Reviews

Review Widows

Review: “Widows”

"Widows" is an exquisite crime drama refreshed and relocated from the British 1983 limited series to the authentic socio-political quagmire of modern Chicago. When a crew of experienced criminals (Liam Neeson, Jon Bernthal and Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) are killed in...
Review Bad Times At The El Royale

Review: “Bad Times at the El Royale”

Much as he did with "The Cabin in the Woods," writer-director Drew Goddard ("The Martian") has taken a hoary old premise and re-invigorated it with deft plot twists (often delivered with shocking, sudden violence), black comedy, and genre satire....
Review Venom

Review: “Venom”

You'd think a movie about a down-and-out reporter who teams with a cannibalistic blob of space goo to become a super anti-hero would be fun, especially now that comic book flicks are getting a tad more experimental. Alas, "Venom"...
Review Boy Erased

Review: “Boy Erased”

Leaving behind the fun pulp stylings of his directorial debut "The Gift," actor-turned-filmmaker Joel Edgerton has chosen a more considered approach to heavier subject matter with his second outing "Boy Erased". Boasting a very different tone, the film...
Scary The Nun Ad Pulled From Youtube

Review: “The Nun”

After the runaway success of "The Conjuring'" movies and the "Annabelle" killer doll spin-off sub-franchise, a movie based on the demon nun of "The Conjuring 2" must have seemed like a no-brainer. Sadly, there are indeed no brains to...
Review The Happytime Murders

Review: “The Happytime Murders”

Despite what the hype would have you believe, "The Happytime Murders" is not the most inappropriate puppet movie ever made (Peter Jackson's "Meet the Feebles" still retains that honor). There is a lot of fluff wrapped around its hard-boiled...

Review: “Sicario: Day of the Soldado”

Hard-boiled with a dash of absurdist pulp, "Sicario: Day of the Soldado" lacks the subtle nuances and gritty realism of the original but earns points for taking chances without slipping into spectacle, as well as for moving its character...

Review: “Solo – A Star Wars Story”

"Solo: A Star Wars Story" is easily the lightest, breeziest "Star Wars" movie to date. The stakes are low, the fate of the galaxy isn’t in the balance, and the drama is personal but not on an operatic scale....

Review: “Avengers: Infinity War”

There's almost no point in writing a review of "Avengers: Infinity War," Marvel's uber-ambitious movie juggernaut has built momentum behind itself for 18 movies over the course of a decade, and moviegoers made their decision whether or not to...

Review: “Rampage”

A big slice of 'meh' dumped into the no man's land between "Ready Player One" and a certain high-profile Marvel movie, "Rampage" is an afterthought that barely qualifies as a distraction for those waiting for the summer blockbuster season...

Review: “Ready Player One”

The ultimate fanboy film, "Ready Player One" hinges entirely on geeky nostalgia. It's loaded top to bottom with aural and visual references to video games, movies, film, comic books, television, toys, and role-playing games, mostly from but not exclusively...

Review: “Pacific Rim: Uprising”

Steven S. DeKnight's sequel to Guillermo Del Toro's 2013 love letter to anime and kaiju movies is more coherent than a "Transformers" movie but not much smarter. "Pacific Rim Uprising" is at its best when it drops all pre-tenses...

Blake’s Review: “Tomb Raider”

"Tomb Raider" the action-packed, bone-rattling, archaeological adventure is punching hard to overcome "auto-redundancy," where taking the control away from players and forcing them not to influence the outcome of their beloved characters can, in fact, make them obsolete. Director...

Review: “A Wrinkle in Time”

A mixed bag at best, Ava DuVernay ("Selma") helms this adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's classic young adult novel "A Wrinkle in Time" which hammers home its (still) powerful message of individuality over conformity while combining it with a potent...

Review: “Annihilation”

Beautifully executed though thematically murky, Alex Garland's ("Ex Machina") adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer's best-seller novel is an exercise in psychedelia and cinematic dissonance. Though not as existentially unnerving as "Ex Machina," it's one of the most ambitious head movies...

Review: “Black Panther”

No good run lasts forever, and after eighteen movies produced during the past ten years, any movie studio would be long overdue for bomb or two. Sorry, haters: "Black Panther" is not Marvel's. In fact, it represents another big...

Review: “The Post”

Steven Spielberg's "The Post" is a morality tale tackling media ethics at the height of the Nixon administration. It is also Spielberg, America's seminal filmmaker, atboth his most effortless and most preachy. "The Post" focuses on the struggle of...

Garth Franklin’s Best Films Of 2017

After such a strong year last year, 2017 proved something of a soft year for movies - especially on the major studio front. Indies were as healthy as ever with some really strong standouts, but even there the...

Review: “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”

Much like the under-appreciated "Zathura: A Space Adventure," writer-director Jake Kasdan's "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" is a spiritual sequel to Joe Johnston's 1995 classic "Jumanji" rather than a reboot or a remake. It pays mild homage to its...

Review: “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

Fans who felt that "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" played it safe or skewed too close to the original Star Wars films will find much to like about "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" - if they go into it...

Review: “The Shape of Water”

It's a classic romantic premise: star-crossed lovers from different worlds meet cute, fall in love, and struggle to be together in a world intent on keeping them apart. Granted, the star-crossed lovers in Guillermo del Toro's "The Shape of...

Review: “The Darkest Hour”

"Darkest Hour" is one of those rare biopics that, for the most part, breaks free of formula to deliver an intriguing portrait of a complex and controversial figure. Similar to Phyllida Lloyd's "The Iron Lady," it pins its hopes...

Review: “Justice League”

It's truly difficult to not pity the beleaguered "Justice League" movie. The long-awaited comic book team-up flick arrives with low expectations thanks to the twin dumpster fires of "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" and "Suicide Squad," plopped down...

Review: “Murder on the Orient Express”

A hearty serving of 'meh', actor-director Kenneth Branagh's workmanlike adaptation of Agatha Christie's "Murder on the Orient Express" is diverting, crammed full of strong but unremarkable performances from an impressive ensemble cast, and mercifully short. It's a fun ride,...

Review: “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”

Classical tragedy mixed with moderate sadism and Polanski-ish surrealism, upstart filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos' latest test of audience endurance plays like "Sophie's Choice" by way of "The Burbs". Don't let that description be deceptive - it may not be everyone's...

Review: “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women”

Superheroes tend to keep a secret identity in order to protect themselves and those around them, but the creators of the four-color heroes we know and love are usually free from such burdens. This was not the case with Dr....

Review: “Thor: Ragnarok”

Let’s face it: the God of Thunder has arguably been an outlier in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, struggling to mesh with its more rounded pegs. Fortunately, with "Thor: Ragnarok," writer-director-actor Taika Waititi ("What We Do In the Shadows") wisely...

Review: “The Snowman”

Rife with potential, the film adaptation of Jo Nesbo's bestselling crime novel makes for frustrating viewing, even more so now that director Tomas Alfredson ("Let the Right One In," "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy") recently revealed that 10-15% of the...

Review: “Kingsman: The Golden Circle”

Matthew Vaughn's follow-up to his 2015 out-of-left-field action comedy "Kingsman: The Secret Service" is modestly entertaining, but the high evaporates quite quickly. 'The Golden Circle' suffers from a classic case of sequelitis: it aims to go bigger than the...

Review: “IT”

Part coming-of-age story, part monster movie, "IT" is a masterful horror flick that arrives just in time to breathe a little life - and some well-tuned terror - into a very limp movie season. A white-knuckler of an experience,...

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