This is not your father's Woody Allen movie. In The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected), writer-director Noah Baumbach surveys vintage Allen territory—the artsy highlands of New York's Jewish upper middle class—and finds new comic moves to try, new kinds of laughs to mine. Dustin Hoffman contributes a deadpan comic turn that's pure old-pro, Ben Stiller is seriously good, and Adam Sandler gives the most moving performance of his career. Yes, Adam Sandler.
Hoffman's Harold Meyerowitz is a retired sculptor who's been eclipsed in old age by his longtime rival, L.J. Shapiro (Judd Hirsch, also in old-pro mode, however briefly). Harold, who maintains the dramatically swept-back hair of a lion-of-the-arts, is annoyed by this fact, and is thus even more annoying than ever to his three middle-aged children: Danny (Sandler), a failed musician now returned to his father's house following a divorce; Jean, a mousy drudge who has stifled her sizable sorrows for decades; and Matthew (Ben Stiller), Danny and Jean's half brother, who hopped off the exhausting family hamster wheel years ago to move to Los Angeles and become a very successful business manager, write Kurt Loder in his latest review for Reason.