Review: EMANCIPATION, Brutal Action Filmmaking, Anguished Will Smith

In an alternate, presumably better timeline, Will Smith’s long-expected Oscar win this past spring would not have involved the Slap heard and seen around the world. Instead, Smith would have ignored Chris Rock’s distasteful joke at Jada Pinkett-Smith’s expense, accepted...

Review: VIOLENT NIGHT, Die Hard With a Christmas Vengeance

On an event-free morning, afternoon, or possibly evening, longtime friends, high-school classmates, and screenwriting partners Pat Casey and Josh Miller (Sonic the Hedgehog I and II) turned to each other and simultaneously said: “What if Die Hard … but with...

Review: NANNY, Enthralling, Unsettling Immigrant Horror

Nanny, writer-director Nikyatu Jusu's impressively-imagined, impressively crafted feature-length debut, brilliantly explores one aspect of the the 21st-century immigrant experience that's too often left either unexamined or under-examined on film, TV, and cable. Wrapped inside cleverly executed supernatural/horror genre tropes with...

Review: WEDNESDAY, A Showcase for Jenny Ortega's Considerable Talents

Since New Jersey-born cartoonist Charles Addams’s eponymously named family made the jump from comics to television in 1964 (the brilliantly morbid, short-lived series lives on via syndicated perpetuity), the Addams Family has returned periodically in animated and non-animated form since,...

Review: STRANGE WORLD, Top-Notch World-Building, A-Level Animation

For Strange World, its 61st feature-length animated film in its 85-year-old history, Disney Animation Studios tapped veteran animator Don Hall (Raya and the Last Dragon, Moana, Big Hero 6) and playwright-turned-screenwriter Qui Nguyen (Raya and the Last Dragon), the former to...

Review: GLASS ONION - A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY, Daniel Craig's Super-Sleuth Takes on the One Percent (Again)

Over the last several weeks, the cult of personality centered on onetime tech “genius” (and billionaire) Elon Musk suffered a major setback, a self-inflicted wound that threatened to take down one of the largest, most popular social media platforms. Beware,...

Review: GUILLERMO DEL TORO'S PINOCCHIO, Stunningly Realized Stop-Motion Animation

There’s a moment in the stunningly realized Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio where the familiar title character (winningly voiced by Gregory Mann), newly granted a semblance of animated life by a compassionate supernatural spirit, attempts to greet his new “father,” Geppetto...

Review: BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER, A Celebration of Legacies Real and Imaginary

The tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman, a generational talent hitting just the prime of what should have been a decades-long, award-filled acting career, in the summer of 2020 came as a devastating blow to many, especially during a year filled...

Review: NEXT EXIT, A Life After Death (After Life) Road Romance

In writer-director Mali Elfman’s feature-length debut, Next Exit, the world as we’ve come to know it doesn’t end with a bang or even a whimper, but on the society-upending revelation that ghosts do, in fact, exist and thus, so does...

Review: GIRL AT THE WINDOW, A Down Under REAR WINDOW

A Down Under Rear Window clone by way of '80s slashers and Ozploitation chillers of the late 20th century, Girl at the Window promises far more than it eventually delivers. It begins with a positively nightmare-fueling scene involving a supremely...

Review: GUILLERMO DEL TORO'S CABINET OF CURIOSITIES, Superlative Horror in an Anthology Format

Despite winning a Best Director Oscar five years ago for The Shape of Water — what many filmmakers would consider the culmination of their artistic careers — Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth, The Devil's Backbone, Cronos) shows little, if any,...

Review: V/H/S/99, Venerable Horror Anthology Returns With a Better-Than-Average Entry

After almost a decade of inactivity, the V/H/S franchise, a long-running horror anthology series initially inspired by the then-nascent found-footage format, returned last year with an all-new entry, V/H/S/99, filled with multiple stories of varying lengths and quality, the usual...

Review: BLACK ADAM, DC's Pre-Modern Anti-Hero Gets the Big-Screen Treatment

After development-related delays stretching back more than a decade, Black Adam, Dwayne Johnson’s belated addition to Warner Bros.'s vaguely defined, loosely connected DCEU (DC Extended Universe), arrives in multiplexes with a mix of anticipation and dread, the former due to...

Review: ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT, Timely Adaptation of the Anti-War Classic

Released to popular and critical acclaim abroud and public dissension at home, All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque’s groundbreaking, 1929 anti-war novel, broke new ground, taking an audicious, bold, anti-war stance during an era where any criticism...

Review: DARK GLASSES, A Master of Horror Returns to the Sub-Genre He Defined

After a decade-long hiatus from filmmaking, horror auteur Dario Argento (Inferno, Suspiria, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage)  has returned with his latest film, Dark Glasses (Occhiali neri), a modest, occasionally middling riff on the giallo sub-genre he helped define...

Review: AMSTERDAM, A Disappointing Misfire By Any Other Name

Despite a cast overflowing with recognizable brand names, including three Oscar winners in Christian Bale, Rami Malek, and Robert De Niro, past or future Oscar nominees in Margot Robbie, Andrea Riseborough, and Anya Taylor-Joy (among several others), David O. Russell’s...

Review: DON'T WORRY DARLING, Harry Styles Over Substance

There’s a moment in Don’t Worry Darling, Olivia Wilde’s (Booksmart) second film as director, where the blandly named Jack Chambers (pop-singer-turned-actor Harry Styles) jumps onto a stage with a backing band to dance joylessly at the behest of the singularly...

Review: THE SILENT TWINS, A Tale of Two Sisters

A tale of two sisters and two halves, The Silent Twins, directed by celebrated Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Smoczynska (Fugue, The Lure, Viva Maria!) from Andrea Seigel’s (Handsome, Laggies) adaptation of Marjorie Wallace’s 1986 book of the same name, centers on...

Review: CONFESS, FLETCH, Jon Hamm Finally Gets A Well-Deserved Starring Vehicle

Nothing, not even a decades-old, two-film series that started strongly with a much beloved, commercially successful entry in the mid-‘80s and ended abruptly four years later with a justifiably rejected and ignored sequel, will languish in development hell indefinitely. That's...

Review: SEE HOW THEY RUN, Meta-Mystery-Comedy Soars on Saoirse Ronan's Performance

Over the last half-decade, Agatha Christie, one of the the 20th-century’s most prolific, popular writers, has seen something of a resurgence in interest in her work. Beginning with Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express in 2017,...