Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
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.'"
"Designed with lots of bouncy round shapes and few hard angles, this noisy and colorful 3D film frequently suggests an exploding bubblegum machine; meanwhile, it invites viewers to chew on the political message inherent in the Boovian occupation of Earth."
"An atmospheric but vague movie that functions like a therapy session, counseling acceptance and forgiveness via a storyline that seems pinched and forced in relation to the wide open spaces of the images."
Lila & Eve (2015)
"Learning by doing, the avenging angels roll up on some thugs in a convenience store parking lot, infiltrate a hot dance club and home-invade a high-rise apartment; they also find time to wallpaper Lila's living room (Eve is an interior decorator, see)."
Beyond The Reach (2015)
"Elevated by its sense of humor, which is connected to its political conscience: Dressed like Donald Rumsfeld playing cowboy, in a black vest, blue shirt and big hat, Michael Douglas finds economic reasons to justify his decision to commit murder."
Run All Night (2015)
The Gunman (2015)
Escobar: Paradise Lost (2015)
"The fact that the filmmakers felt the need to manufacture a Canadian surfer character to be the 'mainstream' moviegoer's likable, trustworthy guide through Escobar-land is a revealing and presumptuous demonstration of racial/cultural myopia."
The Intern (2015)
Listen To Me Marlon (2015)
The Green Inferno (2015)
"The story echoes that of Roth's 2005 success, 'Hostel,' but it represents a descent into cynicism: The Americans butchered in a foreign land in the earlier film were sexual predators, but most of the kids here are guilty only of cluelessness."
Mississippi Grind (2015)
"Mendelsohn ought to be an Oscar contender for the shades of desperation, vulnerability and queasy hopefulness that shuffle across his weary features like the shadows of cards falling from a marked deck."
" Its cast of characters is colorful (literally, in the case of Captain Sensible, known for his pink shag-rug jackets) and its access is impressive ('Our single biggest issue is people throwing pints onstage' the band's tour manager complains)."
Time Out Of Mind (2015)
The Walk (2015)
He Named Me Malala (2015)
"As a movie, it's conventional. As an introduction to a remarkable young woman -- or a reintroduction, for those who have read Malala's book or paid attention to the news reports about history's youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize -- it's powerful."
The Martian (2015)
"As the movie celebrates the astronaut's industry and intelligence (and the smarts of his NASA colleagues), it offers a riposte to the shortsightedness and science-denying attitudes of those unwilling to invest in solutions to the Earth's own dilemmas."
Goodnight Mommy (2015)
"The obviousness of the story twist doesn't matter: 'Goodnight Mommy' isn't a puzzle to be solved but an experience to be absorbed, thanks to the presence of those twins who motivate every great genre film, horror and beauty."
Knock Knock (2015)
Crimson Peak (2015)
"An exquisitely rendered, color-coded amplification of a Corman/Poe film of the 1960s; the characters' intense but concealed emotions find vivid expression in the elaborate design, the flayed agony of the ghosts and the infrequent but shocking violence."
Bridge of Spies (2015)
"Motivated by trust in America's essential decency, the movie's inherent critique of the current conservative political climate (it references illegal immigration, domestic surveillance and more) is presented from the viewpoint of a patriot, not a cynic."
The Last Witch Hunter (2015)
"As one random and chaotic supernatural brawl follows another, the decision to keep the lead villain on the sidelines becomes increasingly puzzling. Why make a movie about a witch hunter without a memorable evil witch?"
San Andreas (2015)
"When a foolish woman separates from the world's manliest man in favor of a cowardly architect who builds wobbly skyscrapers that rudely scrape the heavens, is it any wonder the angry gods smite her home state from top to bottom?"
Love & Mercy (2015)
"Contrary to the diagnosis of his control-freak psychotherapist, Beach Boy Brian Wilson was not exactly schizophrenic. Nonetheless, casting two different actors as Wilson to represent different phases of the songwriter's life is a gambit that pays off..."
"Presents the powerhouse vocalist as a blues belter in more ways than one -- a pugnacious scrapper with a fierce streak of racial pride, a sexual appetite that crossed gender lines and a hair-trigger temper that sometimes served her well..."
Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (2015)
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
"Isn't Tony Stark/Iron Man, stumping for 'a suit of armor around the world,' basically a combination Klaatu/Gort, endorsing the plan for an Earth-patrolling fascist robot army proposed by the alien visitor in 'The Day the Earth Stood Still'?"
Good Kill (2015)
Lambert & Stamp (2015)