Despite the darkly alluring subject matter, it ends up as a confused psychosexual snoozer more interested in titillating its audience than weaving a compelling, cohesive tale.
Posted Sep 19, 2018
White Boy Rick (2018)
It's not the searing indictment of the justice system Demange seems to be aiming for, but McConaughey -- all greasy mullet and greasier smiles -- helps charm it to life.
Posted Sep 12, 2018
Juliet, Naked (2018)
It's not without its contrivances and predictabilities. But like any good rom-com, it has a way of charming its audience into overlooking them.
Posted Aug 29, 2018
Rodents of Unusual Size (2018)
Ostensibly, it's about nutria, but the real stars are the South Louisiana faces who help it become as much an ethnography as an environmental call-to-arms.
Posted Aug 22, 2018
Lee plays Stallworth's story largely for laughs. How could he not? It's a true but utterly ridiculous tale. Still, make no mistake: BlacKkKlansman matters.
Posted Aug 7, 2018
Christopher Robin (2018)
Despite the fetching visuals and the charm of Jim Cummings as Pooh, there's nothing here that will make anyone forget the loveliness of Disney's original Pooh films.
Posted Aug 3, 2018
Eighth Grade (2018)
An astutely observed film built around honesty and genuine emotion, it's smart, funny and heartbreaking -- and it shouldn't be missed.
Posted Jul 31, 2018
An appealingly odd blend of farce and philosophy, Van Sant's at-times gangly film is at its root a character study, propelled by its fascinating subject and an effective cast.
Posted Jul 25, 2018
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018)
It's easy to overlook the cornball cheesiness of such a fun and joyous film. It's much harder to overlook the glaring lie around which Universal's marketing strategy is built.
Posted Jul 18, 2018
Equalizer 2 (2018)
Despite deeply flawed storytelling, it demonstrates how a great actor in a great role can turn an otherwise mediocre story into a satisfyingly visceral, cathartic thrill ride.
Posted Jul 18, 2018
Leave No Trace (2018)
You can't say enough about 18-year-old Thomasin McKenzie, whose nuanced performance here burnishes Granik's reputation as a discoverer and molder of exciting young talent.
Posted Jul 11, 2018
What McDonald ends up with is a film that serves both as tribute and as cautionary tale, and one that functions well as both.
Posted Jul 6, 2018
A handsome but ridiculous film built around hollow and moronic human characters who demonstrate once and for all that natural selection does not apply to Hollywood.
Posted Jun 22, 2018
Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018)
First off, yes, he really was like that. And he was so much more. Sigh. Where's Mr. Rogers when you need him?
Posted Jun 20, 2018
First Reformed (2018)
While it invites viewers to ruminate over any number of big ideas, it boasts no crystallizing moment to tie all those ideas together in a satisfying way.
Posted Jun 13, 2018
It might have been intended to be guilty-pleasure romp. Instead, it's a shameful reinforcement of negative racial stereotypes and a gross glorification of street violence.
Posted Jun 12, 2018
Yes, there's a certain familiarity to its general horror notes -- but only until those daring, shattering moments in which Hereditary erupts insanely and reveals itself as a thing all its own.
Posted Jun 8, 2018
Hotel Artemis (2018)
Yes, it's a shameless ripoff of John Wick. But you know what? It's a pretty darn fun one, with a firm grip on what kind of movie it is: a violent, guilty-pleasure romp.
Posted Jun 6, 2018
The Rider (2018)
It's a small movie about a small-time rodeo rider. But emotionally, it stands taller than any blockbuster about spandex-wearing superheroes or wisecracking space smugglers.
Posted May 23, 2018
It is brutally, hilariously honest about motherhood -- which will make it an important film for the many women who see it and think with relief, "My god, it's not just me."
Posted May 1, 2018
Loveless (Nelyubov) (2018)
An unapologetic lamentation, not just over the state of its leading characters' lives but also -- like Leviathan -- over the state of life today in Vladimir Putin's deeply apathetic Russia.
Posted Apr 18, 2018
Isle of Dogs (2018)
An artful and entertaining gem that is at turns whimsical and thoughtful, humorous and heartfelt, silly and sweet -- and an artistic masterpiece, to boot.
Posted Apr 4, 2018
The Death of Stalin (2018)
Blend The West Wing with Fawlty Towers and add a smidge of Dr. Strangelove, and you're getting close to the feel of The Death of Stalin.
Posted Mar 21, 2018
7 Days in Entebbe (2018)
There's plenty of drama there to be mined, and a reasonable amount of tension, but it falters when it comes to zeroing in on an emotional component to set it apart.
Posted Mar 16, 2018
It is cute without seeming desperate, nostalgic without feeling dated, values-based without being preachy, and sweet without being (too) cloying.
