Assassin's Creed (2016)
Hidden Figures (2017)
Patriots Day (2017)
"Peter Berg's Patriots Day...combines action-movie flash with commemorative-movie solemnity...Neither insultingly exploitative nor piously dignified, it is a nearly ideal example of pop-art historical filmmaking."
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
"This latest "origin story" features no storytelling development but simply repeats Star Wars formulae...Rogue One, a huckster's tale, confirms the Disney Corporation's routine indoctrination of its captive audience."
La La Land (2016)
"Chazelle's depiction of career conflict and erotic attraction in Mia and Sebastian's romance ... prevents La La Land from being a satisfying movie musical. He imitates the generic form but never imbues it with feeling."
Rules Don't Apply (2016)
Manchester by the Sea (2016)
"Loving is not a love story, a historical trailblazer, or even a complex examination of marital fidelity...Instead, [it] is a pedestrian recap of a historical moment that...can be regarded only with condescension or self-congratulation."
Hacksaw Ridge (2016)
The Player (1992)
"The Player, which Altman made after years of struggle, with all Hollywood fascination worn away, is Altman's dour version of Dante's Inferno. His satire forces us to realize the obscenity of Clinton-era corruption - once again."
"[W]hat could be more offensive than rich Hollywoodians...traipsing through a collapsing Europe, contributing...the diminishment of our literary and art heritage - merely for...jaded, semi-literate moviegoers? Inferno is...proof of the global dumbing-down."
"Moonlight's best moments come in Little's reaction to Juan's affection, but later scenes of Chiron's erotic confusion and Black's maudlin self-pity (he wears muscular drag yet succumbs to weakness) insist that viewers feel sorry for black gay males."
The Accountant (2016)
Being 17 (Quand on a 17 ans) (2016)
"Global politics, if not pronounced in the story, are still in the air. This makes Being 17 the most perceptive movie I've yet seen to deal with Europe's contemporary turmoil as evident in its characters' moral lives."
The Girl on the Train (2016)
"Malick the animist moves into abstraction, like Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey F/X, but he ends with amazement, like Godard's late spiritual films. And this isn't just IMAX novelty...Malick brings cinema back to its phenomenological beginning."
"Masterminds, directed by Jared Hess, needs to go deeper into the tension between the way pop culture betrays its audience by displacing personal needs and then indoctrinating greed and restlessness."
Queen of Katwe (2016)
"Queen of Katwe may suggest the title of a Disney animated princess (like the lamentable The Princess and the Frog), but all possibilities of romantic fantasy are submerged in the film's semi-documentary reporting on eternal Third World poverty."
The Magnificent Seven (2016)
"This unoriginal reboot reveals Washington and Fuqua to be hacks as they take on a formerly great genre, the Western...This craven, doubled-down remake reduces America's difficult history to a series of violent, affectless, and inept set-pieces."
"Stone forgets he's telling a story of sedition, and he loses both his sense of human nature and his cinematic dazzle...Stone abets these traitors' pride. His skill as a filmmaker and his virtue as a disgruntled American are the immediate casualties."
Author: The JT LeRoy Story (2016)
"This documentary itself is a whirlwind of deceit, switching tenses at will, as if to legitimize Albert's particular delusions, still enjoying her game and the cultural myths to which liberals are susceptible."
"Instead of mending fences in Sully, Eastwood works through both awe and disbelief, recognizing underappreciated professionalism...by looking back at "the miracle on the Hudson" with a sobering, unsentimental sense of recent history."
"This hagiographic film is like one of those TV magazine shows about the upper classes: It revives radical chic for Millennial viewers, shows off Berger and Swinton's style, taste, and progressive political options."
"Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World is an alarum about the Internet, a prophecy about man's self-annihilating instincts as shown through interviews with awed scientists and skeptical victims of technology."
Southside With You (2016)
Hell or High Water (2016)
Blood Father (2016)
Sausage Party (2016)
Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)
"Kubo is a delicate tale addressing today's sense of moral bereavement. This is conveyed through the boy's search for the father he never knew. Little Kubo's gallantry parallels the desperation of youth from broken families."
Jason Bourne (2016)
"Each new Bourne sells a new variation on skepticism, nihilism, and gloom, supposedly enlivened by director Paul Greengrass's hyperactive, overly edited, always indecipherable chases, explosions, and fight scenes."
Suicide Squad (2016)
"Think metaphorically again, and see that Suicide Squad entangles post-Vietnam and post-9/11 notions about heroism and citizenship...Suicide Squad is The Dirty Dozen for millennial viewers (and voters), who think their patriotic moral conflict is new."
The Childhood of a Leader (2016)
Star Trek Beyond (2016)
Café Society (2016)
"Woody Allen celebrates the vaunted era of New York's segregated 1930s nightlife - and its West Coast counterpart in Hollywood...Allen uses comedy to avoid serious contemplation of the social inequities that accompany class advancement."
"A feminist Gunga Din, Jones's Patty makes it possible for the SNL white pukka sahibs to feel good about repeating Ghostbusters' Eighties line-up...It disguises Hollywood's entrenched biased hegemony as happily inclusive fun for all."
The Mermaid (Mei ren yu) (2016)
"Chow cares mostly about Liu and Shan's love story - how their spiritual lives transcend their class differences. Yet, Chow balances romantic concerns with the sociological message. Most American films today...work backwards."
"Caught up in the fun of telling this tall tale, Lane never matches the fine, humbling truth of Our Nixon...Lane's wild narrative flirts with Michael Moore-style deceit and contempt. Yet Lane's essential humanity comes through. "
"On its non-Disney-family-movie level, Wiener-Dog is the most unsentimental pet film since Godard's Farewell to Language...But it's the American Eccentric level of self-conscious filmmaking and social commentary that makes Wiener-Dog, frankly, amazing. "
The BFG (2016)
"The BFG isn't a remake of E.T. or A.I. but its own peculiar epic. It's an involuted fairy tale, leaning both Left and Right, expressing the quiddities of utopian imagination. Spielberg's childlike optimism brings quixotic ideas to life."
"Chappie makes no more sense than the ludicrous alien takeover of District 9 and is just as visually ugly, but, without a Roger Ebert to shill for it, the formula now seems especially out of date and particularly depressing."
"Marty seems intended to exemplify modern American discontent, but a slacker hero is false to this political moment of digital entrepreneurs. His immature "rebellion" patronizes the very audience...that the young adult Marty resembles."
Dirty Grandpa (2016)
"A burlesque like Dirty Grandpa means to "liberate the oppressed" and does so in a low-comedy way. Ignore the bluenose critics who sharpened their dentures on this movie; ironically, they're the same fools who swallow drivel like The Hunger Games. "