critic?s notebook

With indelible character, Stephen Colbert made us think twice

Jim Bourg/reuters/file 2010

As ?The Colbert Report?? ends tonight, Colbert could go down as one of the most unforgettable characters in TV history.

In this Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 photo, Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo (9) drives during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic in Boston. The Celtics traded point guard Rajon Rondo to Dallas on Thursday night, Dec. 18, 2014, cutting ties with the last remnant of Boston's last NBA championship while giving Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks a chance at another title. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)


Rajon Rondo not as valuable as we were led to believe

Standing 6 feet 1 inch, Rondo is a unique talent, as evidenced by his 32 career triple-doubles. But too many people mistake unique for elite.

Boston Celtics' Rajon Rondo in action during an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Monday, Dec. 15, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Celtics agree to trade Rajon Rondo to Mavericks

The Celtics will trade the star guard to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for three players and two draft picks.

Phoenix Suns forward Anthony Tolliver (40) shoots against Dallas Mavericks forward Brandan Wright (34) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in Dallas. The Suns won 118-106. (AP Photo/LM Otero)


Celtics didn?t get enough in Rajon Rondo trade

The Celtics got 8½ strong seasons from Rondo, but he was an ill-fitting piece for a team that is in rebuilding mode.

Mysterious Boston woman wields influence as Amazon?s top reviewer

Ali Julia has written more than 2,800 reviews, revealing much about her tastes. But she remains something of an enigma.

Movie review

?Night at the Museum? sequel shakes off the dust

For its first hour, this trilogy capper feels awfully dusty. But the movie?s exceptionally clever and fresh final act delivers.

Governor Deval Patrick reacted with laughter as he took a surprise call from President Barack Obama on WGBH?s ?Ask the Governor? radio show.

Obama calls into Patrick?s final monthly radio show

?Governor, this is Barack Obama, formerly of Somerville,? the caller said in his unmistakable, halting cadence.

Angel Perez, who supports President Obama, listened to former prisoner Rafael Dominguez disagree with the president?s  action in Miami on Thursday.

Nation?s shift on Cuba reveals generation gap

Anti-Castro ideologues are dying off, replaced by a generation more open to normalized relations with Cuba.

Companies in the US are already developing strategies to introduce their products and services to a market they have not been in for the better part of 50 years ? if ever.

US companies assess a beachhead in Cuba

Companies are already developing strategies to introduce their products and services to the Cuban market.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh has already raised more than $1.5 million, campaign finance records show.

Mayor Walsh poised to set fund-raising record in his first year

He may be three years from an election, but the new mayor has vastly outraised any other elected official who lives in Boston.

Authorities caution against imposter ride-share drivers

The warnings come after a spate of recent attacks, including several women who said they were assaulted after ordering an Uber.

Newcomers on Beacon Hill

November?s election swept in a bevy of new Beacon Hill denizens, from freshly minted legislators to top aides.

Locals took a tour of the North 40 property over the summer.

Wellesley College to sell 46 undeveloped acres to town

The move will generate $35 million for campus improvements while protecting the land from large developments.

Woman sues Fenway Park, elevator company over fall

The 22-year-old woman was seriously injured when she fell two stories down an elevator shaft.


Richard N. Goodwin

// Lessons from the ?60s for Ferguson, Staten Island

Lyndon Baines Johnson?s speechwriter reflects on the civil rights movement and its lessons for modern race relations.

The Big Picture

A protester takes shelter from smoke billowing around during protests on Aug. 13 against the shooting of black teenager Michael Brown in Freguson, Mo., by white police officer Darren Wilson.

David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via Associated Press

Best photos of 2014: Part II

Photographs from May-August on a range topics from around the world.