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About Me

Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is a film critic for The New York Post and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review. Find an alphabetical listing of The New York Post's recent film reviews here.

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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  • Review: “Vice”

    By Kyle | January 16, 2015

    Promised to be more interesting than it ultimately wound up being. My review is up.

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    Topics: Movies | No Comments »

    The Worst Movie Remakes Ever

    By Kyle | January 16, 2015

    I probably should have included “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” But here are ten fairly bad ones.

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    Topics: Movies | 2 Comments »

    Review: “Paddington”

    By Kyle | January 16, 2015

    Very droll and very English. My review is up.

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    Topics: Movies | 1 Comment »

    Review: “Selma”

    By Kyle | January 15, 2015

    I actually wrote up a review of “Selma” back in November that was never published…I wound up reviewing “American Sniper” instead. This is what I wrote.

    SELMA
    2.5 stars
    Set 100 years after “Lincoln,” “Selma” is a sequel of sorts, a tale of lingering unfinished business that everyone knew was heading for a resolution someday. One man made someday arrive more quickly than anyone in 1965 expected.

    As played by English actor David Oyelowo, Martin Luther King Jr. is a muted, composed figure, a soft voice muffling an iron core. While demanding action from President Lyndon Johnson (Tom Wilkinson), he reassures his wife Coretta (Carmen Ejogo) that he’s just kidding when he says the Calvary of his proposed 1965 civil rights march from Selma, Ala. to Montgomery is as good a place to die as any.

    Director Ava DuVernay achieves an intimate feel, illustrating how history rises from small groups meeting in quiet darkened rooms — even jail cells. Oyelowo captures not just the manner of King but his Christlike patience, his willingness to suffer and his unwillingness to wait.

    At her best, DuVernay underplays the drama, finely etching historical tableaux such as the plight of Annie Lee Cooper, a servant who at the beginning of the film is seen trying to register to vote but is rejected by a racist white official posing ludicrous trivia questions. Cooper is played almost wordlessly by Oprah Winfrey, who is also a producer on the film and who embodies the quiet suffering of generations denied anything like equal rights. Only two percent of blacks were registered in Alabama, we’re told, leading to all-white juries because only registered voters could be jurors, which in turn created a criminal-justice system that systematically mistreated blacks.

    King’s proposed solution — the object of the Selma marches — was what became the Voting Rights Act, which was bitterly opposed by racist Gov. George Wallace (Tim Roth) and initially back-burnered by LBJ until King, at immense personal risk, led the protests that created national embarrassment like police beatings and murders that Johnson could no longer ignore. Too bad Roth and Wilkinson can’t resist overplaying their larger-than-life characters: Actors naturally inclined to be hammy can be especially dangerous when given fake noses.

    “Selma” is engineered like “Lincoln.” Scaling back its scope from a vast life to a single illustrative episode and limiting its time frame to a few months, it hopes to break free of the predictable, episodic formula of old-school biopics. What “Lincoln” has that “Selma” lacks is star power: Oyelowo, though a consummate craftsman, is a character actor, not a leading man. He lacks the pull of, say, a young Denzel Washington or Will Smith. Yet “Selma” does not escape the flaws of “Lincoln”: It’s slow-moving, hushed and built around long scenes built around long takes built around long speeches. Characters don’t so much converse as declaim.

    Lacking the passion of Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X” or the freewheeling gonzo-history spirit of “The Butler” (which also starred Oyelowo), “Selma” is the dramatic equivalent of watching a boulder being pushed up a hill. It seems destined to be shown in auditoria full of students fighting to stay awake. This is an honorable, sober, necessary, even important picture — but few will see it twice.

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    Topics: Movies | 3 Comments »

    The Problem with the Golden Globes

    By Kyle | January 12, 2015

    No cojones. More in my column on last’s nights awards.

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    Topics: Movies | 3 Comments »

    The Real Scandinavia

    By Kyle | January 11, 2015

    Social-Democratic paradise? I think not. More in my Sunday column.

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    Topics: Europe | 11 Comments »

    Review: “The World Made Straight”

    By Kyle | January 9, 2015

    A Faulknerian fable. My review is up.

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    Topics: Movies | No Comments »

    Clooney Vs. Leo

    By Kyle | January 6, 2015

    One married an Oxford-trained lawyer, one is free as a cloud. Which one is having more fun? An in-depth analysis of Leonardo DiCaprio’s New Year’s beach break.

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    Topics: Movies | 2 Comments »

    French Ph.D. Students Prove I’m a Liar

    By Kyle | January 5, 2015

    I’m the star of a 55-page academic paper by two French economists! More in my Sunday column.

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    Topics: Movies | 5 Comments »

    Review: “A Most Violent Year”

    By Kyle | January 1, 2015

    Not much of a destination to this movie, but I more or less enjoyed the journey. My review is up.

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    Topics: Movies | 3 Comments »

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