Reviews

Review: “Ghost in the Shell”

As emotionless and robotic as its lead character, the live-action remake of the 1995 cult classic cyberpunk anime "Ghost in the Shell" is a self-conscious imitation of its predecessor. It takes a few liberties to differentiate from its...

Review: “Life”

Judging by the non-stop string of failures by Ph.D.s under pressure in "Life, " NASA's employment standards must be slipping. The ratio of horror movie stupidity to real-life common sense in "Life" is lower than usual, but that still...

Review: “Logan”

With "Logan," Hugh Jackman's tenure as the gruff, haunted, acerbic mutant anti-hero Wolverine comes to an end in with an impressive bang. Director James Mangold and his co-screenwriters Michael Green and Scott Frank send him off with gritty style,...

Review: “The LEGO Batman Movie”

Though it's not as consistently or as unrelentingly hilarious as "The LEGO Movie," Chris McKay's comic book spin-off is nevertheless a clever and enjoyable spoof of comic book movies in general, and the Dark Knight in particular. After the morose...

Review: “Live By Night”

When Ben Affleck adapted Dennis Lehane's gritty crime novel "Gone Baby Gone" to the big screen in 2007, he established himself as a nascent directing talent and reinvigorated a career that had become a joke. He displayed a...

Garth Franklin’s Best Films Of 2016

2016 proved a bumper year that, though having very few true standouts, had a quite high average in terms of the quality of films in pretty much every category except for blockbusters. Animation, foreign language films, horror, animation,...

Review: “Silence”

Martin Scorsese once said that the two most important things in his life were "my art and my religion." Nowhere has that been more evident than in "Silence", a passion-project in every sense, written and rewritten by Scorsese over...

Review #2: “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”

Let's get this out of the way - 'Rogue One' is the best "Star Wars" film since "The Empire Strikes Back". Unshackled by the constraints of an episodic entry, the first standalone "Star Wars" film is free to paint...

Review: “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”

There is indeed life to be found in the "Star Wars" franchise beyond the saga of the Skywalker clan. Despite being a prequel scandalized by extensive reshoots and featuring nary a Jedi to be found, "Rogue One" is one...

Review: “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them”

On the surface, it's easy to dismiss "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" as a cynical cash-grab squeezed from a lucrative franchise. It comes as a pleasant surprise that it proves there's still new ground to tred in...

Review: “Arrival”

The timing of "Arrival" is rather fitting, seeing that it is a brainy, ambitious, and hopeful science fiction drama about breaking a seemingly unbreachable language barrier, hitting theaters just a scant few days after one of the most rancorous...

Review: “Doctor Strange”

Criticising a superhero film, particularly Marvel films, often comes with a thousand word disclaimer. One must qualify that you're not holding the film up to the level of expectations for other entries in the MCU canon which have admittedly...

Review: “Hacksaw Ridge”

Mel Gibson has returned to the director's chair after a ten-year absence, and his war film "Hacksaw Ridge" proves to be a worthy effort. It's a blunt-force, but highly effective treatise on the horrors of war as well as...

Review: “The Birth of a Nation”

Writer, director, and actor Nate Parker's ambitious telling of Nat Turner's 1831 slave revolt is timely movie; it's also a missed opportunity, a tepid tale hamstrung by Parker's limited experience and the constraints of biopic filmmaking. The title itself is...

Review: “The Girl on the Train”

At last, a movie that answers the burning question: "What would a large-budget, big screen Lifetime channel potboiler play like?" Sadly, that answer is "deadly dull and obscenely morose." "The Girl on the Train" was a no-brainer in terms of...

Review: “Blair Witch”

The first highly successful found-footage horror flick, "The Blair Witch Project" (1999) never really lived up to its potential as a film or a franchise. The concept and the mythology behind it were solid, but like its ill-fated cast...

Review: “Morgan”

It's tempting to describe "Morgan" as a poor man's "Ex Machina" or a more competent "Transcendence," but to do so would be reductive and a little unfair. Sure, it's a pulpy B-grade sci-fi thriller, but it's a sleek, smart,...

