San Francisco Chronicle
xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017)
"Toward the end, the action becomes repetitive and tiresome, but there are pleasures to be had. Diesel is a terrific action star, in that he can give a movie a lift just by being there. Collette embraces the cold-blooded extremes of her role."
Smile Again, Jenny Lee (2015)
"A cringe-inducing, bloated story about a bratty tennis star in search of her long-lost father ... painful to watch, because it feels like a passion project in which everyone is trying to serve aces, yet all we get are double faults."
The Founder (2017)
Toni Erdmann (2016)
"That the movie works so well is also due to the exceptional talents of leads Simonischek and Huller, who hold nothing back - especially the former, whose Winfried is one of the oddest ducks in recent movies."
Saving Banksy (2017)
20th Century Women (2017)
"Every time the story is on a knife edge and can drop deeper into turmoil or recede back to the normal flows and ebbs of life, Mills chooses the latter. But this time, the strategy works. It feels real."
Monster Trucks (2017)
Patriots Day (2017)
"This is a serious movie that often feels playful, one that has metafictional ambitions but wears them lightly. You can surrender to the enjoyment of the chase at the film's heart, while not losing sight of Larraín's serious aims."
Live By Night (2017)
A Monster Calls (2017)
By Sidney Lumet (2016)
An Eye for an Eye (2016)
Things to Come (L'avenir) (2016)
Every Brilliant Thing (2016)
Why Him? (2016)
Hidden Figures (2017)
Collateral Beauty (2016)
Theo Who Lived (2016)
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
La La Land (2016)
"We don't generally think of musicals in these terms, but, following the impersonal splashiness of the opening number, "La La Land" slowly dawns as a film of great intimacy. It's as if it were whispering to us."
Miss Sloane (2016)
"What is the tension of the movie? Where is the drama? There's nothing at stake, no transformation to witness, just the weird spectacle of Portman's peculiar Jackie impersonation and the promise, hinted at throughout, that the assassination will be shown."
Office Christmas Party (2016)
"It benefits from an excellent cast, who seem to be all in. And whenever there's a stretch of extended mediocrity, it's almost always saved by an unexpected moment of politically incorrect inspiration."
"The character development and plot in "Evolution" are minimal, and its bold themes aren't fully explored, but as an exercise in creepy atmospherics, this is one of the most accomplished films of the year."
Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare) (2016)
Old Stone (Lao Shi) (2016)
Manchester by the Sea (2016)
"Affleck is magnificent, but the movie is something less than that, because it can't completely overcome some built-in challenges. Even so, Manchester by the Sea deserves honors for being so different, and for working on the mind in a particular way"
The Trans List (2016)
"The documentary may not win any awards for great filmmaking, but the information conveyed in The Trans List is vital, and the personal stories of trans people are compelling and sometimes heartbreaking."
Closet Monster (2016)
The Eyes of My Mother (2016)
Rules Don't Apply (2016)
"Beatty is so good at playing mental illness - he's even better here than he was in "Bugsy" - that he saves the movie. But no amount of flash and dazzle can quite quell the disappointment that comes of a story that begins promisingly and then derails."
Seasons (Les saisons) (2016)
"Perrin and Cluzaud struggle to find a footing in their vast cinematic terrain. We never quite know why we are seeing a particular animal at any given point, and none of the creatures - or the humans, for that matter - has any impact on us."
Mr. Pig (Sr. Pig) (2016)
Bad Santa 2 (2016)