Author Archives: Drew McWeeny

“Rampage” Review: The Rock Fights a Giant Alligator, So the Future of Movies Is In Good Hands

DwayneJohnsonRampage“When you make a giant monster movie called Rampage there are two things I expect from your finished film. First, giant monsters. Second, some rampagin’. The contract has been fulfilled,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“A Quiet Place” Review: Silence Is Golden But Communication Is Key In This Expertly Crafted Scare Machine Starring Emily Blunt

AQuietPlaceBlunt“The end result of the collaboration between director John Krasinski and his co-writers Scott Beck and Bryan Woods is a terrific, broadly entertaining movie that manages to squeeze every bit of possible suspense out of its setting. It is a thrilling communal experience,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“Blockers” Review: Progressive Comedy Is Being Sold on Raunchy Gags, But It’s At Its Best When It’s Honest About Love and Sex

Geraldine Blockers“Geraldine Viswanathan plays the daughter of John Cena and Sarayu Blue, and she’s a winning lead, a smart vivacious kid who is up for a night of experimentation and boundary-breaking. It’s a refreshing character, made even more refreshing because Viswanathan is not the conventional face of teen comedy,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“Ready Player One” Review: Lifelong Gamer Steven Spielberg Has a Blast Using Nostalgia to Deliver a Personal Film Packed With Visual Wonder

RPO“There’s one sequence here that Spielberg to pay tribute to not one but two artists he adores, and he recreates a specific film to such a startling degree that it made me dizzy. It is stunning work, and even now, a few days later, I can’t really believe what I saw. That’s one reason I consider Spielberg the greatest commercial filmmaker of all time,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“Unsane” Review: Steven Soderbergh’s Average, All Too Familiar Thriller Doesn’t Know What to Do With the Anxiety It Creates

Unsane Review“It’s good to see Joshua Leonard doing this kind of work, and I hope other filmmakers give him more to do in the future, but because Unsane offers so few kinks or twists, he’s trapped playing a pretty one-note version of this kind of character,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“Pacific Rim: Uprising” Review: Uneven Sequel Starring John Boyega Falls Into Typical Trap of “More and Louder”

Pacific Rim Uprising“Boyega’s a great model for the 21st century reluctant hero, but the film keeps trying to strike romantic sparks between his hero and non-character Jules (Adria Arjona) as part of a romantic triangle with Scott Eastwood’s character, and it’s a dud,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“Tomb Raider” Review: Alicia Vikander Delivers as a More Vulnerable Lara Croft, But Her Quest Needs Some Work

Tomb Raider Review“The script by Geneva Robertson-Dworet & Alastair Siddons is largely functional, built with a sort of A-B-C plodding literal-mindedness that never really swept me away like a great adventure movie can, but there are some good choices in the film — including its leading lady,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“Isle of Dogs” Review: Wes Anderson Returns to the Animated Realm for Another Delightful Offering

IsleOfDogsReview3Drew McWeeny says that Wes Anderson’s latest is “brimming over with love and a sly sense of play that makes it one of the most instantly enjoyable of Anderson’s films.”

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“A Wrinkle in Time” Review: Ava DuVernay’s Ambitious Sci-Fi Movie Proves Frustrating Despite Its Terrific Young Lead

A Wrinkle in Time Review“There’s a visual ambition here that I found striking, but not every book makes an easy translation to the screen. I want to see filmmakers subvert and challenge the status quo even as they make Disney blockbusters, and if the results don’t quite connect, at least we see new voices dreaming big in new ways,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“Death Wish” Review: Eli Roth’s Remake Might Arouse Donald Trump, But It Adds Nothing to the Gun Violence Conversation

Death Wish Review“I’m not sure what to make of Bruce Willis as an actor these days. This is a weird performance, full-stop. Not good. Not bad. Weird. Willis hasn’t been seen in a theatrical lead role since 2013, and he’s oddly inexpressive these days,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“The Ritual” Review: David Bruckner’s Disturbing Monster Movie Stands Out Among Netflix Originals

The Ritual ReviewThe Ritual won’t surprise fans of the genre by breaking some rich new narrative ground, but it may surprise them in terms of how controlled and rewarding it is by the end,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“Mute” Review: Story Problems Stifle Duncan Jones’ Sci-Fi Film, Which Tests the Limits of Alexander Skarsgård’s Range

Mute Review“There are actually two movies unfolding side-by-side here, and one of those stories is more interesting than the other. There’s a lot of good work in Mute, but my biggest problem with the film has to do with the way those stories finally come together,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“Annihilation” Review: Alex Garland Delivers an Essential, Visceral, Adult Sci-Fi Experience… Again

Annihilation Review“It’s harrowing and beautiful and oddly emotional, but I also get it if someone doesn’t get the same thing out of that final act. Garland took a big swing here, and it’s hard to complain about Paramount’s choice to let the director keep his vision for the film intact,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“Game Night” Review: A Genuinely Enjoyable Comedy Featuring a Fun Ensemble Cast and Stylish Direction

Game Night Review“Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams are enormously likable on their own, but paired, they are exponentially more so. She tempers some of his sarcastic edge, while he brings out a sharper side of her, and the combination proves quite winning,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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Dear Quentin, We’ve Found Your Charles Manson, And His Name Is Robert Pattinson (Opinion)

