Oscar Isaac

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 […]

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) “It’s good.” “I need more than that, buddy.” “It’s enjoyable.” “OK, that’s a start.” That was a conversation I had with my 12-year-old brother-in-law immediately following our viewing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He wanted to help me craft my review. They’re simple adjectives but also perfectly appropriate for the film […]

Ex Machina Review

Ex Machina Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) In the last few years, we’ve seen a surge in both quantity and quality of films that question and dissect what it means to be human. Two obvious standouts are Spike Jonze’s Her and Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin, which see Scarlett Johansson portray a loving operating system and ravenous Scottish alien, […]

The 5 Best Leading Male Performances of 2013

The 5 Best Leading Male Performances of 2013

I have way too many fragments of a Best Performances of 2013 list to not write something up. The idea to break apart the list by, for lack of a better term, Oscar category was born out of the desire to highlight some stellar supporting work, which sometimes gets ignored when talking about the very […]

Predicting the 2014 Golden Globes Winners

Predicting the 2014 Golden Globes Winners

This Sunday, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will carve for itself a unique place in the 2013/2014 awards season. How do I know? Because it must. There still isn’t much consensus among this year’s major categories. The critics groups like 12 Years a Slave and Her. American Hustle and Gravity have loads of support—some from […]

Inside Llewyn Davis Review

Inside Llewyn Davis Review

RATING: (4 STARS) I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say Inside Llewyn Davis is the Coen Brothers‘s most emotional movie. After a half-decade turning out great film after great film every 12 months or so, Joel and Ethan take a couple years and come back with something that’s as enigmatic as Barton Fink, as […]

2014 Oscar Predictions: Resetting the Board

2014 Oscar Predictions: Resetting the Board

Click on over to my 2014 Oscar Predictions page to see everything I’m forecasting in the major categories. And check out my 2014 Oscar Predictions: Technical Categories page for projections in Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, and more. I’d planned to dive a little deeper into Best Documentary Feature today, but I’ve got quite a […]

2013 Cannes Awards Predictions

2013 Cannes Awards Predictions

Now that every Competition film has screened, we have but 24 hours to wait for the Palme d’Or and Cannes’ other big awards to be handed out. Here’s where I’m thinking the Spielberg jury might land: Palme d’Or (Best Film): The Past This is arguably the most wide-open Palme race in a number of years. […]

Drive Review

Drive Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Drive occupies a totally unique space on the cinematic continuum, existing somewhere among Death Wish, Double Indemnity, Batman, and Miami Vice. However, it’s not the pulse-pounding, excitement-generating movie you might expect. It unfolds at a very slow pace, and the plot is kept to a minimum. The film instead relies on style […]

Agora Review

Agora Review

RATING: (2 STARS) You certainly can’t fault Agora director Alejandro Amenabar for not being ambitious. His sword-and-sandals drama tries to connect stories related to religious intolerance, the alignment of the universe, and the love of a slave for his master. He isn’t wholly unsuccessful—the film has some very powerful moments—but there are far more misses […]