2.5 Stars

Bohemian Rhapsody Review

Bohemian Rhapsody Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) Few bands in rock history are larger than life in the same way as Queen. Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon incorporated elements of electronica, heavy metal, British pop, and opera into their catalog of songs, which is still play in stadiums, arenas, and karaoke bars and all over […]

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 […]

Bad Moms Review

Bad Moms Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) A recent trend in comedy writing and filmmaking is to turn the mundane into something debaucherous. It probably started with The Hangover, which took a typically debaucherous activity — the bachelor party — and elevated it to a level previously unthinkable. Slowly, this type of story took over movies about “regular life.” […]

Star Trek Beyond Review

Star Trek Beyond Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) The term “episodic” gets thrown around a lot when it comes to major studio moviemaking. Between bifurcation of individual stories and the intense desire to turn everything into a “saga” or “cinematic universe,” the big-budget action film that mostly stands on its own is becoming an endangered species. Star Trek Beyond, then, […]

The Nice Guys Review

The Nice Guys Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) After a delightful foray into the world of Marvel, writer-director Shane Black has returned to the world of buddy cop movies with The Nice Guys. Well, Holland French (Ryan Gosling) and Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) aren’t cops — one’s a private eye, the other basically a tough guy for hire. They aren’t […]

Captain America: Civil War Review

Captain America: Civil War Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) During the much-hyped battle between the Avengers and Friends in Captain America: Civil War, one combatant, with tongue firmly in cheek, remarks, “Everyone’s got a gimmick.” Indeed, every one does, and Civil War is “The One with Black Panther and the New Spider-Man”. Marvel movies are hardly identifiable anymore — assuming they […]

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 Review

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) A final film in a series shouldn’t need this much exposition. A final film in a series shouldn’t be so light on concluding excitement. A final film in a series shouldn’t have to force feed its viewers hackeneyed closure for its characters. A final film in a series shouldn’t be so lacking […]

While We’re Young Review

While We’re Young Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) While We’re Young is the type of film in which Vanity Fair publishes a full page interview with the question, “Are you a hipster?” It’s the type of film in which an echo effect is added to the final line in a climactic fight. It’s the type of film in which a […]

Sleeping with Other People Review

Sleeping with Other People Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) Sleeping with Other People is Leslye Headland’s sophomore feature, and following the mixed reception of Bachelorette, a Bridesmaids-esque comedy darker than the deepest recesses of space, she seems to have taken some notes and steered toward something approaching approachability. If consulted, I would have told Headlund to stay “out there.” Not only […]

Black Mass Review

Black Mass Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) Black Mass feels perfunctory and uninspired. It appears to exist because the story of James “Whitey” Bulger is one that should be chronicled in a narrative film and unfortunately not because those involved have something unique to say about it. As such, it takes a paint-by-numbers approach to 20 years of Bulger’s […]

Entourage Review

Entourage Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) There’s a moment deep into the Entourage movie when the guys are chastising their boy Vinny Chase (Adrian Grenier) for sleeping with Emily Ratajkowski (playing herself) moments after the financier of Vince’s directorial debut leaves her house. Vince begs his closest friends for some understanding, asking them to remember who they are. […]

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Review

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) If there’s ever been a movie title more truthful than The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, I don’t know what it is. This movie is the definition of fine. It goes down really easily because it doesn’t try to do too much. Because it can dispose of things like character introductions and […]

Jupiter Ascending Review

Jupiter Ascending Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) After The Matrix, the Wachowski siblings received carte blanche from Warner Bros. Clearly enamored by the world they created, they returned to finish Neo’s story with two Matrix sequels, but following the creative and financial disappointment that was Revolutions, it was time for Lana and Andy to step away from this world […]

Edge of Tomorrow Review

Edge of Tomorrow Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) With the exception, maybe, of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, no film has ever so closely replicated what it’s like to actually play a video game than Doug Liman’s All You Need Is Kill Live/Die/Repeat Edge of Tomorrow. And with the exception of Scott Pilgrim, no film that’s either explicity based on […]

Unbroken Review

Unbroken Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) With Unbroken, Angelina Jolie mistakes heroic misery for rousing inspiration. What should be—and is, in book form—a fully formed and moving story about unparalleled hardship and the triumph of the human spirit falls oddly flat on the screen. It’s a decent enough movie with moments of emotional and plainly visual beauty, but […]

Lucy Review

Lucy Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) Lucy is a puzzling film insofar as it’s both fantastically inspired and utter garbage, and it’s really hard to tell where the two opposing qualities begin and end. On the one hand, director Luc Besson imbues the film with an energy heretofore untapped in science-fiction films that don’t have the word “Star” […]

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