Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
"The movie is essentially a procedural; it never detours from the investigation to spend time with a priest or a victim at home. Spouses and significant others are mentioned but rarely seen; domestic drama is more or less irrelevant."
"Divorced from the be-thankful-for-family homilies that motivate the 'Despicable Me' movies, this first solo outing for the lozenge-shaped scene-stealers improves on its predecessors: It's a Looney loop-de-loop of nonstop funny noises and sight gags."
The Peanuts Movie (2015)
"Like Satchmo, Hemingway and Elvis, Charles M. Schulz was an authentic American genius who transformed his medium of expression. This film plays it safe by scrubbing away some of Schulz's signature melancholy, but it's an honorable and entertaining effort."
"Coarsely explicit groin-centric slapstick and trendy 'zompocalypse' theme aside, this is a surprisingly lively and agreeably goofy throwback to the 'Fright Night'-style teen horror comedies of the 1980s."
"Presented in 3D, the special effects are more elaborate than usual, but the regressive/provocative idea that filmmaking and film-watching open windows on unhealthy influences (especially among the young) remains undeveloped."
Labyrinth Of Lies (2015)
The People Under The Stairs (1991)
Margarita with a Straw (2016)
"In the role of Laila, whose slurred speech and wheelchair are impediments but not barriers to expression and freedom, Kalki Koechlin delivers the type of performance that in a major movie garners Oscar notice..."
"Should prove irresistible to comic-book fans and pop-culture mavens, even if it is misleadingly selective as it argues that young girls mostly lack strong women role models in popular entertainment."
Naz & Maalik (2016)
"Convincing and eye-opening, the film invites the viewer into a culture that is both familiar and alien: The title friends are smart, sass-talking teenagers in modern Brooklyn, okay; but they're also closeted gay Muslims."
Tab Hunter Confidential (2015)
"Film buffs especially are likely to enjoy this entertaining documentary, which explains how a literal choirboy became "six feet of rugged manhood to stir the heart of every woman" (even while one of his most passionate affairs was with Anthony Perkins)."
Mistress America (2015)
"Throughout 'Mistress America' I found myself thinking I might enjoy the smart script more if I could read it in book form and 'direct' the characters myself, rather than having them assault me at the film's Woody Allen-on-Benzedrine pace."
Sinister 2 (2015)
"The ghost children require the boys to watch home movies of murder; in this way, the film ritualizes the 'aesthetic observance of violence' (to quote one character) that gives its particular bogeyman -- and the horror genre -- life."
Straight Outta Compton (2015)
"Arriving when the battle cry of 'F*** Tha Police' has been superseded by the equally urgent if more palatable slogan 'Black Lives Matter,' the film opens a window onto a re-created recent past that doubles as a reflection of the outraged present."
Fantastic Four (2015)
"This much-reviled reboot represents a legitimate attempt to imagine a superhero origin story as a cautionary science-fiction/horror yarn of the type ('The Fly,' 'First Man into Space') that likely influenced Lee and Kirby in the first place..."
The Wolfpack (2015)
"A portrait of an utterly distinctive family that raises endless, unanswerable questions about art, responsibility, freedom, creativity and so on. (Plus, you get a guy in a Batman costume made from cereal boxes and yoga mats, and the costume looks great.)"
Gemma Bovery (2015)
Jimmy's Hall (2015)
"It's rare to see a film that presents its characters -- working-class 'bog' folk and haughty clergy alike -- without a trace of condescension or caricature; it's rarer still to see a movie that unambiguously champions so-called radical politics."
Best Of Enemies (2015)
The Diary Of A Teenage Girl (2015)
The End Of The Tour (2015)
"The filmmakers fail to convince us that the low-stakes, low-drama Wallace-Lipsky encounter required another telling; nor do they justify the decision to produce a blandly traditional film about a writer celebrated for his originality. "
"More impressive than the airplaine stunt is a beautifully choreographed and assembled cat-and-mouse game of assassins at the Vienna opera, which demonstrates that cunning filmmaking is the one 'special effect' that resists being superseded by CGI."
