Christian Science Monitor
Patriots Day (2017)
Hidden Figures (2017)
Toni Erdmann (2016)
I, Daniel Blake (2016)
20th Century Women (2017)
"If the filmmakers had delved into the direness of their situation and mined it for more than just a grand-scale lovers' spat in outer space, the movie might have been more than a sleek, well-designed curiosity."
Land of Mine (Under Sandet) (2017)
"It's clear from the way writer-director Martin Zandvliet sets up the story that the fiery Rasmussen... will eventually soften. It's to the film's credit that he does so in ways that are eminently believable."
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
"[K-2SO] has all the good lines. I'm not sure if it's such a good thing that the best character in a sci-fi movie is a robot. But then again, the best character in 2001: A Space Odyssey was HAL, and that film wasn't half-bad."
La La Land (2016)
"The movie ends with a what-might-have-been fantasia that is one of the most emotionally moving passages I've ever seen in a musical. It's like a bluesy jazz piano chord, full of hurt and healing, that slowly fades to silence."
Things to Come (L'avenir) (2016)
"[Portman] captures Jackie's mincing, tinkly speaking voice and brittle politesse, but some inner emotional core, even in Jackie's most resonant moments, as in the weeks after the assassination, is lacking."
Daughters of the Dust (1991)
"It has been filmed with astonishing visual imagination by Dash and cinematographer Arthur Jafa, however, and burrows into the minds of its female characters with a care that few recent Hollywood movies can approach."
Rules Don't Apply (2016)
"What is curious, and oddly pleasing, about Rules Don't Apply is that it doesn't come across as one of those long-gestating dream projects that, when it finally ends up onscreen, often seems well past its expiration date... it's disarmingly light."
Nocturnal Animals (2016)
Off the Rails (2016)
"If nothing else, Off the Rails, which includes a few too many reenactments for my taste, does what many good documentaries do. It provides us with a window into the psyche of a person worth caring about."
Manchester by the Sea (2016)
"Because Lonergan is so true to the intricacies and rhythms of family strife, we trust his vision. When it comes time for the fade-out, he doesn't gussy up sorrow with a sunrise glow. Healing is hard."
"I suspect that whatever virtues the film possesses -- and it does, in flashes, convey the uneasy confluence of jingoism and authentic patriotism -- will come through more clearly in 2-D, without all the hype. "
Doctor Strange (2016)
"It's a goodness that at least rings true with the Lovings themselves, whose devotion to each other under such an onslaught is convincingly steely. This is due in large part to Negga's performance, which gives Mildred's reticence a righteous core."
The Eagle Huntress (2016)
"The film, some of which looks staged, is too slick, and its feminist emphasis, complete with Australian performer Sia singing "You can do anything" on the soundtrack, grates. But Aisholpan triumphs over these excesses."
Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare) (2016)
Before the Flood (2016)
Empire of the Sun (1987)
American Pastoral (2016)
The Accountant (2016)
"This probably sounded like a surefire idea for a franchise, but there are so many plot twists that the narrative comes to resemble a Möbius strip. That wouldn't be so bad if at least the twists made a modicum of sense."
The Birth of a Nation (2016)
The Girl on the Train (2016)
"Blunt, who can be quite marvelous in movies, spends most of the film looking haggard and sozzled; the rest of the cast, with the exception of Allison Janney as a police investigator, is dull. The plot twists, such as they are, are garbled and predictable."
Deepwater Horizon (2016)
"To me, Burton's movies always seem a full grade too grotesque for the whimsical stories he is trying to tell... At least in Miss Peregrine, his ghastliness fits the fable, although, even at its best, it's fairly generic Burton."
Queen of Katwe (2016)
"[Nair] manages to do justice to these people's lives, and when, at the end, the real-life characters show up on-screen and stand smiling beside their actor counterparts, the screen lights up along with the audience."
The Dressmaker (2016)
"The film has so many moodswings that watching it induces whiplash, and just about everybody in it, from Winslet on down to Judy Davis, playing the dressmaker's crotchety mother, flagrantly overdoes it."
Come What May (2016)