The Great Battle (2018)
What's not to like when there are weapons with such names as malevolent wood, siege tower and wolf teeth striker? When, after an attack is launched, one character matter-of-factly says, "quite intense," audiences will know exactly how he feels.
Posted Sep 19, 2018
A Boy. A Girl. A Dream. (2018)
Qasim Basir's melancholic mood piece, "A Boy. A Girl. A Dream.," certainly has its pretensions...But to get caught up in its impressive stylishness is to miss the larger point of finding strength through human connection.
Posted Sep 12, 2018
An efficiently made but predictable and very violent "Taken"/"Death Wish" revenge-apalooza that does little new with the formula.
Posted Sep 6, 2018
"Searching" is like a refreshed web page, a new take on something woefully familiar.
Posted Aug 29, 2018
The result is a film with much of the same appeal as "The Lost City of Z." Let's hope it doesn't have the same fate.
Posted Aug 22, 2018
Mile 22 (2018)
"Mile 22" looks like what happens when someone on a jittery Red Bull jag decides to make a movie at 2 a.m. after fast-forwarding through "The Bourne Identity."
Posted Aug 16, 2018
When "BuyBust" finally combusts, it's often simultaneously spectacular and disturbing.
Posted Aug 10, 2018
The Meg (2018)
All those who like their summer movies as big as the Pacific and as dumb as a bucket of sand will appreciate "The Meg," a sometimes ridiculously entertaining, if forgettable, killer shark movie.
Posted Aug 8, 2018
Cruise once again shows that being 56-years-old is no barrier to being an action hero while the movie itself proves that being a summer blockbuster cash cow that doesn't veer wildly from the unexpected doesn't have to be uninspired.
Posted Jul 25, 2018
Sorry to Bother You (2018)
A politically charged, love-it-or-hate-it, speculative-fiction fantasy that ruthlessly skewers and satirizes the modern age while also being darkly absurdist and brutally funny.
Posted Jul 11, 2018
The First Purge (2018)
Unfortunately, despite a strong start and some action-movie pleasures throughout, "The First Purge" is a little too heavy handed, routine and ridden with logic problems to make its points stick.
Posted Jul 5, 2018
It wouldn't be a surprise to discover that the film wasn't based on a script but a schematic, a blueprint for everything Hollywood desires in popcorn-crunching entertainment during the dog days.
Posted Jun 21, 2018
American Animals (2018)
Takes a mild curiosity from a long-ago news cycle and elevates it into something singularly fascinating.
Posted Jun 13, 2018
First Reformed (2018)
The latest film from pugnacious director/writer Paul Schrader is as austere and revelatory as a church confessional...It's a bleak portrait of a man in the midst of a spiritual breakdown that is only slightly undone by its rather unsatisfying conclusion.
Posted Jun 7, 2018
"Hereditary" is closer in tone to the likes of "The Babadook," "It Follows," "A Quiet Place" and "It Comes at Night," where the dread and fear come not from what you see but what you think you might see.
Posted Jun 6, 2018
Lee Hae-Yeong's gripping retelling of Johnnie To's "Drug War"...stands on its own and is different enough from the original to make it less a clone and more of a genuflection.
Posted Jun 6, 2018
On Chesil Beach (2018)
"On Chesil Beach" is PBS-tasteful in its approach, but its power rests in a restraint that makes what it builds to all the more moving.
Posted Jun 4, 2018
Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
It's tantalizing to wonder what the film that Miller and Lord would have been. Might it have offered a promising glimpse of what a less boilerplate "Star Wars" might look like?
Posted May 16, 2018
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Just when it looks as if all hope is smothered under the heavy weight of fan expectations [and] a reported $300 million budget, it comes roaring to life with a wake-'em-up battle on the fields of Wakanda and a quietly spectacular, sobering ending.
Posted Apr 24, 2018
A despairing work that's not quite as gripping as its predecessor, "Foxtrot" still manages to make a powerful statement about the unintended side effects of living in a constant state of war.
Posted Apr 4, 2018
A Quiet Place (2018)
"A Quiet Place" is the one film where, if you are surrounded by popcorn-crunching, cellophane rattling and cell-phone-chatting neighbors, you will wish these monsters were real.
Posted Apr 3, 2018
Isle of Dogs (2018)
Wes Anderson "Isle of Dogs" is such a feast of illustrated imagination and subtle wit in its depiction of an exiled canine kingdom that the idea of a life lived under the heavy paw of our pooch overlords doesn't seem like such a bad one.
Posted Mar 27, 2018
The Cured (2018)
At its best, it has the provocative cunning of a "Black Mirror" episode. Unfortunately, "The Cured" becomes less cerebral and more predictably action-oriented in its third act .
Posted Mar 21, 2018
Pacific Rim Uprising (2018)
"Pacific Rim Uprising" is a lot like the city-crunching monsters it stars: big, loud and as dull-witted as Homer Simpson roused from a medically induced coma.
Posted Mar 21, 2018
Loveless (Nelyubov) (2018)
"Loveless," which is Ingmar Bergman's "Scenes from a Marriage" dipped in battery acid, is a master class in melancholy.
