Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
"Tweedledolt or tweedledumb? It's hard to know what's worst: Alice's preposterous self-actualizing and anachronistic faux-feminism; or how predictable and unnecessary all the timey-wimey stuff, backstory, pop psychologizing, and CGI whiz-whooshery are."
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016)
"One scene is brilliant; there are worldly wisecracks; and, rarest of all, a funny Holocaust joke. But many moments drag and jag. Jokes fall flatter until it feels as if Neighbors 2 has number-crunched comedy down to a hit-miss ratio."
"The scenes of luminance, slow pans, flashbacks, and action sequences here are masterly. Yet it's that deep, rancorous affection between adoptive father and surrogate son spurring, charging, stampeding The Boy and the Beast along."
Money Monster (2016)
"And on this potted, ploddingly plotted pretense at socio-economic drama goes, until you realize what matters here is only the show itself--the self-sustaining, sensational spectacle of movie-machinery, gears greasing along in the guise of edu-tainment."
"Can still feel like sketch-work stretched and splayed too far, though the sheer, dogged commitment of both men to this material (written by Peele and series-writer Alex Rubens) makes for enough laughs."
Ratchet & Clank (2016)
"Not wretched and clunky, at least, Ratchet & Clank adapts the Playstation game but feels more like a candy-coloured circus act, full of clowning-around and furry things but signifying, well, not much."
A Hologram for the King (2016)
"It's best when addling us with that jet-lagged strangeness of the first few days in a baffling new land. Its shimmering-mirages of strangeness and even its mature, second-chances romance are enough to make this hologram flicker to life."
The Huntsman: Winter's War (2016)
"The directors bring to filmic life Chomsky's calm, composed talking-points--his measured, reasonable long-view of history and polic--with inventive framing of archival footage and coolly sharp images. A potent Panama Papers-era dissection of power."
The Jungle Book (2016)
"Kipling's tales get the full action-adventure treatment here, providing some thrills, though the cute-animal factor and tame storyline make it more furry family fun than a beastly tale that digs its claws right into you."
Eye In The Sky (2016)
"Eye in the Sky, air plotting, street sweeping, and home invading, chillingly and intricately maps the murky terrain of today's remote-warfare, where lives become data points and video images, edited out of existence on-screen."
The Boss (2016)
"Swaggers and bulls through a few pratfalls and chuckles, slips in its childish efforts at crass comedy, slumps in its let's-be-a-family sentiment, and market-crashes with its moronic capitalist message for grrrl$."
Finders Keepers (2015)
"Bryan Carberry and Clay Tweel's documentary, opening the lid on the lives of the two men at odds over this oddity, discovers a lump-in-the-throat poignancy as it re-appraises just how hard it can be to pick up the pieces of a life."
"This overlong concept-film/disquisition mostly misfires. Its heart-on-sleeve power gets muddled by its confusion of brash with blatant and politics with polemics. There's much pronouncement and protestation; docu-realism's mixed up with too-broad farce."
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016)
"Flames out with moments cheesier than saganaki and more honeyed than the sickly sweetest baklava. The empty-nest nonsense is cringingly overwrought, with moments to curdle your blood into month-old tzatziki. "
"Snyder's gone all drab and dire, determined to lay siege to our senses (and plot). There's so much glowering, gloominess and good-ness talk that it's hard to imagine the sun, or justice, ever dawning for this disastrous cavalcade of dreary characters."
Starred Up (2014)
"O'Connell's physicality as an actor--coiled intensity, searing stares, brooding fury, sudden violence--is blazingly showcased here. And it always feels as if we're caught up in among resentments, flare-ups, even long-running relationships of convenience."
"As for the series maturing, well, Allegiant (a fancy word for 'loyal') is like man's allegiant best friend, stuck at the puppy stage--seeming so cute, but mostly just chasing its own tail, round and round, barking through the same old motions."
The Little Prince (2016)
"Mark Osborne's feature-length adaptation adds a dominant frame story that, at first, plays off the famous little fable (splendidly animated) within it quite nicely, only to overwhelm the original in its action-adventure third act."
10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
Nina Forever (2016)
"Ghoulishly, perversely putting the ex back in sex, Nina Forever memorably resurrects the love triangle. Although overlong--a bit laborious and lugubrious--this film's basic, bloody conceit sustains it deep into its strange, sexy, macabre night."
Out 1, Noli Me Tangere (1971)
In a Lonely Place (1950)
The Lobster (2016)
No Men Beyond This Point (2015)
Sleeping Giant (2015)
"James Klopko's camerawork sweeps across magisterial landscapes with the gaze of kids at once awed by their surroundings and too addled with hormones and self-consciousness to take the time to really look."
Miles Ahead (2016)
"Miles Ahead is, blessedly, neither authoritative nor iconoclastic, but it is mischievous, fun and pulses with the funky runs and switchback rhythms of a filmmaker who knows the measures of the man he invokes."
Cemetery of Splendor (2016)
Losing Ground (1982)
Rams (Hrútar) (2016)
I Saw the Light (2016)
"Hitchcock fans won't find any especially startling new insights here; rather, the film will probably work most effectively as a primer for those curious about the titular directors and ready to delve deeper."
Knight of Cups (2016)
"Like every Malick film, Knight of Cups is hugely divisive and easy enough to ridicule should one be so inclined, but if you accept it on its own terms, if you get on its wavelength, it is exquisite, mysterious and resonant, worldly and wise."
Janis: Little Girl Blue (2015)
Cartel Land (2015)
The Witch (2016)
"The greatest mystery of all remains: why create a plodding-along movie about an investigator trying to reason away the divine and an investigation whose twists and turns we can read all about in the original, a good book?"
The Choice (2016)
"The Choice, hooked up to a sap-dripping IV, drifts through The Instant Attraction, eyelid-flutters through The Sudden Misfortune, and flatlines with The Miracle. Sparks-style, sadness is sanctified as the tear-distilled purity-essence of love."
45 Years (2015)
"45 Years is probably not a good date-night movie, but it bears a wisdom about the ways that even late in life marriage and selfhood can be destabilized and fissures can occur in the bedrock of long-term love."
Dreams of a Life (2012)
"How awfully, strangely death can void a personal identity. The filling-in of the chalk outline remains sketchy, as Morley well knows. This docu-obituary's sharply aware of its own bit-ness, its partial-ness."
"Nelson's work, feeling more fragmented than kaleidoscopic, falls short of '60s-activist docs The Weather Underground (2002) or 1971 (2014). But sobering images and snippets of poetic insight linger."
Tokyo Godfathers (2003)
"Hana tends to swoon into stereotype, her theatricality and campiness infecting the other non-hetero characters here, with so many of them wailing or sobbing. The story's comedy and pathos can be similarly overwrought, too."
The 5th Wave (2016)
"Mostly, the movie evaporates into misty clichés and sentiment. Military scenes play out like first-person shooter games. Cassie earnestly declaims, 'Hope makes us human,' but it's this movie's obvious hope for a sequel that makes it so Hollywood."
Dark Star: HR Giger's World (2015)
"Only a few of the personal responses or reminiscences here are truly interesting. But it's Giger's images alone which hold our gaze, confronting and confounding us, intriguing and chilling, snaking and startling."
Norm of the North (2016)