Movie column by Eleanor Ringel Cater

'The Goldfinch" – despite talented cast, movie is inert and dull

If “The Maltese Falcon” is the stuff that dreams are made of, “The Goldfinch” is the stuff that dreck is made of.

Donna’s Tartt’s sprawling Dickensian novel was a favorite with critics and book clubs alike. In some ways, it’s the sort of movie Hollywood used to make in its sleep: prestigious, densely plotted, with panoply of colorful characters.

'Ready or Not' – entertaining little movie, but no cult classic

The traditional vow, “Till death do us part” gains a new urgency for Grace (Samara Weaving), a bride who discovers how perilous a wedding night can be in “Ready or Not.”

A disposable, yet entertaining little movie that never quite manages the blend of slasher and satire it aspires to, “Ready or Not” does feature an admirable performance by Weaving (niece of Hugo) and enough twists to keep you interested (if not always amused or terrified).

'The Fall of the American Empire' – falls short in every way

“The Fall of the American Empire” does only one thing well: fall apart.

Gracelessly. Stupidly. And without a shred of self-awareness.

The Canadian director Denys Arcand, who may be one of the most pompous and annoying filmmakers in the northern hemisphere, has concocted a cretinous crime caper that seems strung together from bits and pieces of every ‘70s cop show ever made.