Browsing all articles in Reviews.

The Lost City of Z

The Lost City of Z 

* * * How turn of the century British army officer ended up missing in the Amazon two decades later is the mystery of James Gray’s The Lost City of Z, an enigma of a movie that manages a unique paradox—it absorbs us even while it suspends us in a state of detachment. In telling […]

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The Zookeeper’s Wife

The Zookeeper’s Wife 

* * * 1/2 The primary reason to see The Zookeeper’s Wife—and it’s a good one—is a moving performance from Jessica Chastain as real-life World War II heroine Antonina Zabinska, proprietor of the Warsaw Zoo and savior of more than 300 Jews rescued from the Warsaw Ghetto and hidden in her basement while Nazis infiltrated […]

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The Fate of the Furious

The Fate of the Furious 

*** You could do a lot worse for popcorn entertainment than the absurdly over-the-top—and intentionally so—The Fate of the Furious, the latest installment in the franchise that started as a muscle car (and muscle star) B-movie about 15 years ago and has now become a huge Hollywood action franchise (that remains a B-movie; funny, that). […]

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Colossal

Colossal 

**** Highly original, fun, dark and even a bit scary, Colossal knows a thing or two about modern relationships, rock bottoms, the male ego and even Japanese Kaiju movies. In what may turn out to be the year’s most original film, writer-director Nacho Vigalondo and producer-star Anne Hathaway deliver a daring movie that confounds genres, […]

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Life

Life 

*** Say what you will about Life—that’s it’s a knock-off, a B-movie, whatever—but you might also say that it’s tautly directed, well-acted and most importantly, has a creature that is truly scary. That’s not an easy thing to do in today’s CGI-infested landscape, but it works here, and it’s about all that is required. The […]

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Personal Shopper

Personal Shopper 

***1/2 Olivier Assays’ startling new character study, Personal Shopper, is a movie about loss and guilt and identity, enervated by a terrific Kristen Stewart. It’s also an offbeat ghost story that subverts genre to get at something deeper, and more mysterious. Their first collaboration together, Clouds of Sils Maria, found Stewart as a no-nonsense personal […]

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Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast 

* * * 1/2 Magical, winning and transporting, Bill Condon’s live-action adaptation of the famous “tale as old as time” is a complete success on all counts. Beauty and the Beast looks great, sounds great and generates real enchantment. What’s not to like? It’s been 26-years since Disney’s now legendary version became the first animated […]

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Raw

Raw 

* * * * Descent into insanity or embrace of true nature? The audacious, outrageous French horror film Raw is as unsettling as movies come, a full-blooded freak show with patently serious psychological currents, convicted performances and a lot on its mind about its uncomfortable constitution of feminism, sex, body horror and self-actualization. First time […]

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Get Out

Get Out 

* * * 1/2 Jordan Peele’s debut feature Get Out is the first terrific commercial movie of 2017, a smart, inventive and consistently surprising social critique disguised as a commercial horror film that both provokes and entertains in equal measures. It’s been nearly fifty years since Stanley Kramer’s Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner examined similar territory, Katherine […]

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A Cure for Wellness

A Cure for Wellness 

** An exercise in cinematography and art direction—and little else—by director Gore Verbinski, A Cure for Wellness is an early candidate for Bloated Movie of the Year. A miscalculation that thinks it’s bold and inventive but is actually labored and routine, with an unconvincing lead performance from star Dane DeHaan, the picture generates little interest […]

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