Latest Theatrical Reviews
An American classic writ large.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
The Accountant (2016)
The running-gag emotional expression of another of the film’s autistic characters pretty much sums it up: 'Heavy sigh.'
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.
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.'
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.
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.
The so-called 'untold story' is essentially nonsense...The struggle is real for screenwriter Todd Komarnicki...
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...
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.
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...
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...
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.
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