Globe film critic Wesley Morris won a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism on April 16, 2012.
In "The Help," one woman's mammy is another man's mother. What can you do? It's possible both to like this movie - to let it crack you up, then make you cry - and to wonder why we need a broad, if sincere dramatic comedy about black maids in Jackson, Miss., in 1962 and '63 and the high-strung white housewives they work for. The movie is too pious for farce and too eager to please to comment persuasively on the racial horrors of the Deep South at that time. (Aug. 10, 2011)
"The Tree of Life" is a collection of conversations that lost souls and true believers have with themselves while keeping their heads to the sky. But the movie is church via the planetarium. It's as if Malick set out to paint the Sistine Chapel and settled for a dome at the Museum of Natural History. The movie heaves with ambition and accomplishment. It kneads together into a single cinematic loaf the start of the universe, the activities of a Texas family in the 1950s, and several beach-bound, New Age promenades. (June 3, 2011)
"Ghost Protocol" is the fourth "Mission: Impossible" in 15 years, and his decision to keep making these ridiculous movies - this one's "A Tom Cruise Production" - doesn't feel desperate. It feels like a workout. For him. For us. For whoever on the set was responsible for saying, "Tom, that's a union job" or "Mr. Cruise, we have stuntmen to run along the surface of that skyscraper and fling themselves inside." But Cruise knows we've come to see him accomplish the absurd. We've come to see him do the mission-impossible. (Dec. 16, 2011)
The most progressive force in Hollywood today is the "Fast and Furious" movies. They're loud, ludicrous, and visually incoherent. They're also the last bunch of movies you'd expect to see in the same sentence as "incredibly important." But they are - if only because they feature race as a fact of life as opposed to a social problem or an occasion for self-congratulation. (And this doesn't even account for the gay tension between the male leads, and the occasional crypto-lesbian make-out.) (April 24, 2011)
Sometimes a movie knows youre watching it. It knows how to hold and keep you, how, when its over, to make you want it all over again. Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive" is a work of swift, brutal violence, but it's not the violence - a viciously stomped head, say, or the way a shotgun blast sounds like a bomb - that's sexy. It's the confidence to bring off the violence without appearing to break a sweat, to blatantly steal from Michael Mann without fear of being hauled off to movie jail, to deliver a hero whose signature jacket isnt leather. It's a white, quilted Starter number with a giant gold and orange scorpion embroidered on the back. On anyone else, it's a garment that says "karate parent." On Ryan Gosling, the embroidery's an advertisement for a poison sting - from both Gosling and Refn. (Sept. 16, 2011)
Steve Jobs was the Ernest Hemingway of technology. Jobs removed the fear and essentially hid the computer: the iPod (computer as record crate), the MacBook (computer as personal office), the iPhone (computer as lifeline), the iPad (computer as, well, we're). He took computers and turned them into something to play with and love. He turned them into toys. And he turned us into worshippers and fans. He also made us more confident with technology. (Oct. 7, 2011)
The late director Sidney Lumet's chief preoccupation wasn't art. It was right and wrong in the American city, nearly always in New York. Lumet made his first film in 1957, in his early 30s, after having spent most of the 1950s directing television - serious television. That first movie was "12 Angry Men," and has there been a more sincerely volcanic movie about the law — or a family of addicts ("Long Day's Journey Into Night"), police corruption ("Serpico"), bank robbery ("Dog Day Afternoon"), TV ("Network"), or a botched heist ("Before the Devil Knows You're Dead")? (April 12, 2011)
When "Scream 3" arrived in 2000, Bill Clinton was still in the White House, most cellphones could make only calls, reality television was a novelty, and Lady Gaga was just some girl named Stefani from the Upper West Side. Everything's changed in the intervening 11 years, but, sadly, not the "Scream" franchise, which has coughed up a needless fourth installment that coasts on the winking ironies and Teflon self-awareness of its predecessors. (April 15, 2011)
The antique nature of Robert Pattinson's face gets an antique setting in "Water for Elephants," a beautiful and boring movie set in a traveling circus during the Great Depression. Pattinson is liberated from the brooding, computer-generated action and noise of the "Twilight" movies and put beside Reese Witherspoon, the "Inglourious Basterds" Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz, scores of extras, and an elephant the size of a two-bedroom apartment. It remains unclear whether Pattinson is any kind of actor, but it wouldn't be premature to declare that, at the very least, he's not the bad kind. (April 22, 2011)
Sometimes you don't want to escape. You want to connect with a movie that's really about something, to listen to a filmmaker talk things out, to watch him amp everyday life without calling attention to his turning up the sound. What you want is "Weekend," one of the truest, most beautiful movies ever made about two strangers. (Oct. 14, 2011)
Boston Globe film critics Wesley Morris and Ty Burr review new releases each week in their Take 2 videos.
Take 2 reviews and podcast
Look for new reviews by Wesley Morris and Ty Burr at the end of each week in multiple formats.
Recent Globe Pulitzers
2011 | Sebastian Smee | Criticism
Globe art critic Sebastian Smee won a Pulitzer for a collection of his reviews and essays on art and artists.
2008 | Mark Feeney | Criticism
Mark Feeney, an arts writer and photography reviewer for The Boston Globe, won a Pulitzer for 10 essays on visual culture that ranged from photography to painting and film.
2007 | Charlie Savage | National Reporting
Charlie Savage of the Globe's Washington bureau won the award for his work on President Bush's use of signing statements.
2005 | Gareth Cook | Explanatory Reporting
Gareth Cook won the Pulitzer for his coverage of the scientific and ethical dimensions of stem cell research.
2003 | Globe Spotlight Team | Public Service
Eight Globe reporters were honored for exposing the history of child abuse in the Catholic church.