Reviews

Sort By

Sundance 2017 Review: I DON'T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE, One Hell of a Ride

Most of us met Macon Blair onscreen as a the bearded, disheveled lead of Blue Ruin. Homeless and hapless, the character soon evolved into one of the more startling and indelible in indie cinema, a bravado performance that justifiably gained...

Review: DETOUR, Christopher Smith's Mind and Time-Bending Neo Noir

Christopher Smith's neo-noir thriller, Detour, should keep audiences guessing until the end

Review: THE RED TURTLE, Gorgeous and Seriously Emotional

Human emotions can be fragile, unpredictable things. However, they can sometimes also be pretty damned predictable. Show someone a kitten and they'll feel an emotional pang. Show a human going through the stages of life from youth to life's logical...

Review: THE FOUNDER, There Will Be Burgers

The evolving nature of the film biopic has recently become quite interesting to me. Insofar as Pablo Larraín's Jackie is as much about Theodore H. White's Life magazine article as it is about the iconic First Lady, so John Lee Hancock's...

Review: THE SUNSHINE MAKERS, True Believers and the Psychedelic Revolution

They amble more than they walk nowadays. But for a brief period in the late 1960s, they were giants who ruled the world. They took their first acid trips on opposite ends of the United States, Tim Scully in San...

Review: XXX: RETURN OF XANDER CAGE Is Legitimately Expendable

Vin Diesel resurrects extreme sports secret agent Xander Cage for this belated third entry in the xXx franchise, 12 years after Ice Cube last carried the torch for counter-culture covert operatives. Boasting a large international ensemble and a globe-trotting espionage...

Review: In SPLIT, M. Night Channels His Best Uncanny Work Through James McAvoy

Split has it both ways; it is a film that creatively capitalizes on the thriller genre, and an excellent example of the quality and innovation the much-maligned director was initially lauded for. Through directing epic-scale flops (The Last Airbender), smaller...

Blu-ray Review: Fassbinder's FOX AND HIS FRIENDS Cuts Just As Deep 40 Years Later

Rainer Wener Fassbinder has always been an artist I've respected by reputation, rather than through a deep knowledge or understanding of his work. In fact, I've only see a handful of Fassbinder films and I will admit to tapping out...

Review: LIVE BY NIGHT, Ben Affleck's Uneven Gangster Epic

For Live by Night, Ben Affleck returns to the directing chair for the first time since the highly-acclaimed Argo (2012) and proves he has lost none of his directing chops. Almost polar opposite from that tense, realistic depiction of a...

Review: BAD KIDS OF CRESTVIEW ACADEMY

Ben Browder's film Bad Kids of Crestview Academy starts with a bang, with a SWAT-team storming a school. The policemen find mutilated bodies, a crashed Porsche, and a schoolgirl who literally opens fire on them (pun intended: she uses a...

Review: MONSTER TRUCKS Lives Up to Very Low Expectations

I feel like a 4-year-old boy when I say it, but Monster Trucks is my #1 movie of 2017. Of course, this being only the second week of January, it's also my only movie for 2017 so far. But speaking...

Review: WE ARE THE FLESH, A Paean to Liberty, Designed as a Fairy-tale for Adults

Emiliano Rocha Minter, a 26-year-old budding filmmaker from Mexico, emerged with his feature debut at International Film Festival Rotterdam early in 2016, finished only a couple of days before landing in Netherlands. It wasn't his first visit to Rotterdam, though....

Blu-ray Review: HIS GIRL FRIDAY From Criterion Is Black and White and Read All Over

Trumpeted even today, well beyond its 75th anniversary, Howard Hawks' 1940 newspaper-centric screwball comedy is an undeniable keeper.  It’s also warped and batty with something of a dark streak. People throw themselves out of windows, morbidity that doesn’t stop the...

Review: RAILROAD TIGERS, Jackie Chan vs. Japanese Invaders

Jackie Chan last found success in Hollywood by mentoring young Jaden Smith in a remake of the surprisingly decent The Karate Kid. That was more than six years ago. Since then, Chan has rarely been seen in North American theaters....

Blu-ray Review: Criterion Enshrines Ousmane Sembène's BLACK GIRL

After years of having it on my watchlist, I caught up with Senegalese director Ousmane Sembène's Moolaadé last year and enjoyed it a great deal, leaving me hungry for more. The Criterion Collection has conveniently sailed in to quench the...

Review: 20TH CENTURY WOMEN Rocks the Roost

You must remember this... Filmmaker Mike Mills remembers a lot of things. His own life is the source material for his films. 2010’s Beginners was about his rough relationship with his father; now, 20th Century Women is about him growing...

Review: PATERSON Charts A Remarkable Journey

A driver named Paterson in a town called Paterson played by a man named Driver - the rhyming seems almost too perfect. Yet Jim Jarmuch's latest, a delicate, poetic, often delightful musing on creativity and the art of listening, is...

Blu-ray Review: A MAN CALLED OVE, A Grumpy Old Man Who's More Than That

I laughed, I cried, I cheered. Granted, I'm just an old sap, and Hannes Holmes' big- screen adaptation of Fredrik Backman's popular novel En man som heter Ove -- out today on Blu-ray and DVD from Music Box Films --...

Blu-ray Review: Criterion Goes Far With FEDERICO FELLINI'S ROMA

When it comes to Federico Fellini's Roma, it's difficult to determine what's more self-indulgent, the act of appropriating by name a vital, ancient city that's been on the global forefront of politics, religion and culture, or this entire film in...

Review: DANGAL, A Familiar Tale, Told With Bollywood Flair

I've been interrogated about my love-stroke-obsession with Indian cinema ever since I began writing about it on these pages a little over six years ago. I'm not Indian, before this summer I had never been to India, and I didn't...