Latest Theatrical Reviews
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 Infiltrator (2016)
A sturdy but uninspired crime docudrama that’s neither convincingly colloquial nor thrillingly stylish.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Conjuring 2 (2016)
When there’s somefin strange...in your neighbor’ood...’oo you gonna call?
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 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 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.
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...
The Man Who Knew Infinity (2016)
Can repeat its formula by rote, but develops no breakthrough theory of its own.
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.
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.
Tastes awfully stale...those with a high tolerance for 'nice' movies will happily roll with this
. But know that it is proudly unsophisticated in its storytelling.
Elvis & Nixon (2016)
A story of great power and great delusion, of the absurdities of politics and the strange effects and arguably undue reach of celebrity. These potentially heady themes are really beside the point of a movie that’s a hoot and knows it.
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...
Miles Ahead (2015)
Not everyone will agree with how Cheadle answers the key questions, but only a fool would say his take lacks creativity, heart, energy, and a gutsy willingness to take risks (as Davis says in the film, 'Be wrong strong').
The hero of the new dramedy
at one point muses, 'For some reason, everything’s becoming a metaphor.' Boy, you can say that again.
Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)
I Saw the Light (2015)
It’s all so dully realized that we grow starving for idiosyncratic detail, desperately latching on to Williams’ love of ketchup or his drunkenly being tickled pink by his new garage-door opener.
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.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
[SPOILER-FREE REVIEW:] This is not a drill, comic-book geeks.
Knight of Cups (2015)
For all its thrumming profundity...has just as much sleepwalking self-parody: all of the actors’ pacing and arm-flapping and gazing off into the distance suggests, as much as an art film, the world’s longest prescription drug commercial.
Hello, My Name Is Doris (2015)
Unlikely as it may be, the relationship begins to seem as plausible to us as to the willfully optimistic Doris, which is a testament to the performers transcending the script’s default mode of condescension.
10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
Essentially the picture is one tease after another, misdirecting as fast as it can and amounting to the 'Emperor’s New Clothes' vacuousness of mid-period M. Night Shyamalan.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016)
This feminist war dramedy...is a vanity project done right.
Embrace of the Serpent (2015)
Offers different angles on the Amazon, its people, and white interlopers...the subtle shift of focus from the white explorers to the native guide allows both a welcome political correctness and a depth of sadness that, for once, isn’t once removed.
Boy & the World (2013)
Kaleidoscopic in its opening up of brilliant color and of the troubling interaction between corporate “people” and flesh-and-bone people, between the environment and civilization.
Near-total lack of narrative tension...Competent acting and direction handily stave off artistic disaster, but
has been constructed not so much to inspire as to renew the already faithful.
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