10 Performances to Watch This Fall

10 Performances to Watch This Fall

I’ve already written a bit about the movies that have my attention as the calendar turns toward autumn, but what about the performances? Too often, I overlook actors in favor of their directors and screenwriters (both when I write about films and when I anticipate them), but this fall’s crop of titles has the potential […]

The James Bond Movies, Ranked

The James Bond Movies, Ranked

I wrote a version of this list six years ago, shortly after the release of Skyfall, but recent news, and the commentary surrounding it, have had me feeling nostalgia for the series of films that, more than any other, got me interested in and thus writing about film. While Danny Boyle’s exit from “Bond 25” […]

Top 10 Most Anticipated Fall 2018 Movies

Top 10 Most Anticipated Fall 2018 Movies

On first glance, the fall 2018 movie season looks a little ragged. Blockbuster-wise, we’ve got another Fantastic Beasts film, Aquaman, Bumblebee, and Venom. Woof. But the indie circuit appears as strong as ever with lots of long-awaited directorial returns and emerging studios (Netflix, Annapurna) making what appear to be their strongest pitches for awards relevance […]

Ranking the Mission: Impossible Films

Ranking the Mission: Impossible Films

The NOC list, chimera virus, rabbit’s foot, nuclear launch codes, the Syndicate, plutonium orbs. Track them down. Save the world. These are your missions if you choose to accept them. For more than two decades, Tom Cruise and a host of talented co-stars and directors have been thrilling audiences with impossible mission after impossible mission. […]

Mission: Impossible—Fallout Review

Mission: Impossible—Fallout Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) For the longest time, the Mission: Impossible franchise felt disjointed. Different directors—Brian De Palma, John Woo, J.J. Abrams, Brad Bird—brought different styles to essentially the same story, and the supporting cast, while consistently enjoyable, was always changing to the point that it was difficult to connect with anyone outside of Tom Cruise’s […]

Ready Player One Review

Ready Player One Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) Steven Spielberg became one of the most beloved filmmakers in the history of the medium on the backs of blockbusters like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., and Jurassic Park that transported viewers into fantastical worlds where anything seemed possible. Ready Player One is perhaps his […]

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

RATING: (3.5 STARS) Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, from Oscar-winning director Morgan Neville, is something of a safe lob down the middle for the adult movie-going public in 2018. Nostalgia and empathy are two of the strongest emotional pulls when it comes to non-fiction filmmaking. This film has loads of the former. Fred Rogers the […]

Avengers: Infinity War Review

Avengers: Infinity War Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) I haven’t truly loved an Avengers film yet. Both 2012’s original and Age of Ultron came out of the oven burnt and overdone. In an effort to give everyone a moment, the filmmakers made “moments” meaningless. (This was exacerbated in Marvel’s nadir: Captain America: Civil War.) With Infinity War, directors Joe and […]

Rushmore Review

Rushmore Review

RATING: (4 STARS) With Rushmore, writer/director Wes Anderson beelines it out of Wes Andersonville toward a place that resembles the world you and I inhabit. In Wes Andersonville, individuals are quirky beyond recognition—sometimes overwritten into oblivion. Rushmore‘s lead character, Max Fischer, is a proud citizen of Wes Andersonville, but unlike the director’s other films, this […]

The 6 Most Competitive 2018 Oscar Races

The 6 Most Competitive 2018 Oscar Races

I last checked in on the 2018 Oscar race just before the nominations were announced. You can hear some of my thoughts about the surprises and snubs on the latest episode of the It’s the Pictures podcast, but my “too long, didn’t listen” take is this: Phantom Thread, Get Out, Lady Bird good. Darkest Hour […]

2018 Oscar Predictions: The Year Without a Front-Runner

2018 Oscar Predictions: The Year Without a Front-Runner

I haven’t been great about keeping tabs on this year’s Oscar race. Maybe that’s a good thing! But I’m very curious to see how things shake out with tomorrow’s nominations. This year has been almost shockingly without a front-runner, and while two films — The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri — […]

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Review

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Review

RATING: (3 STARS) There’s a lot one could say about Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, but “You’re an inanimate fucking object!” is not among them. That iconic quote from McDonagh’s debut, In Bruges, could be at home in the profane and fired-up Three Billboards, but it hardly describes this frantic, frenetic film about […]

Molly’s Game Review

Molly’s Game Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) Ludicrously entertaining. That’s about all I could muster after 150 glorious minutes in the world of Molly’s Game. As depicted by writer-director Aaron Sorkin and his always-but-especially incredible lead actress Jessica Chastain, Molly’s world is one of relentless one upsmanship and frighteningly high-stakes, and there’s no one better at writing clever — […]

2018 Oscar Predictions: So This Looks Like a Fun One, Yeah?

2018 Oscar Predictions: So This Looks Like a Fun One, Yeah?

I’m always a little torn about when to start predicting Oscars in a given year. Ultimately, September is probably a little too early, but the fact is I did just get an FYC screener, and more pertinently, I’m about to leave for a vacation abroad and don’t have time to put together the post I […]

mother! Review

mother! Review

RATING: (4 STARS) *NOTE: I believe this film is best enjoyed without knowing much at all going in. I avoided any heavy spoilers in this review, but still, if you haven’t seen mother!, proceed with caution. The insanity-by-obsession that defines every Darren Aronofsky film to date — from Ellen Burstyn’s tragic television watching in Requiem […]

Where I’ve Been and What I’m Doing

My dad asked me a few weeks ago, “So what’s going on with John Likes Movies?” I didn’t even know how to start answering that question. I hated to say it, especially out loud, but the site that got me into writing and did so much to foster my love of film has been impossibly […]

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