Latest Film Reviews
Preacher: Season One (2016)
As per a recurring Season One line, 'We're just getting started.'
Certain Women (2016)
Reichardt in no way pushes her material, instead giving the viewer the space to live in this space with the characters, observe them and listen to them, and then draw one’s own conclusions about thematic import.
A Man Called Ove (2015)
Though Holm’s film can be plenty sentimental and emotionally manipulative, it also manages to be
sentiment and emotional manipulations, and how those aren’t necessarily bad things.
Keeping Up with the Joneses (2016)
Only in a well-populated movie theater can one truly appreciate the sound of silence when Gadot’s character boasts she could crack a walnut with her vagina. And that, my friends, is the funniest joke in the picture.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Lee brought a distinct elegance to the wuxia genre of mythic, lyrical martial arts pictures...a breathtaking visual and emotional experience for the viewer...
The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection (1933)
Universal's new three-disc
The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection
Restored Blu-ray Edition offers the best chance yet on home video to appreciate the Brothers and their brand of anarchic, sometimes surreal comedy...
Duck Soup (1933)
For all its wild comic abandon,
has darker implications than the usual Marx Brothers comedy and, as such, feels the most relevant and sharp in its satire.
Monkey Business (1931)
Keeps plot at a minimum, anarchy at a maximum, which is a good place to be for the fearless foursome of 1930s screen comedy.
Animal Crackers (1930)
More so than any of the other Paramount films,
is Groucho's picture.
Horse Feathers (1932)
The opening ten minutes of
have more laughs than most comedy features muster in their entirety. And there's more where that came from...
The Cocoanuts (1929)
Sophisticated absurdity and sublime nonsense.
The Accountant (2016)
The running-gag emotional expression of another of the film’s autistic characters pretty much sums it up: 'Heavy sigh.'
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)
Deep reserves of humor and heart...a sophisticated comedy with an often blazingly fast pace to its dialogue, a quintessential Gary Cooper performance in the title role, and an especially tenacious leading lady in Jean Arthur.
Angels & Demons (2009)
Try not to giggle when...Langdon is being called in for '[his] expertise, [his] erudition.' The guy from
? Just kidding, Tom, we love you—just not in this kind of pricy but conspicuously soulless crap.
Cinematic poetry...As that greatest of screen rarities—a potentially mainstream experimental film—the writer-director earns a bit of slack in gratitude for the strange and wonderful gift
The Da Vinci Code (2006)
Too measured to be lively, too skittish to be provocative, too dramatically slack to be more than a ploddingly literal book-on-film.
The Infiltrator (2016)
A sturdy but uninspired crime docudrama that’s neither convincingly colloquial nor thrillingly stylish.
The Girl on the Train (2016)
A mental-health exploitation picture.
The Birth of a Nation (2016)
Unsettlingly, Parker’s historical film depicts a tragic uncivil war that bears comparison to our modern racial struggles, and while it’s history not to be forgotten, it’s also not to be mischaracterized.
The main draw remains Serling, whose story seems every bit as relevant—indeed, more so—today. There is efficiency but also music in his theatrical language...
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.
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016)
The fact that
Mike and Dave
will inevitably turn into a rom com blunts its potential as a black comedy of comeuppance for the titular jerks.
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...
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