yuppies. They compare dicks — I mean, business cards — and brag about elusive dinner reservations. But by night, Bateman one-ups them all in the contest to determine who’s the …

[7] Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) gives a powerhouse performance as a ruthless, court-appointed legal guardian who preys upon her elderly wards, draining their savings and selling off their assets for her own financial gain. But she finally meets her match in an elderly woman (Dianne Wiest) with a mysterious past whose dangerous acquaintance (Peter Dinklage) threatens to topple the profiteering empire Pike has built for …

[5.0] Barry Sonnenfeld makes the leap from established cinematographer (Misery, Raising Arizona) to first-time director with The Addams Family. Screenwriter Caroline Thompson (Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas) creates a feature scenario around Charles Addams macabre cartoon characters, popularized in the ’60s by their TV adaptation. In Thompson’s script, beloved Uncle Fester has been missing for years, leaving a hole in the dark heart of …

[8.0] Danny DeVito directs his Romancing the Stone co-stars Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner in this supremely dark comedy about a divorcing couple who are each prepared to fight to the death over who keeps their lavish home. No one and nothing is safe in the feud — not friends, pets, automobiles, or even fish dinners — as stubbornness leads to tragedy in this cautionary …

[5] Nicolas Cage stars as a publishing executive who thinks he’s becoming a vampire. To his credit, he was bitten by a vampire (Flashdance‘s Jennifer Beals)… or did he imagine that? Either way, Cage begins wearing dark shades, avoiding sunlight, sleeping under an overturned leather couch, eating cockroaches, and devouring pigeons. And if you think he’s hard on the cockroaches and pigeons, wait til you …

[7] Christina Ricci definitively sheds her child-star persona in The Opposite of Sex, playing a snarky teen who runs away from mother and crashes with her older gay half-brother (Martin Donovan). After she seduces his na├»ve young lover (Ivan Sergei) and becomes pregnant, she hits the road with her baby daddy, forcing the half-brother and his bitter sister-in-law (Lisa Kudrow) into hot pursuit. The Opposite …

[4] Mike Myers suspects his girlfriend may be a serial killer in this alleged comedy. Look, I love Mike Myers as much as the next person, and when he’s allowed room to cut loose in a movie, that movie generally works. But in So I Married an Axe Murderer from writer Robbie Fox and director Thomas Schlamme, there’s nothing funny or interesting about the main …

[8.0] There’s something incredibly poetic about Charlie Chaplin, who built a career over the 1920s and 1930s as a silent screen star, finally opening his mouth in his first sound film, 1940’s The Great Dictator. The decision wasn’t an arbitrary one. Chaplin was speaking out because he finally had something important to say. The Great Dictator splits its time between two characters, both played by …

[6.0] Elitist liberals hunt and kill redneck conservatives in this satiric take on The Most Dangerous Game. Betty Gilpin heads up the cast as our hunted protagonist (the horror genre’s ‘final girl’, if you will), while two-time Oscar winner Hillary Swank leads our pack of villainous hunters. Gilpin’s droll, reticent, but kick-ass performance reminds me of an old Clint Eastwood anti-hero. We never quite know …

[6.0] Scarlett Johansson and Jillian Bell lead an all-gal cast in this dark comedy about college friends who reunite for a wild party night that spirals out of control when they accidentally kill a male stripper. It was a little challenging to go along with the movie’s irreverent tone after the stripper dies, but once the ladies begin trying — and failing — to dispose …

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