Movies & Films

Reviews of both new release and older movies & films.

Crazy Rich Asians Is the Rom-Com We’ve Been Waiting For

Let it be known that I’m generally not into romantic comedies. I’m usually the one who rolls her eyes when Attractive Person A stares into the irises of Attractive Person B for an excruciatingly long period of time. However, there comes a time when a girl finds that one show or movie or book that makes her realize that it’s not romance she hates—it’s the way it’s written. Crazy Rich Asians isn’t the first to make me have this...

Never Goin’ Back Goes Nowhere Fast

The best that can be said of the indie comedy Never Goin’ Back is that it’s a far more believable version of Two Broke Girls. Whereas that sitcom presented a female duo too lucky and plucky in New York City to be considered poor and struggling, this film’s two leads fit a more realistic profile of lower-class teenagers in a retail wasteland of south Texas. They can barely make rent or utilities, have the most destructive of roommates, and...

In Puzzle, Drama and Reflection Fit Together

It would seem like a challenge to piece together a thoughtful and engaging film around the quietest of games—something more entertaining to do yourself than to watch. But in Puzzle, director Marc Turtletaub manages to find a dramatic tale to weave around the game itself without turning puzzles into a set dressing for an indie drama of rediscovering passion and purpose. He knows that the game itself has a more contemplative edge and lets the audience enjoy that sense of reflection...

The Meg Takes a Bite Out of Summer

You have to have admire the pecularily Hollywood kind of confidence it takes to make a large-budget shark movie these days. I mean, there are plenty of ferocious predecessors that are really, really good (Jaws, Open Water, The Shallows) and the countless more that are not much better than lukewarm chum (looking at SyFy and a certain movie about tornadoes). So, if you try to make a good movie, the bar is pretty high, and if you are shooting for...

Teen Titans Go to the Movies with Goofs, References, and Childish Glee

If the DC Extended Universe is the snobby student shooting rickety rockets to the moon, the animated Teen Titans is the silly troublemaker shooting spitballs at the blackboard. It aims low with its farts and obnoxious body motions, but it’s hard to not snicker at a film so simultaneously smart with its satire of superheroes and daring enough to continuously use the word “poop.” Sure, that’s childish humor, but look at the film’s target demographic here. Adults have had...

The Satirical, Surreal, and Psychotic Ride of Bruce LaBruce’s The Misandrists

There’s an alluring craziness in The Misandrists that refuses to let itself be pegged as a feminist fantasy or satire, existing in a transmundane state of a chaotic gender war. It’s a cage rattler of a film that doesn’t so much want to make a point as it wants to shock and awe in its surreal dance of lesbianism, the violent revolution of the sexes, and penis mutilation. The easiest way to describe it is what would happen if John...

Ant-Man and the Wasp Brings Some Much-Needed Levity Back to the Marvel Universe

After the bitter storm that was Avengers: Infinity War, the return of Ant-Man is a charming diversion of classic superheroism. The hero may not have as complex of a moral dilemma in his desire to do good, nor do his villains have all that grand a scheme to make them unique. But there’s a clear motive of fun here, and a heart that beats with family bliss throughout. Not all of it sticks, and it may take an easier...

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Is a Tumbling Sequel

It’s almost fitting that Jeff Goldblum’s character, Dr. Ian Malcolm, begins this movie with his usual warnings about man toying with dino DNA. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve quoted his classic line: “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” That statement sadly applies to Fallen Kingdom, the Jurassic World sequel about not learning from previous mistakes that unfortunately still hasn’t learned from Jurassic Park’s...

Incredibles 2 Is Exactly How to Do a Sequel

Fourteen years. Not that I was counting or anything. And I’m being honest: I wasn’t. I’ve been burned by those waiting-for-over-a-decade releases before. (Generally it’s video games, because yes, I had the collector’s edition of Duke Nukem Forever preordered, y’all.) That, and while I adored the original Incredibles, I wasn’t praying to the sequel gods and goddesses for a part two. But here we are, 14 years later, with a part two. And, well, I’m really trying to resist...

Hotel Artemis Brings the Style and Action

In 2016, the world bore witness to Suicide Squad: DC’s attempt at giving us a movie where we root for the villains. It was . . . interesting. (The word my partner’s mother uses when she’s being too Minnesota nice to say, “I don’t like this thing at all.”) I bring this up because Hotel Artemis is another attempt to make us cheer for all things evil—but, unlike Suicide Squad, it’s a hell of a good time. Have you ever heard...
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