Latest Film Reviews
20th Century Women (2016)
Empathetic and self-searching...a highly witty, deeply humane look at people who may be too conscious for their own good, people who think and feel too much ever to be truly happy.
The Founder (2016)
Call it 'Big Mac-beth.'
also represents consummate filmmaking.
Superficially, it resembles exhilarating action films of the past, but the paint-by-numbers approach just doesn't do the trick. With all around bad acting, hyperactive production, and a script that passes 'camp' and goes right on through to 'bad'...
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.
Patriots Day (2016)
'Terror bad. Boston strong.'
Hidden Figures (2016)
Could hardly be more historically important, culturally significant, or inspirational, and as a PG-rated film, it’s especially valuable as a STEM education boost for young girls.
Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life (2016)
Silly and rarely believable in any of its particulars...Andy Daly, though? Really funny.
A Monster Calls (2016)
There’s a simple power to the clean lines of Ness’ story, and it’s greatly amplified by the work of the actors.
Why Him? (2016)
Nothing if not formulaic, but it has its passing charms...Ultimately, the hacky plot (partly credited to Franco’s buddy Jonah Hill) is also too primal not to work...
Assassin's Creed (2016)
Despite its style points, fails to resonate on a higher octave than its low hum of dark doings, leaping around, and fisticuffs.
Born on the Fourth of July
for millennials...Stone effectively streamlines Snowden’s story for mass consumption, edification, and identification.
An American classic writ large.
The serviceable movie you make about this subject. But it does offer a little bit more, peeking through with an interesting insight every quarter-hour or so.
May not amount to much—a salute to theater and showmanship, a simple tale of self-empowerment and group spirit—but it is up with people, or, rather, animals in ways that will delight kids and adults alike.
What begins as an intriguing premise based on high-stakes “what if”s shrinks in imagination as the pair begins to face crises akin to a
Star Trek: The Next Generation
The BFG (2016)
Largely lifeless, which is unusual for fantasy material birthed by Roald Dahl or directed by Steven Spielberg, much less a combination of the two.
LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures—Complete Season One (2016)
Even adult Star Wars fans with enough of a sense of perspective to laugh at this not-overly-serious non-canonical storyline will have a good time.
Fear the Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season (2016)
The show's second season improves the spinoff (from more famous elder sibling
The Walking Dead
) in just about every respect...
Collateral Beauty (2016)
Chicken Poop for the Soul...
Pete's Dragon (2016)
There's room enough for both
s in this big old world.
Rogue One (2016)
Will give die-hard
fans multiple orgasms...runneth over with
Office Christmas Party (2016)
Well, why don’t you just tell me what you think
Office Christmas Party
is about, and I’ll tell you if you’re right. Uh huh. Uh huh. Uh huh. Yeah, you’ve got it.
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.
Miss Sloane (2016)
[Not] a truly thoughtful and credible treatment of the unpleasant realities of Washington lobbying...[but] a hothouse melodrama that teases an ice queen’s meltdown while actually doing the hustle.
The graphic intensity of Orson Welles' black-and-white 1948 film of
, then, isn't merely for show, but a carefully considered symbolist staging for screen, meant to complement the Bard's immortal poetry.
Nocturnal Animals (2016)
A moody and deeply unsettling look at a pair of failed relationships, regrets and recriminations, and measures of emotional violence—oh, shall we call it 'lashing out'?—symbolized in physical violence.
Hands of Stone (2016)
The film works as well as it does on the strength of its acting. De Niro 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.
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.
Rules Don't Apply (2016)
In his screenplay and performance as Hughes, Beatty offers a canny, sharply drawn, and highly personal take on the billionaire, with strong elements of lacerating self-parody.
When it’s cooking,
prepares tender, slip-off-the-bone meat on the tried-and-true bones of the Disney formula.
Manchester by the Sea (2016)
In its broad strokes,
Manchester by the Sea
doesn’t explore anything new...[but Lonergan] is the master of telling behavior and conversational nuance.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)
I have heard the cash cow moo...the sort of movie many will feel obliged to like more than they actually want to clamor right back onto the ride.
An easy realism and an intimate domestic perspective on events that became consequential to national history...replacing histrionics with a genuine curiosity about what it must have been like to live this story from the inside.
A science-fiction masterpiece that’s largely about our perceptions of time and our struggles to communicate...unexpectedly romantic and profound in its deeper concerns, by exploring the happy-sad nature of existence itself, of being born to die.
The Eagle Huntress (2016)
As a documentary, it’s only marginally more credible than
Nanook of the North
. So have we really come a long way, baby?
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.
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (2016)
A gleeful exercise in nostalgia, a fun and family-friendly Batman story in its own right, and a running commentary on the character's flexible interpretation.
Doctor Strange (2016)
looks at urban architecture through a twisting digital kaleidoscope, next-stepping from
to an M.C. Escher-esque action aesthetic that amounts to three-dimensional chess.
The Handmaiden (2016)
A conspicuously crafty tale...Park’s erotic thriller...with its story that, not coincidentally, deals with fetishes—never feels lifelessly premeditated; rather, we realize, early and often, that we are in very sure hands.
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