Review: “Ben-Hur”

It's almost impressive that director Timur Bekmambetov ("Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter") had the gumption to remake a cinematic icon like "Ben-Hur". Unfortunately, that's the extent of his daring. He opts to play it safe and more than a little...

Review: “Kubo and the Two Strings”

LAIKA Studios continues its streak of smart, idiosyncratic, and quirky animated features with the stunning "Kubo and the Two Strings". The makers of "Coraline," "ParaNorman," and "The Boxtrolls" not only continues to up its game which each successive film,...

Review: “Sausage Party”

An eight-year passion project from the thoroughly baked minds of Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, and Evan Goldberg, "Sausage Party" is a hilariously vulgar and unabashedly pointed satire on religion and send-up of the Pixar formula. At last, an animated...

Review: “Suicide Squad”

It was a flawless premise in theory: an adaptation of a comic book series in which a team of low-level super-villains are pressed into going on deadly, off-the-books missions in exchange for time off for sort-of-good behavior, written and...

Review: “Jason Bourne”

It's ironic and inevitable that after four movies a franchise about a super-spy/super-soldier with amnesia would start to develop a feeling of deja vu. Its predecessors have always been cutting edge, gritty, faced-paced, timely, and raw in their sensibilities;...

Review: “Star Trek Beyond”

There was a lot of concern when Justin Lin was announced as the director of "Star Trek Beyond," and it was amplified when the action-oriented first trailer for it dropped. It turns that some new blood and a fresh...

Review: “Ghostbusters” (2016)

Paul Feig's relaunch of "Ghostbusters" was slimed by controversy from the get-go. Depending on whom you asked it was either Hollywood at its money-grabbing and creativity-bankrupt worst, a feminist broadsides of some sort; or some much-needed nostalgia subversion. Truth be...

Review: “The Legend of Tarzan”

Less pompous than "Greystoke" (1984) but more cartoonish than Disney's 1999 animated version of the material, "The Legend of Tarzan" is pretty to look at but ultimately hollow and occasionally shoddy. This latest adaptation of Edgar Rice Burrough's pulp character...

Review: “The Shallows”

A fun piece of throwaway cinema, "The Shallows" is a sleek, beautifully shot, and mostly satisfying thriller that plays it smart and simple, only faltering by opting for a schlocky climax. It's not the new Jaws by any stretch...

Review: “Warcraft”

You can tell there is a lot of heart and effort that went into the making of "Warcraft," which makes its artistic failure as a would-be fantasy epic all the more depressing. Hackneyed and cliched, it tries to rise...

Review: “The Nice Guys”

"The Nice Guys" plays like a sequel-in-spirit to Black's brilliant and oft-overlooked directorial debut, "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang". This time around, Black takes to the City of Angels circa the late 1970s. Ryan Gosling plays Holland March a widower...

Review: “Captain America: Civil War”

Writers-directors Joe and Anthony Russo have impressively crafted a movie that functions as a sequel for both the "Avengers" and "Captain America" movies, as well as one that further paves the way for the upcoming "Avengers: Infinity War" two-parter....

Review: “Midnight Special”

As mid-level budget filmmaking wanes and decent visual effects become quite affordable, we're seeing more and more genre filmmaking exploring big ideas and themes in a way that often makes a very small scale film feel large. Filmmaker Jeff...

“House of Cards” S5 First Photos

“Luke Cage” S2 Begins Filming In June

Flops Galore At The Weekend Box-Office

No Guarantee Of A Fourth “Star Trek”

“Who’s Afraid” To Become A TV Series

Kevin Hart Was Up For “Aladdin” Genie

“Avatar” Sequels Set New Release Dates

The New “Apes” Film Is Really A Western

Margot Robbie To Play Queen Elizabeth I

Ang Lee To Direct “Gemini Man”

“Run Lola Run” Gets A Chinese Remake