Posted Mar 21, 2018
Love, Simon (2018)
It takes what could have been a teen-movie cliché stacked on top of a coming-out cliché like stale wedding cake and turns them into something that feels fresh, even while not saying anything particularly revelatory.
Posted Mar 15, 2018
The Party (2018)
There are moments, mostly in the latter half, when the ensemble works well together and Thomas, especially, gets to shine as her world falls apart. But these elements aren't enough to justify attending this "Party."
Posted Mar 2, 2018
"A Fantastic Woman" is the role of a lifetime for Vega, but let's hope it's just the start of a career, not the end.
Posted Feb 28, 2018
Black Panther (2018)
Visually, "Black Panther" is often spectacular...It's warriors with spears and force-field shields. It's aircraft that soar and swoop like birds over the Serengeti. It's "Blade Runner" in Dar es Salaam instead of L.A.
Posted Feb 11, 2018
Kickboxer: Retaliation (2018)
Unlike the last movie, which stumbled when outside the ring, [the director] doesn't bog things down with too much plot about fraternal bonding, love interests, or anything that requires an emotion more complicated than punching someone's lights outs.
Posted Jan 24, 2018
Ali Asgari's second feature is an intimate, compelling look at a relationship in crisis coming up against the immovable wall that is Iran's religious bureaucracy.
Posted Jan 19, 2018
Tehran Taboo (2018)
None of this is revelatory - these issues have been addressed in Iranian films before - but it's still gripping.
Posted Jan 19, 2018
Finnish films have been generating buzz lately. "Tom of Finland" and "The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki" have found a small, if enthusiastic, audience...Aki Kaurismäki's charmingly deadpan "The Other Side of Hope" should follow a similar path.
Posted Jan 11, 2018
The Post (2018)
While physical newspapers may not be as much a part of American life as they used to be, the occasional films about their publication - such as "Zodiac," "State of Play," and "Spotlight" - continue to enthrall. Now, "The Post" can be added to the list.
Posted Jan 11, 2018
Along with another 2017 film, "Wind River," "Hostiles" is a welcome story that deals with Native American issues, though what would be even more welcome is Native Americans telling their own stories on the big screen.
Posted Jan 4, 2018
There's a chemistry and respect between the two of them, palpable in the film's first moments, that is inspiring. And when the credits roll 89 minutes later, you realize that this is one journey where you never once crankily asked, "Are we there yet?"
Posted Dec 27, 2017
All the Money in the World (2017)
The result is a surprisingly taut drama whose ultimate lesson resonates with the wisdom of Coco Chanel, who once said, "There are people who have money ... and people who are rich."
Posted Dec 22, 2017
I, Tonya (2018)
A pointed satire on athletic ambition and class conflict that's fueled by a biting sense of humor and a couple of knockout performances.
Posted Dec 21, 2017
The Shape of Water (2017)
The visual stylist spins an adult fairy tale that takes elements from "Beauty and the Beast" and recasts them in an alternative universe that's a wonderfully rendered twist on our own.
Posted Dec 14, 2017
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)
"The Last Jedi" may not possess its immediate predecessors' pleasant shock of the new, nor is it a stylistic detour from what's expected. But it makes up for this with wit, spirit and one wicked saber smackdown.
Posted Dec 12, 2017
Human Flow (2017)
The scattershot and lengthy documentary doesn't attempt to be a news report...but the cumulative impact of its often haunting images brings home the plight of millions of the world's people.
Posted Dec 7, 2017
The Swindlers (2017)
The film - while well-made and intermittently entertaining - isn't particularly distinctive beyond its casting.
Posted Nov 30, 2017
God's Own Country (2017)
Director/writer Francis Lee's electrifying feature debut is a working-class, fun-house mirror version of "Call Me By Your Name's" upper-class pretensions and is equally, if not more, rewarding because of it.
Posted Nov 29, 2017
Despite McDonagh's cinematic hyperbole, it's the strength of the performances from McDormand, Harrelson and Rockwell that keeps "Three Billboards" sturdily anchored in a compellingly rendered reality.
Posted Nov 23, 2017
"Mudbound" sometimes falls prey to the obvious. Still, the performances convey a persuasive subtlety that the script itself doesn't always possess.
Posted Nov 22, 2017
Last Flag Flying (2017)
While conventional in execution and its underlying anti-war/pro-soldier sentiments, "Flag" nevertheless is buttressed by a warm humanity and stirring performances from Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne and, especially, Steve Carell.
Posted Nov 17, 2017
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Note to Hollywood: From now on, maybe all of our superhero franchises should be outsourced to New Zealand.
Posted Nov 1, 2017
Ha-Sodot (The Secrets) (2007)
The Secrets twines coming-out, coming-of-age and coming-to-terms-with-Orthodoxy in a way that diminishes all three -- and dilutes its message with clichés.
Posted Jan 19, 2017
Heavy SF readers will recognize each character, every situation by its stock number and almost feel the affection Lucas has for them. There is not the tiniest sniff of cynicism anywhere in this film.
Posted Jun 23, 2015