Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
Manchester by the Sea (2016)
Certain Women (2016)
The Untamed (2016)
Toni Erdmann (2016)
American Honey (2016)
"Obsessively, this movie returns us to babies as creatures of perfect cuteness. And so the story goes, milking bottle after bottle of sappy, nappy-happy baby sentiment. Storks just can't wean itself off its cheap-and-easy, fallback formula. "
The Magnificent Seven (2016)
Blair Witch (2016)
"Despite its artful playing with digital-audio and video, this re-Blair repeats the problems of many a found-footage horror: uninteresting characters taking us on a rattle-and-startle run through a void of subtext."
"Clobbers us over the head with a This Truthteller Is A Patriot signboard even as the action's mish-mashed, drained of political juice. Explanation poses as dialogue; Mills and sudden epileptic fits come off as plot devices meant to humanize this tech-guy."
"Glides between workplace drama and action-adventure while avoiding most of the right-stuff cliches of one-good-man biopics. And it doesn't land without first navigating some turbulent questions about heroism, post-9/11."
The Wild Life (2016)
The Wailing (Goksung) (2016)
"Moments of body-horror and zombie-dom sometimes appall and sometimes seem B-movie-rated. But the possessed Hyo-jin strikes both fear and a kind of awe into the adults around her. If only the film were always so horrifyingly fascinating. "
The Diary Of A Teenage Girl (2015)
"It's as sincere and honest as Minnie can be heartfelt and self-assertive. Bittersweetly raw about young-adult feelings and feeling so not-quite-adult. Joins Show Me Love and She Monkeys in the pantheon of superb female coming-of-age films. "
Paris Is Burning (1991)
"The directness and honesty of moment after moment strike back at peppily 'cheerful' white America's model-world. Blazes forth the importance, for a marginalized community, of adopting a fervid, fiery attitude all its own."
Mechanic: Resurrection (2016)
"Unnecessary second-shot Mechanic: Resurrection, playing like a third-rate remake of Bond scenes, can't resurrect the ghost of a thrilling action sequence, the spirit of a high-calibre assassin adventure, even the faintest whiff of originality."
Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)
"Wrapping stories within stories, characters within characters, and personal memories within cross-cultural myths, Kubo and the Two Strings is a deft delight, strumming and thrumming out a bittersweet adventure-quest."
War Dogs (2016)
Sausage Party (2016)
"Less a talking-wieners 'toon than a post-modern snack-mix of high-concept and lowbrow humour, socio-political parables and animation-spoofery-plus food-sex, injected bath salts, and Meatloaf's rock 'n' roll-this is a fairly bangin' bangers mash-up."
Suicide Squad (2016)
"DC's pretty much been about Dark Clouds, Dismal Conditions, and Dire Consequences so far. And so it continues in anti-hero flick Suicide Squad, except for the welcome, bright-eyed relief of an anti-romance between two Deranged Characters."
Drunken Master (Jui kuen) (1978)
"Worth watching for the slapstick-like kung fu Chan made famous-it's here martial arts kicked back to Chaplin and Keaton, fusing Eastern acrobatic-fighting with those two Western silent-movie master-clowns (there are also echoes of the Three Stooges)."
Taxi Driver (1976)
"A masterpiece, perhaps the masterpiece, of American loner-ness, a portrait of a psycho as a young man. Scorsese's interest in raging bulls and New York City wolves would return, but his fifth fiction-feature remains his magnum opus."
Bad Moms (2016)
"This awful ma-full flick should have been even more honestly titled Lazy Movie. The premise is numb-dumb obvious and the plot barely furthers it. As the movie wears on and on, the moms' bipolar-anxiety about being only 'good' or 'bad' gets stupider. "
Jason Bourne (2016)
"The action sequences, though unspooling in a vacuum of consequences and plausibility, remain strong. But in Vegas, Jason Bourne shows how weak its hand is. There's wanton destruction everywhere, but no real thrills, no actual ideas, to cash in on."
36th Chamber (1978)
"What's best by far about The 36th Chamber of Shaolin is its drawn-out middle act, where our hero struggles to learn Shaolin Kung Fu the gruelling way, failure after half-advance after small success."
Elvis & Nixon (2016)
"This summit meeting's a competition of self-interests soon bridged by anti-Communist feeling, but little gets declared about image, self-image, or notoriety. Elvis & Nixon is just a cheap sideshow-attraction. "
Ice Age: Collision Course (2016)
"Well before its midway point, it's clear that IA V should be put on IV; by the movie's end, it's elephantine-obvious that it's past time for this furry franchise to have its prehistoric plug pulled-it's reached that age to be iced."
Lights Out (2016)
"At about 75 minutes of run-run-running time, this often claustrophobic chamber piece never drags. The plot is, beyond its occult conceit, perfectly plausible. And the family's mired in a cycle of trauma and loss. "
Photographic Memory (2012)
"In the end, the camera in Photographic Memory is not so much roving as at ease with itself, moving at its own pace, not shambling but ambling along, content in its own small, personal, unassuming search for meaning. "
The Secret Life of Pets (2016)
"It's the little touches and elastic comic tension between tame and wild which really snap and zing. Because, after all, this film suggests, beyond all the creature comforts, NYC's just a bunch of animals, every one with its own wild, woolly tale."
The BFG (2016)
"I enjoyed the dreamcatching and skiddling-along and bogthumping, but the movie was not quite so scrumdiddlyumptious as I was hoping. Mr Spielberg often puts a few too many drops of cozy and lovey into his dream-works. I give the movie three snozzcumbers."
The Legend of Tarzan (2016)
"The Ape Lord's laconic to the point of catatonic. The real-life Williams is reduced to a comic-book sidekick. There's an over-reliance on a blue-grey palette, extreme close-ups, and aerial shots. Africa's either ravishing wilderness or ravaged wilderness."
Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)
"Breathlessly, senselessly, on and on this movie skitters and jitters, offering no build-ups, no high-points, even scene-switching perfunctorily just to connect plot-dots. There's not a single moment of original, dramatic sci-fi action for us to enjoy."
Finding Dory (2016)
"Two raffish sea lions, a loony bird, and camouflaging, ink-blurting Gary are welcome new additions. But there's no thematic reason to return to Nemo-land-the messages are predictable. Sprightly and amusing but a bit slight and not quite memorable enough."
Now You See Me 2 (2016)
The Man Who Knew Infinity (2016)
"As with so much here, the odd couple's increasingly close relationship is overstated, and Hardy's speech to his colleagues about making Ramanujan a Fellow of the Royal Society is as insistent and pleading as the movie, on the whole, seems to be."
Me Before You (2016)
"Bilious, twee Brit-tedium that tops itself by reducing a disabled man's potential suicide to heartstrings-twanging hokum. What should have died with dignity was this horrid flick, in pre-production."
The Light Between Oceans (2016)
"This is a very pretty movie with a very compelling premise and very talented actors, but pacing, hazily conceived characters and a rather simplistic approach to psychology make it very hard to love."
The Other Side (Louisiana) (2016)
"If you want to get a sense of that broader spectrum -- and of some of the most exciting, unnerving filmmaking being done in the United States -- see The Other Side. And come to understand just how apt its title is. "
"Beauty and the Beast is literally full of smoke and mirrors, and this is why it never ages: it doesn't depend on the vagaries of zippy, rapidly outdated technology but, instead, on the allure of shadows, light and tactile things,."
Love & Friendship (2016)