Latest Film Reviews
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.
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.
Ice Age: Collision Course (2016)
The mammoths and their mammalian buddies...take direction from [a] lunatic weasel...to SAVE THE WORLD by DIVERTING THE PATH OF AN ASTEROID (emphasis mine).
Captain Fantastic (2016)
The film’s saving graces are the uniformly strong performances...and its intriguing subject matter...[but it] develops third-act problems as it devolves into calculated contrivances, didacticism, and sentiment.
Our Little Sister (2015)
Moves at a rhythm akin to the gently lapping waves...yet somehow swiftly establishes the personalities of the three sisters, a contradiction that speaks to the resonance of the performers and Koreeda’s skill at eliciting emotional truth.
Should you see Sony’s new
remake? Yes. Yes, you should. Will you be entertained? Yes. Yes, you will. Will you also be a little annoyed? Well, yeah, probably...it’s all a bit too self-consciously self-conscious...
The Boss (2016)
Needlessly starting out on such a false, bombastic note emblematizes the film's mistake of blowing up the character past what made her recognizable, and thereby funny, in the first place.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)
Has more genuinely funny moments than most so-called comedies at the multiplex, abetted by Waititi’s now-practiced comic sensibility, his stylized snap of performance and editing.
Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words (2016)
From the evidence of Thorsten Schütte’s found-footage documentary...Zappa saw the interview as sometime endurance test, sometime amusement, and all-the-time chess match he could never lose, played as it was against lesser lights.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016)
For Zeus's sake...as warm and fuzzy and comforting (or not) as a Disney Channel show marketed more to parents than to their kids.
Central Intelligence (2016)
Even if the material's not always up to the title's ironic reference to wit, the cast and their director carry the day with a good stock of laughs.
Finding Dory (2016)
If the plotting at first feels overly familiar (and, in many ways, is), its elegance becomes apparent in the reinvigorating final movements, which also confirm
's ultimate theme of building self-confidence through self-discovery.
only reluctantly comes around to its crime-solving story, that’s understandable: the good stuff resides in the characterizations and the morality play around them, decrying fear of the other.
The Conjuring 2 (2016)
When there’s somefin strange...in your neighbor’ood...’oo you gonna call?
Kill Your Friends (2015)
As adapted by screenwriter John Niven from his own novel,
Kill Your Friends
has a decidedly been-there, killed-that feel to it.
Hail, Caesar! (2016)
In a way, the amusing, preposterous
, for all its arch postmodernism, becomes what it pastiches, resembling the kind of '50s film we can now watch and admire for a kind of cultural reflection without exactly considering it a success.
Triple 9 (2016)
A dark crime drama the rough-and-tumble Samuel Fuller no doubt would have loved.
Me Before You (2016)
The sort of film to starkly divide audiences: hard cases will wince at the clichés and Clarke’s performance; starry-eyed weepie fans will get what they came for.
X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
For all its failings, including the crime of not being exhilarating,
remains a competent sci-fi actioner.
Maggie's Plan (2015)
A not-unpleasant 98 minutes that’s nevertheless understocked with comic zest and thematic incisiveness.
The Witch (2015)
for what it is: a refreshingly baroque respite from the jump-scares that typify today's horror.
The Lobster (2015)
Investigates the nature of our need for a partner (who else will apply that pain-relief cream to the small of your back?), how we cling to superficial similarities to justify our matches, and our denial, at our peril, of our animal nature.
The Finest Hours (2016)
One can easily understand why this story swiftly became Coast Guard legend...but its dim wall-of-grey visuals and narrative longueurs make much of the two hours a challenge to the attention span for viewers of any age.
The Angry Birds Movie (2016)
Even though 'Anger is not always the answer,' sometimes it has to be, or there’s no movie, and here’s where
The Angry Birds Movie
will divide audiences.
Dark Horse (2015)
Osmond doesn't belabor style in any way, opting to shape the story simply and directly through the new interviews, available archive materials, and efficient montage.
The Man Who Knew Infinity (2016)
Can repeat its formula by rote, but develops no breakthrough theory of its own.
Where to Invade Next (2015)
Moore finds a galvanizing climax by rallying around the notion that idealism trumps, if you’ll pardon the word, defeatism.
The Meddler (2015)
A delightfully humane comedy...doesn’t insist upon the meddling as a 'premise' but as an important part of the film’s psychological reality.
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