Robert Pattinson Charles Manson Tarantino“He’s got the charisma. He’s got the right kind of cold intelligence. And, man… he’s got the eyes. There is a casually terrifying distance in the way Pattinson can look at someone, something he uses repeatedly in Good Time, that leaves you wondering if you’re safe or not,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“Red Sparrow” Review: Russian Spy Film Is Too Slight to Stick, But It’s Perfectly Tailored for Jennifer Lawrence

Red Sparrow Review Jennifer Lawrence“Considering how much of the film is about the power built into any sexual exchange, it’s interesting to see how Francis Lawrence avoids the easy ‘male gaze’ traps of the genre. The film doesn’t feel like it’s objectifying its star, who clearly shares a certain trust with her director,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“Black Panther” Review: A Thrilling Fantasy-Adventure That Packs Several Blockbusters into One

black panther“Simply put, Black Panther is a thrilling fantasy-adventure with a vivid new palette, a superhero film that manages to feel like it packs in about eight different types of modern blockbusters into one big sprawling introduction to a world that is so big that it feels like the screen’s barely able to hold it all,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“The Cloverfield Paradox” Review: A Silly Movie That Pretends to Be Serious

cloverfield 3“Once again, Netflix has spun gold out of creating a cultural disruption, and the movie at the center of the commotion almost doesn’t matter.,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“Damsel” Review: Robert Pattinson and Mia Wasikowska Are Terrific in This Charming, Smart Commentary on Gender Roles

Damsel Review “The latest film from the Zellner brothers is slight and sweet and funny, but it manages to offer some really smart observations on the way men attach themselves to the idea of a woman rather than the actual woman,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“Hereditary” Review: A24’s Sundance Sensation Will Scare the Shit Out of You, Even If It Doesn’t Fully Add Up

Hereditary Review“Even if I don’t think Hereditary totally works in terms of what story gets told, the storytelling is commanding. As an experience, this was exactly what I look for from a Sundance midnight movie — a creepy exercise in control that sends the audience uneasily out into the frozen dark,” writes noted horror buff Drew McWeeny.

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“Tully” Review: Sundance Scores With Secret Screening Starring a Terrific Charlize Theron

Tully Review“Director Jason Reitman has become a punching bag for some critics, and unfairly. He’s had an uneven career, but it’s clear that the material he makes is material that speaks to him in a personal way… and I love that he seems to be willing to let his leads be terribly flawed without judging them,” writes Drew McWeeny

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“Three Identical Strangers” Review: An Intense Emotional Ride About Triplets Separated at Birth

Three Identical Strangers Review“While I think this film will play for every audience, and I think it’s one of the best overall movies I’ve seen at the festival this year, there is little doubt that being adopted made this a very uncomfortable emotional experience for me, and a personal one,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“Lords of Chaos” Review: Jonas Åkerlund Gives Authentic Edge to Shocking True Story of Death Metal Band Mayhem

Lords of Chaos Review“Emory Cohen has given several ‘good’ performances before now in films like Brooklyn and The Place Beyond The Pines, but I think it’s safe to say his turn here as Varg Vikernes is his first ‘great’ performance,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“Burden” Review: Garrett Hedlund Is Very Good in Andrew Heckler’s Well-Meaning But Dishonest KKK Drama

Burden Review“Andrea Riseborough is great and Forest Whitaker is strong as a man of faith, but while Tom Wilkinson is good at conveying malice, he’s got that “English actor doing a Southern accent” accent that’s not really the right accent, but rather a weird approximation of it,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“Revenge” Review: Director Coralie Fargeat Announces Herself as the Real Deal With Her Blood-Soaked First Feature

Revenge Review“This is as much a “movie movie” as something like Evil Dead II, and I don’t make that comparison lightly. By the time star Matilda Lutz assumes her final form in this film, she is as iconic in her way as Ash was with his chainsaw hand,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“The Tale” Review: Laura Dern Delivers in This Emotionally Powerful, Deeply Disturbing Drama

The Tale Review“I think this is a brave film precisely because it’s not about someone doing every single thing right. It’s not about someone who perfectly handles something. It’s messy. It’s frustrating. And, yeah, when it’s very good, it’s great. And important. And insightful,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“Juliet, Naked” Review: The Nick Hornby Genre Is Alive and Well Thanks to a Strong Cast Led by Rose Byrne

Juliet, Naked Review“Director Jesse Peretz seems to be growing as a filmmaker, and he’s got such a solid foundation in the form of the script by Tamara Jenkins and Jim Taylor that it gives him plenty of room to work,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“Mandy” Review: Nicolas Cage’s Deranged Revenge Thriller Is Lush and Gorgeous, Even at Its Ugliest

Mandy ReviewDirector Panos Cosmatos and his co-writer Aaron Stewart-Ahn absolutely know what movie they’re making, and they are after something that draws together all of the various things that have influenced them in a way that is personal and authentic, and not just about what looks cool,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Review: Mr. Rogers Documentary Arrives at a Critical Time for Common Decency

Won't You Be My Neighbor ReviewMr. Rogers’ Neighborhood remains one of the definitive works of art in any medium about the way childhood imagination works,” writes Drew McWeeny, who said the emotional film “broke” him.

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“Den of Thieves” Review: Gerard Butler’s Ugly, Childish Heist Movie Rips Off “Heat” and “The Usual Suspects”

Den of Thieves Review“This irresponsible trash is an inauspicious debut for director Christian Gudegast, who will have to try harder if he ever hopes to have anything to actually say,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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