About Me

Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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  • Bomb Disposal Experts “Laugh” at “The Hurt Locker”

    By Kyle | March 1, 2010

    “The Hurt Locker” has been praised for its authenticity, mainly by armchair types. What do actual bomb-disposal techs say about it? “We would laugh.” More here.

    Topics: Iraq, Movies | 3 Comments »

    Review: “The Messenger”

    By Kyle | November 13, 2009

    Every few months another Iraq War drama comes out. They all claim to be different, and they’re all the same. Case in point is “The Messenger,” a sloppy, improbable and unbearable excuse for Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster act (and act, and act) like tough soldiers informing families about their dead loved ones. My review is up.

    Topics: Iraq, Movies, Politics | 1 Comment »

    Review: “The Men Who Stare at Goats”

    By Kyle | November 6, 2009

    You know your “comedy” is in trouble when there isn’t anything funny you can pull out and put in a TV commercial. My review of the stunningly inept George Clooney Iraq War comedy “The Men Who Stare at Goats” is up.

    Topics: History, Iraq, Movies, Politics | 3 Comments »

    Iraq War Satire Shocks and Awes

    By Kyle | July 24, 2009

    Esteemed colleague Lou Lumenick says a satiric look at the Iraq War starring James Gandolfini, “In the Loop,” is well worth checking out, giving it a rare 3 1/2 star rave. I haven’t seen it yet. For some reason it makes me think of the forgotten Sean Connery TV satire from 1982, “Wrong Is Right,” which I loved as a kid but haven’t seen since about 1983. This clip, which anticipates tasteless reality TV, is on YouTube. “I’d rather live with the guilt than with my parents,” says a teenaged Jennifer Jason Leigh.

    Topics: Comedy, Iraq, Movies, Politics, TV | No Comments »

    Nolte on “The Hurt Locker”

    By Kyle | July 4, 2009

    John Nolte says the plot “slowly deflates” and you realize halfway in that the movie is basically just a series of episodes. I’d add that it’s kind of the same episode again and again. Nolte also thinks the film reflects badly on our troops and even worse on the Iraqi people.

    Topics: Iraq, Movies, Politics | 16 Comments »

    What Troops Listen To

    By Kyle | May 19, 2009

    What do our soldiers and other troops listen to in their killin’ machines as they patrol the mean streets of Iraq? Eminem, Metallica, Slayer…and the Chipmunks Christmas CD, says my colleague Mary Huhn in an informative feature.

    Topics: Iraq, Music | 15 Comments »

    Review: “Brothers At War”

    By Kyle | May 8, 2009

    Jake Rademacher was a double embed, looking at the Iraq War from within the country and from within his family: Two of his brothers are vets, so he went to Iraq in part to prove he was worthy of sitting at the same dinner table as them. He turns in one of the stronger Iraq War documentaries, “Brothers at War.” My review is up.

    Topics: Iraq, Movies, Politics | 14 Comments »

    “Taking Chance” Arrives on DVD May 12

    By Kyle | March 30, 2009

    HBO’s film “Taking Chance,” which stars Kevin Bacon in a finely restrained performance as a Marine Corps colonel escorting the remains of a fallen Marine home for burial, is the best Iraq War movie yet produced by the film industry. Simply by taking a neutral position on the rightness or wrongness of the Iraq War, the film has a throwback feel, one of deep respect for our fighting men and women. It’s a feeling that ought to transcend politics but rarely does. My column on the film drew dozens of e-mails, many of them from those who served or who continue to serve, and everyone I heard from agrees that the movie is a fitting tribute to those who wear the uniform of this country.

    Having completed a run on HBO, “Taking Chance” is coming to DVD on May 12. Press release below. Read the rest of this entry »

    Topics: DVD, Iraq, Movies, Politics | 3 Comments »

    Petraeus for President?

    By Kyle | March 23, 2009

    Only problem: The guy has a pretty thin resume. I mean, he was never a lawyer or an activist, really…..just, kinda, the world’s biggest community organizer. Breitbart has more.

    Topics: Iraq, Politics | 8 Comments »

    “An Iraq War Film Worth Seeing,” Says Iraq Vet

    By Kyle | March 9, 2009

    “Brothers at War,” a movie I haven’t seen, gets a thoughtful essay of praise from a Marine who served in Iraq, over at Andrew Breitbart and John Nolte’s Big Hollywood blog, a new star of the blogosphere that has so much provocative and interesting stuff that it’s hard to know where to begin reading it. The more debate the better, I say, and Big Hollywood is always in full cry.

    Topics: Iraq, Movies, Politics | No Comments »

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