Latest Film Reviews
Deepwater Horizon (2016)
Hammer[s] home what the news media didn’t much convey in 2010: the human-level horror of being on the rig and the sheer scope of the unnaturalness of the enterprise.
Queen of Katwe (2016)
A co-production of Disney and ESPN Films,
Queen of Katwe
unsurprisingly has a calculated quality to it...What’s thrilling is the story’s girl power, with Phiona described as an aggressive player of 'astonishing power.'
Blood Simple (1984)
Simpleness and crime have consistently fascinated the pair, who may as well be praying at the temple of Atë...the Coens preach a healthy respect for the randomness and chaos that ensues from our desires.
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
As far as 'Classic Disney,'
Beauty and the Beast
pretty much has it all. Y'know, for kids (of all ages).
Samberg’s jittery-nerdy energy comes through, and Stoller applies a level of taste and restraint to the film’s use of source music and amusingly awkward pauses.
The Dressmaker (2015)
Part slow-burn mother-daughter drama, part slow-burn suspense thriller, and part slow-burn romance, with a few twists for good measure as the town begins to come apart at the seams.
Born on the Fourth of July
for millennials...Stone effectively streamlines Snowden’s story for mass consumption, edification, and identification.
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
A direct sequel to
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
...a crazy-cool superhero team-up/smackdown movie to make
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
look like a tea party, and a franchise-launching introduction to the new Spider-Man...
Bridget Jones's Baby (2016)
As artless as it can be—and as thuddingly predictable about the baby’s parentage and whom Bridget will end up with—even grumps will admit to scattered amusing bits...and the likeability of Zellweger and Firth.
A Bigger Splash (2015)
The significant visual appeal and magnetic turns by the leading players make this four-hander a diverting dip into human nature: specifically, jealousy and the folly of opting for interiority over communication.
Why is Marguerite so funny to us, and why is her public humiliation allowed to continue for so long? The answers plumb both the best and worst instincts of human nature, and give Giannoli’s film a strong heartbeat.
The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum (1939)
The story, the effective acting, and the period-specific recreations of Kabuki would be enough for most films, but this one has Mizoguchi behind the camera, applying his rigorous formalism.
The so-called 'untold story' is essentially nonsense...The struggle is real for screenwriter Todd Komarnicki...
Night Train to Munich (1940)
Double-crosses and disguises, captures and escapes make up the momentum of Reed's nicely pacy adventure.
The Night Manager (2016)
A story that succeeds in the telling: in the work of Hiddleston, Laurie, and Colman and the steady hand of their director: notable feature-film helmer Susanne Bier.
Now You See Me 2 (2016)
Not only can the center not hold, but there is no center to begin with...The story mostly speeds along at an obnoxious rate and pitch, the better to misdirect from the next dumb abracadabra plot twist, but good luck hanging in for over two hours of it.
The Immortal Story (1968)
A dreamy fable of just-so proportion and asethetics...this literate and richly strange film has layers of meaning available to the viewer.
Morris from America (2016)
An amiable, gentle, light drama with coming-of-age and outsider elements...a movingly attentive Robinson has never been allowed to be this warm on screen.
The Light Between Oceans (2016)
Cianfrance makes intimate, psychologically penetrating films, with quiet spaces and moments of brutal intensity...As unlikely as the story is, Cianfrance deftly steers the material through elemental themes...
Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season Two (2015)
An abundance of fun, with high-spirited action (including dazzling space battles and impressive lightsaber duels), dry wit, and dramatic contributions to the
The Jungle Book (2016)
Favreau and Marks have obviously put some thought into the film’s visual approach and the messages...: the animal kingdom’s unexpected threats and opportunities...the work Mowgli puts in to come of age...his casual kindheartedness...
Too closely resembles the narcotic world it depicts. Without ever doing anything conspicuously wrong,
plays like one big miscalculation...
Don't Breathe (2016)
detonates its big twist...some audience members will feel the film stops being fun while others will feel the fun has started in earnest.
Hands of Stone (2016)
The film works as well as it does on the strength of its acting. DeNiro is in fine, grounded form, and his verbal sparring with Ramírez, [et al]...elevates the film, the overlapping dialogue highly effective in infusing naturalistic energy.
Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon (1970)
I'll say this for
Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon
. It's a film that takes a big roll of the dice. Is it wrenching? Is it wacky? Well, it's definitely weird.
Ash vs Evil Dead: The Complete First Season (2015)
It's difficult to imagine how
Ash vs Evil Dead
could be any more fan-pleasing than it is...packed with all sorts of looney fun that conjures back up the "splatstick" style Raimi and friends popularized.
Hell or High Water (2016)
Old-school bank robbery meets the new economy—and the New West—in
Hell or High Water
, a lean tale of cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, and customers and bankers.
War Dogs (2016)
Captures something of runaway modern greed, played out as a bro movie from bro stars and a bro filmmaker...[but] might have been a fresh classic of political satire instead of a crime comedy that plays as sub-Scorsesean riff.
A Taste of Honey (1962)
Pushed the culture-shock of kitchen-sink drama further with its female protagonist and depictions and discussions of interracial coupling, teen pregnancy, the possibility of abortion, and homosexuality.
Ingrid Bergman in Her Own Words (Jag är Ingrid) (2015)
Bergman's effortlessly poetic diary and letters provide more evidence, though patently unnecessary, of her artistic temperament, her lyrical view of experience.
Once Upon a Time: The Complete Fifth Season (2011)
It's comforting to know
Once Upon a Time
is there as an entertainment families can rally around, and one that will challenge them thematically as much as it panders by playing in the Disney sandbox.
tends to the sober and dour, it also breaks into the brutal, the intense, and the emotionally devastating, all the right 'moves' for a war story of moral heft compromised by Pyrrhic victory.
Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)
A legitimately fascinating central character...Not surprisingly, Streep expertly shades every eccentricity, embodying Jenkins in her musical waywardness...
The Blacklist: The Complete Third Season (2013)
Season Three of
upped the show's game with slightly more adventurous writing that made the show a more consistent bet from week to week.
Mother's Day (2016)
A movie so far up its own posterior that it includes the threatening exchange 'They made a womb float for Mother’s Day?' 'I can’t wait to see what they do for Father’s Day!' Well, I can.
Suicide Squad (2016)
A novel but muddled supervillain action movie...Some comic-book fans will lap it up, but
is all sauce and no meat.
Don't Think Twice (2016)
Pinpoints a creative community that’s never been explored in a narrative film...its wistful, naturalistic presentation of a thirtysomething turning point—a forced maturation of sorts—rings true.
When this thriller has to turn the screws of its climax, its fundamental stupidity surfaces.
Jason Bourne (2016)
Terrified to do anything different (which, believe it or not, would be entirely possible)...it only takes a moment of awareness to step outside the movie and see how poorly written, insultingly recycled, and anti-creative
Star Trek Beyond (2016)
What works (marginally) in this instantly forgettable entry: a few diverting character moments...fan-serving fairy dust...action, action, action.
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