3 Stars

Wonder Woman Review

Wonder Woman Review

RATING: (3 STARS) If we mark 2013’s Man of Steel as the official start of the “DC Cinematic Universe,” then Wonder Woman is its fourth title and easily its best. It’s hard to imagine someone not at least appreciating the film as a breath of fresh air, for it fits squarely into the tradition of […]

Sausage Party Review

Sausage Party Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Sausage Party follows in the tradition of so many animated films — either starting with or primarily popularized by Toy Story — wherein everyday objects are personified and an audience gets to take a glimpse of what their day-to-day world might look and feel like. After taking that glimpse of the day-to-day […]

Denial Review

Denial Review

RATING: (3 STARS) If 2016 proved anything to me, it’s that facts are as fragile as fine china. The idea that something is irrefutable doesn’t matter to people with the right mixture of ignorance, prejudice, and/or intention, and so admirers of historical and scientific truth are forced to debate where one shouldn’t be necessary. And […]

Florence Foster Jenkins Review

Florence Foster Jenkins Review

RATING: (3 STARS) The only name that matters when it comes to getting butts in front of Florence Foster Jenkins isn’t Florence Foster Jenkins, but rather Meryl Streep. Improbably, Streep has done what seemingly a dozen Hemsworths couldn’t — become a reliable box office draw based exclusively on star power. She can play a magazine […]

Tallulah Review

Tallulah Review

RATING: (3 STARS) As I was watching Sian Heder’s Tallulah, I couldn’t shake the implausibility of the premise. A young nomadic woman steals the baby of a rich, careless mother? The film offers a title character who is easy to accept as impulsive and destructive, but a kidnapper? Please. Then something funny happened. I started […]

X-Men: Apocalypse Review

X-Men: Apocalypse Review

RATING: (3 STARS) X-Men: Apocalypse works in spite of itself. Here’s a film that takes arguably the best actor working today and turns him into a purple version of Imhotep from The Mummy. There are too many characters, not enough genuine excitement, and it runs at least 30 minutes too long. All that said, it’s […]

The Jungle Book (2016) Review

The Jungle Book (2016) Review

RATING: (3 STARS) The Jungle Book, as surprising as it probably seems, is one of the few Disney animated classics that eluded me in my childhood. A casual awareness of something called “The Bear Necessities” was all I knew about the 1967 version of Rudyard Kipling’s stories. Incidentally, Kipling’s books are foreign to me, as […]

Room Review

Room Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Director Lenny Abrahamson’s Room plays like a non-science-fiction version of The Matrix. Like the Wachowskis’ action landmark, we’re introduced to its characters in an “unreal” world before they’re able to escape and discover (or rediscover) what’s real. Obviously, the two films vary in big ways — particularly when it comes to the […]

Trumbo Review

Trumbo Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) Mistrust and fear overtook Hollywood during the 1940s and 1950s when many major players in the movie industry were shunned, blacklisted, and even jailed over their beliefs. It’s not hard to see why such a time would be appealing to a filmmaker, and in fact, Jay Roach’s Trumbo is hardly the first […]

Steve Jobs Review

Steve Jobs Review

RATING: (3 STARS) End-to-end control. It’s a personal computing philosophy that drove Steve Jobs and comes up regularly as a point of confrontation in the movie Steve Jobs. Many of his contemporaries and colleagues felt end-to-end control, which restricts a device’s compatibility with other devices, would significantly narrow a user’s possibilities. And that’s exactly what […]

Ricki and the Flash Review

Ricki and the Flash Review

RATING: (3 STARS) One week before Ricki and the Flash opened in theaters, we were met with a film called The End of the Tour about author David Foster Wallace. The two films have next to nothing in common, but I bring up The End of the Tour because I think its title perfectly describes […]

Spectre Review

Spectre Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Spectre is Daniel Craig’s fourth James Bond film, and for the fourth time, he’s carrying the franchise through an origin story. Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace combined to share with us the beginnings of Bond as 007. Skyfall represented the start of M, Q, and Moneypenny as we know them. Now […]

He Named Me Malala Review

He Named Me Malala Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Malala Yousafzi was an ordinary girl in rural Pakistan who wanted to get an education. For her troubles, she was shot in the head by the Taliban. 15 years old. Because she wanted to go to school. There will be some who say He Named Me Malala, the documentary chronicling Malala’s life, […]

Woman in Gold Review

Woman in Gold Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Kate Winslet famously said in the television show Extras that if you do a film about the Holocaust, you’re guaranteed an Oscar. It’s a joke born at least partially out of the truth. Her next line: “Schindler’s bloody List, The Pianist — Oscars coming out of their ass.” And Winslet’s own post-Extras […]

Bridge of Spies Review

Bridge of Spies Review

RATING: (3 STARS) In Steven Spielberg’s Cold War drama Bridge of Spies, Mark Rylance plays a man named Rudolf Abel. Accused of spying on the United States for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Abel is potentially looking at the electric chair if convicted. Legal representation is offered by James Donovan (Tom Hanks), who’s utterly […]

The Martian Review

The Martian Review

RATING: (3 STARS) In Stanley Kubrick’s epic space saga, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Strauss’ “Blue Danube Waltz” plays over a famous docking sequence. In Ridley Scott’s The Martian, a critical docking sequence is scored by David Bowie’s “Starman.” The differences go on, but perhaps it’s this one that best demonstrates what Scott is going for […]

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