Mr. Holmes (2015)
The Gift (2015)
"Begins as a familiar 'Cape Fear'-type suspenser but twists into an unusual psychological drama that challenges the viewer's presumptions while critiquing a me-first culture that rewards deception and bullying."
Paper Towns (2015)
"This is a movie in which the foul-mouthed Kevin says he would be 'excited' to learn his older brother has AIDS. He also pulls a plastic bag over his brother's head to asphyxiate him, at least twice, and threatens to shoot his brother with a gun."
"if the film lacks the unapologetic female-centric fierceness of her TV program it nonetheless establishes Schumer as a bona fide movie star, with a refreshingly sympathetic Everyperson appeal and an assured emotional range. "
When Marnie Was There (2015)
"Although it might be described as a kind of ghost story, 'When Marnie Was There' offers evidence of the Studio Ghibli belief that animation should not be restricted to tales of talking animals, one-eyed minions and other impossibilities"
Irrational Man (2015)
Infinitely Polar Bear (2015)
"To paraphrase a politician in a campaign ad, I approve the film's message, which suggests that a chaotic but loving household is as likely as a disciplined environment to produce well-adjusted and (more important?) interesting, creative children."
"It's part jukebox infomercial -- it's easy to imagine a TV ad showcasing the guitar rock of Baksei Cham Krong, the go-go bounce of Pen Ran and the velvet vocals of Sinn Sisamouth -- and part terrifying history lesson"
"Having established Bond as Death, the rest of 'Spectre' works to restore the secret agent's humanity. The result is the product of filmmakers who presume their thoughtful approach has elevated the franchise. I've never enjoyed a Bond film less."
Inside Out (2015)
"Who are Joy, Sadness and the rest but the studio's animators, writers and other artists, excavating memories, implanting ideas and otherwise getting inside the moviegoer's head, to work the control board of the viewer's emotions with uncanny efficiency?"
The Pyramid (2014)
"Despite its 'found footage' presentation, this is an amusingly unpretentious genre exercise, more akin to the old-school monster movies, mummy's-curse chillers and gory body-count shockers of decades past than to the shaky-camera thrillers of today."
The Overnight (2015)
Terminator Genisys (2015)
"The awkward death-rictus grin that Schwarzenegger's heroic Terminator flashes when he wants to mimic the human emotion of happiness conveys a sense of labor rather than joy, and as such it's a perfect metaphor for the movie that contains it."
Get Hard (2015)
"The movie wallows in stereotypes of race, class and culture, and cranks the male homosexual panic to 11; even so, it is often dumb-funny, and its satirical observations about income inequality and systemic racism are especially timely."
"True to the first-person pronoun of its title, this is an ode to adolescent self-absorption, presented as a not entirely flattering depiction of Greg's self-centered and over-dramatized vision of his narrow teenage world."
Saint Laurent (2015)
I'll See You in My Dreams (2015)
"Draped in fashionable scarves and radiating effortless charm, Danner is in every scene. Most viewers will be able to relate to the character she plays, but they also may wish both character and actress had been placed within a more challenging story."
Jurassic World (2015)
The Book of Life (2014)
"The Mexi-centricity is novel and welcome, as is the flirtation with morbidness, but the film overall is filled with the usual trademarks of sub-Pixar animation: glib one-liners, anachronistic pop-culture references, and inspirational cliches."
"A time travel sequence is an eye-searing mind-melter, while the scene in which Plankton literally enters SpongeBob's brain mixes the sickly sweet esthetic of the Candyland board game with the nightmare surrealism of 1938's 'Porky in Wackyland.'"
Magic Mike XXL (2015)
"It's musical, rowdy, sexy and celebratory -- a party with a purpose that insists the nation's diversity is evidence of its generosity. The producers could have looked to Whitman for a tagline: 'I hear America singing.'"