Murder on the Orient Express
Lady Bird
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Disaster Artist

The Disaster Artist

The Disaster Artist 

***1/2 James Franco’s The Disaster Artist is an unexpectedly near-great movie and one of the funniest pictures ever made about the process of making movies. In telling its loopy, endearing tale of ambition minus talent in Hollywood—of which there’s certainly no shortage—it manages to lampoon both moviemaking and the artistic ego, painted as a wistful sort […]

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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 

* * * * Frances McDormand gives an uncompromising performance in Martin McDonough’s blistering Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, a corrosive battle cry of a movie that taps into dual rages—the primal pain of a parent mourning the death of a child and a rising antipathy against incompetent police. It is a movie of immense […]

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Lady Bird

Lady Bird 

* * * * One of the very best movies of 2017, Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird is quite possibly one of the smartest movies ever made about navigating the thorniness of high school, parents and young adulthood. It’s disarmingly funny—maybe funnier than any movie this year—and deeply observed in its depiction of a mother and daughter […]

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Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express 

** 1/2 If you haven’t seen Sidney Lumet’s 1974 version of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express (or read the novel, for that matter), then Kenneth Branagh’s sometimes entertaining new film version may just win you over. It’s a movie with a fine ensemble and enough of a pedigree to satisfy audiences hungry for a […]

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Thank You for Your Service

Thank You for Your Service 

* * * 1/2 The new drama Thank You for Your Service is as powerfully written and acted an examination of the experience war veterans face upon returning home as the movies have seen in ages. It’s also an important one, which sounds perhaps hyperbolic, but it really has something valid on its mind—the drivers […]

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The Killing of a Sacred Deer

The Killing of a Sacred Deer 

* * Cruelty inflicted as much on the audience as its characters, The Killing of a Sacred Deer is an absurdist nightmare, a morality play lacking any trace of recognizable human behavior and a chore to experience once you realize that director Yorgos Lanthimos is playing little more than an elaborate game of mannered chess. […]

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Wonderstruck

Wonderstruck 

* * Todd Haynes’ new picture Wonderstruck, about a pair of deaf children in different time periods making pilgrimages to Manhattan, is a curious disappointment with little cumulative dramatic impact. It strives for magic, wonder and to transport us, but as a story it never delivers liftoff, and feels contrived and aimed at young adults […]

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Goodbye Christopher Robin: Director Simon Curtis on the Origin Story of a Writer, a Boy and a Teddy for the Ages

Goodbye Christopher Robin: Director Simon Curtis on the Origin Story of a Writer, a Boy and a Teddy for the Ages 

While many of us fondly recall Winne-the-Pooh as indelible nostalgia and a collection of some of the most enduring characters in all of children’s literature, far fewer are aware of the story’s bittersweet origins. In director Simon Curtis’ new picture, Goodbye Christopher Robin, an examination of post-war England milieu and the personal dynamics that set […]

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Only the Brave

Only the Brave 

*** 1/2 One of the very best studio movies of the year, Only the Brave is a movie about heroism, family and commitments that breathes life into a familiar movie formula, done here with terrific writing, acting and a genuinely gripping final act. It’s the type of smoothly made, confidently performed Hollywood movie that builds, […]

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The Florida Project

The Florida Project 

*** 1/2 A portrait of childhood as an escape from the hard realities of socioeconomic misfortune and emotionally ill-equipped parents, Sean Baker’s The Florida Project is an observation of a handful of South Florida motel denizens trying their damndest to survive while their children somehow manage to live a happy existence on the periphery of the […]

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