Movies & Films

Reviews of both new release and older movies & films.

American Animals Is a True Crime Too Sloppy for the Screen

American Animals is yet another true crime story that tiptoes into tones of humor and desperation, never finding all the right steps to make that tricky dance. As evident from the trailer’s boasting of the true story, it’s a heist so wildly amateur that the movie seems to be banking on the oddness. This is most evident in the approach of interviewing the real men behind the robbery of a college library who give commentary both comical and regretful....

Solo: A Star Wars Story Beats the Odds

Once upon a time, you could have made the case that a Leia, Luke, or Han preference was something like asking someone if they preferred John or Paul, Eddie or Kurt, or MCU Iron Man or Captain America. Luke (Mark Hamill) was the naive idealist drawn to adventure and the promise of the galaxy. Leia (Carrie Fisher) was the accomplished politician with privilege and principles. Han (Harrison Ford) was the cynical realist who was certainly a rebel with his...

Deadpool 2 Isn’t Groundbreaking, but It Brings the Mayhem and the Fun

After Thanos snapped his fingers and turned our collective hearts into dust in Avengers: Infinity War, it’s time for something a bit more lighthearted. This time, Josh Brolin only wants to kill one person, not half the universe. He’s also significantly less purple but still has a bit of a hard-on for time travel. I gotta ask: has anyone checked on Josh lately? Does he need a hug? Because he’s out here causin’ all kinds of chaos, and it...

Godard Mon Amour Portrays the Famed Director through a Distant Lens

In directing a biopic on the legendary filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, director Michel Hazanavicius chose the trickiest sections of his subject’s life to dissect. It is the moment where politics overtake filmmaking, where the passionate old fool struggles to step in and out of the cultural revolution, depending on who he can appease and how he can ascend the moral mountain. Godard Mon Amour is a film that more dances around Godard and his style than peer in depth into...

Kings Is a Mismatched Battle Between Drama and Comedy

This article includes spoilers for Kings. I’m struggling to fully grasp what Deniz Gamze Ergüven was going for with her film centering around the Rodney King riots. My best guess is that she wanted to create an all-encompassing aspect of the chaos, brimming with rage, love, and euphoric release. This may make Kings sound like most ambitious of stagings for a period when racial tensions ran high, but there’s an amateur vibe to the baffling shifts in tone. One...

Here Is Your Spoiler-Free Avengers: Infinity War Review

The year 2008 was an interesting time for me. Back then, I had grandiose dreams of managing my own GameStop, convinced that writing wasn’t a real job, so there was no point in giving that lofty idea my all. Now, 10 years later, I’m sitting in my home office where I write for a living, trying to figure out how to put together a spoiler-free review for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s magnum opus: Avengers: Infinity War. Don’t worry. There...

Where Is Kyra? Finds Pfeiffer in Fraud and Feud

Michelle Pfeiffer is a much different woman in Where Is Kyra? than many of the roles we’ve seen her in. She spends most of the film in the shadows or concealing her identity within oversized clothing—but when she finally comes out of the darkness, be it for an emotional plea or an affectionate love scene, she shines like a diamond for a role in which she is wrinkled, weary, and a mess. It’s remarkable how Pfeiffer has gone missing within...

Krystal Is a Confounding Comedy That Never Gets off the Ground

There’s a warped little comedy somewhere inside Krystal, but it’s tangled in a seemingly endless strand of distorted twists. It’s as if director William H. Macy tried to incorporate all the madness from his show Shameless and infuse it with an emotional core of a heartwarming romance—laughs and tears do not come of it, only wide mouths and leering eyes that gawk at how such a film manages to fall flat on its face as a dramedy. We’re supposed...

Rampage Is Exactly What You’re Expecting

When I saw the preview to Rampage, I thought it was quite possibly the dumbest trailer of 2018. But I don’t mean that in a bad way. If you’re familiar with Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson’s body of work, you know that this is like a Tuesday for him. He’s the charismatic king of dumb popcorn flicks, in which he’ll put someone in a choke hold with the “big arm” and survive a catastrophe that no human being should be able...

Isle of Dogs Is Surreal, Quirky, and Full of Wonder

Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs fits snugly into that category of animated films where you’re not sure how they were approved for production but appreciate them all the more for existing. In Anderson’s tradition, it is a gorgeous film full of compelling shots, dry comedy, and a dark story with a whimsical atmosphere. Though delivering on everything I love about one of the director’s productions, it also manages to present one of the strangest and most unorthodox stories—the type...
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