Samuel L. Jackson

The Hateful Eight Review

The Hateful Eight Review

RATING: (4 STARS) There was some blood spilled at a Wyoming haberdashery some time after the Civil War. Well, a fictional Wyoming haberdashery, but still … boy, there was some blood. It’s the time and place of Quentin Tarantino’s eighth film, the very appropriately titled The Hateful Eight. The blood is nothing new in a […]

Avengers: Age of Ultron Review

Avengers: Age of Ultron Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Because it begins, ends, and is about something, Avengers: Age of Ultron already has a leg up on most other Marvel movies. And boy, it needs that leg up because there are times when this feels like one of the laziest studio movies in years. At other times, however, it reaches the […]

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) It’s been a long time since a Marvel movie totally worked. When Iron Man premiered in 2008, it was so tonally unique and such a breath of fresh air. But The Incredible Hulk was dull and overly moody. Iron Man 2 proverbially shot first and asked questions later. Thor, Thor: The Dark […]

On the Oscar Bubble

On the Oscar Bubble

The bubble is not a fun place to live. Just ask Virginia Tech basketball fans. I’m sure every actor or actress would love to be in the position of a Daniel Day-Lewis or Jessica Chastain this year, but the Oscars just don’t work like that. Someone has to be the last nominee in just as […]

Django Unchained Review

Django Unchained Review

RATING: (4 STARS) With Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino has turned wholly satisfying filmmaking into a science. Sure, this film might not be as emotionally affecting as Jackie Brown. It might not be as novel as Reservoir Dogs, as ambitious as Pulp Fiction, as playful as Kill Bill, or as bold and audacious as Inglourious Basterds. […]

The Avengers Review

The Avengers Review

RATING: (3 STARS) With five separate films, years of hype, and billions of dollars all leading up to this, how in the world can director Joss Whedon satisfy expectations surrounding his new film, The Avengers? Easy: Up the stakes as high as they’ll go and pack in as many glory moments as humanly (or, in […]

Captain America: The First Avenger Review

Captain America: The First Avenger Review

RATING: (3 STARS) Captain America: The First Avenger, the final Marvel origin story before The Avengers next May, is a blast from start to finish. Chris Evans equips himself well as the “star-spangled man with a plan,” and Joe Johnston proves himself more than capable of delivering when it comes to solid superhero action. Hugo […]

Thor Review

Thor Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) At a time when the superhero genre is steering itself toward reality (a la The Dark Knight), Thor seems like a fish out of water. Its characters actually have powers, it takes place in fantastical worlds, and logic and reason are its first casualties. And though a film like that might sound […]

Mother and Child Review

Mother and Child Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) Those of you who found Crash—or Clint Eastwood’s clunker Hereafter—unwatchable should stay far, far away from Rodrigo Garcia’s Mother and Child. It’s the kind of film that starts in several very different places and seeks to weave all of its threads together. But while I thought Paul Haggis’ film was engaging (if […]

Do the Right Thing Review

Do the Right Thing Review

RATING: (4 STARS) *Caution: Mild spoilers may follow. Spike Lee has directed many joints in his career, but none is as admired and revered as Do the Right Thing. It’s a brilliant slice-of-life that tackles issues of race head on and without fear. It’s the kind of film that earns the label of “controversial,” not […]

The Other Guys Review

The Other Guys Review

RATING: (3 STARS) When I first saw Anchorman back in 2004, I thought Will Ferrell was the king of the world. He could do no wrong in my book. It was by far the funniest movie of that year, and it remains one of my favorite comedies of the past decade. Slowly but surely, Ferrell […]

Iron Man Review

Iron Man Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) I remember when I first heard that Robert Downey Jr. would be playing the title character in Jon Favreau’s “Iron Man.” The project itself just sounded like another superhero movie (a genre I thought was growing tired), but the casting choice was inspired. It was shortly after I discovered “Kiss Kiss, Bang […]

Iron Man 2 Review

Iron Man 2 Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) Iron Man 2 could’ve been a disaster. The film was rushed out only two years after its predecessor captured the hearts (and dollars) of audiences across the country. The high number of new characters made me shudder—thinking of the disastrous Spider-Man 3. And while the post-credits teaser after the original “Iron Man” […]