3.5 Stars

Eighth Grade Review

Eighth Grade Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) Over the last few years, the horror genre has experienced a sort of renaissance at least partially on the back of some exemplary art-house titles released by A24, including The Witch and Hereditary. The studio’s latest horror film is a very different sort of movie. Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade doesn’t feature ghosts […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 — […]

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 Review

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) Ever since Iron Man’s post-credits stinger, each entry in Marvel’s stable of films has sought to build upon the last in an effort to drum up excitement for what’s next. It’s my least favorite thing about modern big-budget moviemaking as it renders just about everything else happening on screen pointless. If you, […]

Hidden Figures Review

Hidden Figures Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) There’s nothing particularly remarkable the filmmaking behind Theodore Melfi’s Hidden Figures, but it accomplishes something none of the several dozen films I’ve watched this fall have been able to do: completely shut off the real world. It’s an odd thing to write in the context of a review (and it will certainly […]

Sully Review

Sully Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) In 208 seconds, I could make a sandwich, though it might not be my best effort and there’s a decent chance I spend most of that time agonizing over spicy or dijon mustard. In January 2009, Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenburger and First Officer Jeff Skiles had 208 seconds to decide the best […]

Zootopia Review

Zootopia Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) Zootopia is a perfect 2016 movie. Sure, it depicts a bunny cop and a fox solving a mystery — which is utterly timeless, obviously — but what it does here and how is speak with surprising grace about stereotyping that’s pervaded both the American presidential election and interactions cops and civilians. I […]

Finding Dory Review

Finding Dory Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) The last time Pixar produced a sequel that was a decade in the making, they gave us Toy Story 3, the best Pixar film. It relied heavily on nostalgia to hit its marks — something its latest mega-sequel, Finding Dory, curiously eschews. Yes, the forgetful Dory, the nervous Marlin, and the loving […]

The Lobster Review

The Lobster Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) The Lobster is an utterly transfixing and bewildering high-concept comedy about what the world would look like if everything we knew and liked about love was gone. In Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos’ English-language debut, coupling off is an obligation; We never find out why, but those without a partner are forced to […]

Listen to Me Marlon Review

Listen to Me Marlon Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) Listen to Me Marlon is a one-of-a-kind documentary. There have been plenty of non-fiction films — plenty even this year with Amy, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, and others — that chronicle the lives of famous people and their troubles with celebrity as a status. However, none are told with the emotional […]

Phoenix Review

Phoenix Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) Phoenix is such an evocative, playful title for German director Christian Petzold’s latest film. He introduces us — and his main character, Holocaust survivor Nelly — to a club called Phoenix early in the proceedings, but it’s nothing more than a red herring. The phoenix is this poor woman who’s life is […]

Ballet 422 Review

Ballet 422 Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) There’s a sequence two-thirds into Ballet 422, Jody Lee Lipes’ hands-off documentary chronicling a wunderkind choreographer’s attempt to bring a ballet from idea to stage, that knocked my socks off. No, it’s not Lipes’ shot of the back of his protagonist Justin Peck’s head with dancers appearing to literally spool out of […]

99 Homes Review

99 Homes Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) Ramin Bahrani is perhaps the quintessential maker of American films working today. That isn’t to say he’s the best filmmaker this country has to offer — great, yes, but not on that level yet — but rather that no one crafts movies that tackle aspects of our national tradition with such precision […]

Truth Review

Truth Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) Truth‘s biggest misstep might be its title. James Vanderbilt wrote and directed this absorbing journalism drama about the CBS News scandal that brought an end to Dan Rather’s time as the network’s lead anchor, and it’s about so, so many things, but I’m not sure truth is one of them. It’s an […]

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