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Fantastic Fest 2017 Review: THOROUGHBREDS, A Pitch Black Tale of Female Friendship

Olivia Cooke and Anya Taylor-Joy cement their positions as two of the most captivating young actresses working today in Thoroughbreds, a wickedly humorous psychodrama straddling the class divide in small-town Connecticut and exposing the complex malevolence of the adolescent psyche....

Blu-ray Review: Hitchcock's REBECCA, Or Is It Selznick's? New From Criterion

Authorship is a tricky concept in filmmaking. For the last 50 years, serious film critics have debated the nature since the concept of the "auteur" arose from the French critics who would propel the Nouvelle Vague to international attention. These...

Review: IT, The Feel-Good Fright Film of 2017

Director Andrés Muschietti's new adaptation of Stephen King's It is one of the best mainstream horror films in recent memory, and that is no small feat. Over the last few years, we've had a number of solid mid-budget horrors, from...

Venice 2017 Review: MOTHER!, A Masterpiece Straight From Hell

Director Darren Aronofsky has set the 47th Biennale Main Competition alight with an infernal psychological thriller that definitely burns with the fire of his past films Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream. It's perhaps not surprising that mother! is...

Venice 2017 Review: Martin McDonagh Triumphs Again With THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI

In Bruges director Martin McDonagh has laid down what could be the first real winning hand at the 74th Biennale with Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and whilst there's definitely still time for someone else to clinch this year's Golden Lion,...

Venice 2017 Review: SUBURBICON Floats Between Brilliant and Underbaked

The opening sequences of George Clooney's Suburbicon unfold in front of us like an animated book straight from a Cold War infomercial. Set in late 1940s America, these scenes are accompanied by a narrator who cooingly tells us the benefits...

Review: DEATH NOTE, A Boy And His Death God

Live-action versions of animes – especially the Westernized kind – are tough to pull off, and the reason why goes beyond the dreaded “whitewashing”. Rather, there’s a huge cultural barrier to overcome; anime series and TV shows are very, very...

Review: LOGAN LUCKY Races for the Big Score, Finishing Above Average

How lucky are we? I suppose that depends upon how you feel about the work of director Steven Soderbergh. One of the most deliberately eclectic and diverse filmmakers in the history of Hollywood, Soderbergh has seen fit to shift gears...

Review: THE HITMAN'S BODYGUARD Shoots Wide of the Mark

Spoiler: Patrick Hughes' The Hitman's Bodyguard ends with a post-credits stinger in which Ryan Reynolds sits at a bar, waiting for his cue only to be put off by a five-minute church bell song, and ultimately ending with a half-funny...

Review: THE NUT JOB 2: NUTTY BY NATURE, A Nutty Surprise

Everyone loves to be pleasantly surprised by a movie.  What's even better?  Being surprised by being pleasantly surprised by a movie.   There is no known expectation of The Nut Job sequel being any good in any way.  The 2014...

Blu-ray Review: THE BREAKING POINT, Brutal, Merciless Melodrama on Criterion

Remakes are not always bad things. Take, for example, The Breaking Point, based on a novel by Ernest Hemingway. First published in 1937, To Have and Have Not followed the adventures of Harry Morgan, a fishing boat captain in Key...

Blu-ray Review: Criterion Gets LOST IN AMERICA

Swirling, swirling, swirling, all down the drain. Passed over for a promotion -- scratch that -- fired from his job, helplessly watching as all his hopes and dreams go right down the toilet, David Howard has a moment of clarity....

Review: In ATOMIC BLONDE, Charlize Theron Breaks the Glass Ceiling By Punching Through the Berlin Wall

I love a good espionage thriller, and what better setting than the fifty year Cold War between the Western democracies and their deadly enemies in the Communist East? This underground conflict has bred some of the most magnificent films of...

Review: DUNKIRK, Nolan Styles Overwrought War Epic

After a slew of tired franchise entries and superhero tentpoles, the summer finally delivers a truly essential big screen experience. Austere and nerve-racking, Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk is a bold big-screen gamble that employs an experimental structure and little in the...

Review: SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING Comes Home in Fun Style

When is an origin story not an origin story? When super-producer Kevin Feige and his brigade of talent behind the unyielding success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe took the creative reins of Sony's third go at Spider-Man in 15 years,...

Now on Blu-ray: POWER RANGERS Makes For A Mediocre Film, But A Great Disc

When it was announced that the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers was getting a reboot for the cinema, a large portion of geek community let out a collective groan. I was never a big fan of MMPR back in the day,...

Review: BABY DRIVER, Top-Notch Action Mixed With Sheer Fun

Voom voom voom! So begins Edgar Wright's Baby Driver, which finds Ansel Elgort behind the wheel as a getaway driver, rocking out to a song blasting from the buds planted in his ears. In the privacy of his own space,...

Review: WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES Threatens Extinction, While Holding Out a Sliver of Hope

Foiling low-bar expectations, War for the Planet of the Apes takes advantage of its built-in name recognition to create a gloomy, tense atmosphere in which nothing is guaranteed and anything is possible. Strangely enough, the film reminds me of director...

Review: THE BEGUILED, Sofia Coppola's Gorgeous and Campy Romp

Sofia Coppola is a filmmaker whose work I've appreciated from a distance. I know she's a great director, but apart from Marie Antoinette, her stories of rich white people and their troubles has held little interest for me. But as...

Review: ONCE UPON A TIME IN VENICE Makes You Remember Other Times

Today marks the release of a new action comedy with Bruce Willis, and a curious thing it is. Once Upon a Time in Venice sports a truly incredible cast, who are then placed as cartoon characters in a shallow pastiche...