Posted Mar 13, 2018
A humorless sense of melodrama helps keep it from becoming unassailably fantastic as a whole, but there's no denying that it is fantastically timely, and touching to boot.
Posted Mar 7, 2018
When We First Met (2018)
Adam DeVine's doofy charm helps, but it's not enough to save this Groundhog Day-ish exercise that works hard to put every romantic-comedy genre contrivance into play.
Posted Feb 7, 2018
Freak Show (2018)
John Hughes died in 2009, but if he were alive today and still making movies, one has to think he would probably be making movies like Freak Show.
Posted Jan 30, 2018
Hostiles is a very serious film, relentlessly grim and unapologetically grave. It also seems to want badly for people to recognize that it's serious, grim and grave. Like, really, really badly.
Posted Jan 24, 2018
Mom and Dad (2018)
Think "Home Alone" meets "Straw Dogs" -- with a crazed Nicolas Cage thrown in -- and you've got an idea of the lunacy in store.
Posted Jan 17, 2018
The Post (2018)
This is movie for its time, one that -- armed with an Oscar-rich cast and crew -- manages to deliver its messages without climbing onto a soapbox and lecturing.
Posted Jan 9, 2018
I, Tonya (2018)
Built on superb performances from Margot Robbie and Allison Janney, it's a warts-and-all portrait of Harding, but one that is also disarmingly sympathetic and revealing.
Posted Jan 3, 2018
The Shape of Water (2017)
A wonderfully weird love story that plays like an adult fairy tale, it's a fantastical delight, one of those rare start-to-finish treats that succeeds on every level.
Posted Dec 20, 2017
It's pure formula, but Kasdan and company fill in the blanks well in what ends up as a funny and highly entertaining pleasant surprise of a family adventure.
Posted Dec 19, 2017
Darkest Hour (2017)
It scores on any number of technical levels, but it's Oldman's award-worthy performance as Churchill more than anything that proves to be the linchpin to the whole exercise.
Posted Dec 18, 2017
Wonder Wheel (2017)
Like the attraction in the film's title, the wheel turn but it rarely feels like anybody's really going anywhere.
Posted Dec 14, 2017
The Disaster Artist (2017)
Franco gets credit for focusing every bit as much on the artist as the disaster - and for taking something most saw as trash and spinning it into something close to treasure.
Posted Dec 4, 2017
Sweet Virginia (2017)
A taut and twisting bit of atmospheric suspense, it sinks its hooks into its audience early and keeps them on the line for the rest of its affecting and briskly paced story.
Posted Nov 29, 2017
A meticulously shot and sharply written character study, it plays like a blend of the Coen brothers and Quentin Tarantino.
Posted Nov 21, 2017
Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017)
We all know Denzel Washington is among the best in the business. We expect excellence from him. But that doesn't make it any less enjoyable when he delivers, as he does here.
Posted Nov 21, 2017
Lady Bird (2017)
With a delightful lead performance from Ronan and a breezy script built on universal themes, it effortlessly takes wing to become an embraceable exploration of growing up.
Posted Nov 16, 2017
A fascinating look at the most fascinating moment in what is arguably the most fascinating movie in the Hitchcock catalog.
Posted Nov 7, 2017
The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)
While a bit of a slow-starter, when the dam bursts, it bursts, delivering a film that is both darkly comic and deadly serious -- and very weird. (That's a good thing.)
Posted Nov 3, 2017
Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017)
Unlike Milne's Pooh stories, which are cuddly, effortless and embraceable, it is unwieldy and awkward. To borrow a phrase from a certain fluff-stuffed bear: Oh, bother.
Posted Nov 2, 2017
The Florida Project (2017)
It is at turns charming but unsettling, amusing but poignant, care-free but thought-provoking. But the real story here is Brooklynn Prince, a 6-year-old star in the making.
Posted Oct 27, 2017
All I See Is You (2017)
After a promising start, it fritters away any emotional connection with its audience early on, becoming a cold, meandering and tiresome exercise.
Posted Oct 26, 2017
Sometimes it's stupid-funny, but mostly it's just plain stupid. And sloppy. And that won't matter one bit to fans of Tyler Perry's films.
Posted Oct 20, 2017
Thanks largely to the interplay of Boseman and Gad, it works, and probably better than it should, with its blend of drama, humor and -- best of all -- fist-pumping triumph.
Posted Oct 12, 2017
American Made (2017)
A cocaine-fueled romp that plays like a lightweight blend of Goodfellas and Argo, it's entertaining stuff - as long as you don't expect it to stick to the facts.
Posted Sep 28, 2017
Battle of the Sexes (2017)
While it threatens at time to lose its focus, its performances -- and its blend of history and humor -- make it a very enjoyable, and recommendable, film.
Posted Sep 28, 2017