Reviews

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...

Review: “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”

That 'Dawn of Justice' works as much as it does is a surprise. From the get-go the film has been saddled with immense pressure to right the wrongs of the often tedious "Man of Steel," to smash together two...

Review: “10 Cloverfield Lane”

Let's clarifying something up front: "10 Cloverfield Lane" isn't a sequel to J.J. Abrams' 2008 giant monster-takes-Manhattan flick "Cloverfield" - at least not a direct one. It is, at most, a companion piece, one whose connection to the other...

Review: “Knight of Cups”

Muddled, aimless, indecipherable, and shallow, Terence Malick's "Knight of Cups" is one of the most insufferable slogs in recent cinema, a soul-crushing waste of a fine cast and some genuinely stunning photography by recent Academy Award winner Emmanuel Luzbecki...

Review: “Triple 9”

There's a lot of appeal in the idea of "Triple 9": It's a gritty crime drama about a couple of good cops caught in the machinations between a bunch of dirty cops and Russian-Israeli mobsters boasting an all-star cast,...

Review: “Deadpool”

Deadpool may be the comic book movie spoof to end all comic book movie spoofs. It playfully and cleverly deflates the conventions and cliches of superhero flicks - as well as its own damn self - with the snarky,...

Review: “Hail, Caesar!”

Joel and Ethan Coen make a welcome and long-awaited return to comedy with "Hail, Caesar!," a slap-happy valentine to the Technicolor heyday of Hollywood that lands somewhere between the trippy brilliance of "The Big Lebowski" and the goofball parable...

Review: “The Revenant”

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's ("Birdman") fact-based frontier revenge saga "The Revenant" has an unnerving way of lodging itself in the back of one's mind for days. Equal parts beautiful and brutal, it's easily one of the most unsettling films of...

Review: “The Hateful Eight”

Quentin Tarantino is a self-indulgent as ever with his eighth (or ninth, depending on how you choose to catalog Kill Bill) motion picture, which is both a good and bad thing. His pacing and story structure idiosyncratic, and he...

Review: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" isn't a perfect movie (none are), but it is a damn good one that delivers the goods. It pay homage to its predecessors, stays true to its source, and opens up George Lucas' creation...

Review: “In the Heart of the Sea”

Ron Howard's latest may strengthen the cliched argument that 'truth is stranger than fiction,' but it also suggests that it is often more boring too. Howard and screenwriter Charles Leavitt half-heartedly adapt Nathaniel Philbrick's novel of the same name, itself...

Review: “Victor Frankenstein”

In all fairness to screenwriter Max Landis (Fantastic Four) and director Paul McGuigan (Sherlock), finding a fresh spin on Mary Shelley's classic novel is no easy feat. On the surface of it, re-jiggering the story as a mildly demented...

Review: “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2”

Even though the Hunger Games series feels a little tired at this point, it manages to end with a bang - which is a pleasant surprise given the lukewarm dramatics of Mockingjay Part 1. Part 2 is by no...

Review: “Spectre”

While Spectre is far from bad, it is likely to frustrate many fans, especially given its unenviable position of following on the heels of the near-perfect Skyfall. The latter flew in the face of expectations and pushed the boundaries of...

Review: “The Walk”

Biopics are often tributes to eccentrics with grandiose - and often unusual - obsessions. In the case of "The Walk," veteran filmmaker Robert Zemeckis ("Back to the Future," "Forrest Gump") has found a subject with a curious fixation indeed,...

Review: “Sicario”

"Sicario" is the moral-grey-zone crime drama for those of us who felt burned by season two of "True Detective". There are few heroes and even fewer clearly defined villains in this taught, gruesome, and disquieting narco-thriller written by Taylor...

Review: “Black Mass”

James "Whitey" Bulger was a real-life bogeyman in Boston during the 1970s and '80s. A vicious, possible psychotic, and seemingly untouchable criminal kingpin, his name commanded varying degrees of fear and grudging respect among cops and crooks alike. It is...

Review: “Everest”

Spectacle film-making with a purpose, "Everest" is a welcome throwback to the testorone-heavy adventure flicks of past decades. Based on the true story of the tragic May 10-11, 1996 excursion to the summit of the world's highest peak that...

Review: “The Martian”

Much like its protagonist, "The Martian" is a film that's captivating, inventive, resourceful and widely appealing. Not only does it deliver a long overdue quality movie about the red planet after a wake of big disappointments (thank you Val...

Review: “American Ultra”

The epitome of the failed genre mash-up, "American Ultra" probably played better on paper than it does on the screen. The idea is sound - stoners turn out to be super-agents and wackiness ensues - but the passion is...

Review: “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”

Adapting a TV series to film is usually a recipe for disaster, and dropping a dated spy-fi franchise in late summer between the twin juggernauts of Mission: Impossible and James Bond is something akin to a box office suicide...

Review: “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation”

It comes as a pleasant surprise that the series' cartoon spy-fi lunacy still plays, that leading man Tom Cruise can still play a convincing and charismatic action hero - and do his own bat-sh-t crazy stunts - at age...

Review: “Pixels”

If there's one actor working today that is hated by seemingly every moviegoer and critic across the globe, it's Adam Sandler. There's a good reason for that, as he pukes out a new film every year, each one seemingly...

Review: “Ant-Man”

Travel back to 2008 with me for a moment. Remember when "Iron Man" was released? Back then, Iron Man wasn't considered a top tier superhero. Among the non-comic fans, at least, there was Batman, Superman, Spiderman and only a...

Review: “Trainwreck”

Amy Schumer and Judd Apatow do the world a long-overdue favor by zinging the hell out of the ubiquitous "Professional Woman Who Tries to Have It All and Find Romance in the Big City" rom-com formula, and do it...

Review: “Terminator Genisys”

Terminator Genisys, the latest installment of the humans vs. robots saga, riffs heavily on elements from the first two James Cameron-helmed movies in the series and largely (and wisely) ignores the third and fourth movies. It opens with humanity's...

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