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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: 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...

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: 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...

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: HIDDEN FIGURES Takes on Segregation at NASA in 1961

Hidden Figures is a film that's spinning a lot of plates. There's the three main characters, there's the ticking clock of the space race, there's the gradual chipping away of institutional racism, et cetra, et cetra. It is impossible, however,...

Review: FENCES Delivers a Knockout Punch to the Soul

Smartly adapted for the big screen, Fences is something of a revelation for moviegoers. August Wilson's stage play, the third in his so-called "Pittsburgh" cycle about the African American experience in America during the 20th century, was first produced on...

Review: In SING, Animals Compete, But No One Dies

Watching Sing, a bland animated musical featuring the voices of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Seth MacFarlane and many more, I struggled to recall the joys and pleasures of Son of Rambow. That film was the sophomore effort of...

Review: ASSASSIN'S CREED Dies a Bloodless Death

When it comes to movies that are based on video games, so many of them seem to be about “The One”. Yet, when it comes to said movies actually being any good, there's been “No One.” Beautifully photographed, immaculately designed,...

Now on Blu-ray: Film Noir for the Holidays From Kino Lorber Studio Classics

There's nothing like a nice, smoky film noir to keep you warm over the holidays. In recent weeks Kino Lorber's Studio Classics line has released a number of classic noirs on Blu-ray that are definitely worth your attention. Many of...

Now on Blu-ray: Shout Select Brings Home TO LIVE AND DIE IN LA, NIGHTHAWKS, DEATH OF A SALESMAN

New from the Shout! Factory family of specialty home video is the recently unveiled Shout Select series. Shout Select came roaring to life earlier in 2016 with well-reviewed releases of films like Road House and Bill & Ted's Execellent Adventure,...

Review: ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY Has It Where It Counts

Spoiler Alert! The Death Star plans, so intensely pursued for the entirety of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, do in fact reach their proper destination, allowing Luke Skywalker to destroy the imposing monolithic super-weapon. (End of Spoiler) But you...

Review: MISS SLOANE Wallows in Politics as Usual

It wouldn't hurt to bone up on Washington DC lobby laws and practices before taking in Miss Sloane, the latest from one-time prestige director John Madden (Shakespeare in Love). But if doing so falls between the cracks, don't let that...

Review: LA LA LAND, a Captivating Treasure

La La Land is a series of dichotomies, existing as both a delightful flight of fancy and a broad relationship drama. It’s a film oozing with both nostalgia and contemporary energy, feeling both classic and of the moment in the...

Blu-ray Review: DREAMSCAPE Rocks

In 1984, a weird film called Dreamscape hit theaters. Starring Dennis Quaid as Alex Gardner and Kate Capshaw as Jane DeVries, this film is about a man with extraordinary powers of the mind. He's reluctantly brought in to assist on a...

Review: JACKIE, A Sublime And Intimate Look At An American Tragedy

Star-driven biopics are a dime a dozen in the annual awards race yet Pablo Larrain's searing new drama Jackie stands head and shoulders above the more conventional fare that flood theaters around this time of year. A deeply intimate story...

Review: MOANA, Stereotypes Are Overturned, and Also Reinforced, on the High Seas

Spectacular beauty is on display throughout Moana, the 56th theatrical feature from Walt Disney Animation Studios. Even better, the film's protagonist is an admirable young woman who is determined to come of age on her own terms, without any adolescent...

Review: ALLIED, In the Territory Between Tribute and Parody

A ripe potboiler, Allied resembles countless World War II motion pictures, yet its intended tone is difficult to discern. Is it meant as a tribute? Or a parody? The answer lies somewhere between the two, obviously, for a movie that...

Review: RULES DON'T APPLY, Imperfect, Awkward and Kind of Marvelous

Kind of marvelous in its apparently single-minded devotion to a slender tale, Warren Beatty's return to directing is weird and ragged and amusing and endearing. Rules Don't Apply, which also marks Beatty's return to acting after a lengthy absence, follows...