Category Archives: Film Reviews

A place to find all of our film reviews.

Under the Radar: The Animated Drama “Tehran Taboo” Is Disturbingly Enlightening about the Treatment of Women in Iran

TehranTabooAli Soozandeh’s first film to get a U.S. theatrical release deals with a number of interlocking stories dealing with the antiquated religious beliefs in Iran that hold women back, while male dominance and sexism thrives.

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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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Under the Radar: Sebastián Lelio’s “A Fantastic Woman” Is a Shockingly Tragic yet Timely Chilean Drama Featuring the Amazing Daniela Vega

FantasticWomanBOPDaniela Vega’s amazing performance as a trans woman dealing with grief after the death of her long-time lover is easily one of the best foreign language films in recent memory.

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“Winchester” Review: Tries to be a More Sophisticated Haunted House Movie, Yet Still Relies on Cheap Scares and Overused Clichés

WinchesterExcerpt“It’s hard to believe this can possibly satisfy both the casual horror buff and the more diehard supernatural purist,” says Edward Douglas.

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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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Sundance: Daveed Diggs’ “Blindspotting,” Jordana Spiro’s “Night Comes On” Tackle Heavy and Important Issues

BlindSpottingNightComesOnTwo feature film directorial debuts offer an insightful look into personal and political issues using very different storytelling and filmmaking styles.

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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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“The Commuter” Review: Liam Neeson Looks Embarrassed in This Ridiculous, Predictable “January Movie”

The Commuter ReviewJaume Collet-Serra’s latest action-packed mystery movie is an exercise in wheel-spinning, and by February, it will have dissolved completely, like a snowflake on a tongue,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“Bright” Review: Will Smith’s Fantasy Film Made More “Noise” Than Sense, But That’s All That Matters to Netflix

Bright Drew McWeeny“The things that Ayer gets right in Bright are the tangible details of what it feels like to use magic in the world of the film, and there are some moments that are effective. But overall, it was impossible for me to fully give myself over as a viewer because I had a hard time understanding what the stakes and the rules were,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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Under the Radar: Maysaloun Hamoud’s “In Between” Is a Timely and Topical Film with an Amazing Energy

InBetween1The feature debut from the Palestinian filmmaker looks at three different Arab women living in Tel Aviv and trying to juggle their jobs, romance and faith.

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“Insidious: The Last Key” Review: A Dull Conclusion to the Series that Resorts to the Laziness that Often Accompanies Sequels

Insidious4Review2Edward Douglas calls the latest installment “a wasted opportunity to end on a high note rather than merely petering away.”

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“Hostiles” Review: Writer-Director Scott Cooper Delivers His Most Focused and Uncompromising Film Yet

Hostiles“Christian Bale is one of those actors who can easily tip into self-parody in the wrong role, but when he’s in sync with a filmmaker and the material is there, he can still surprise. He digs deep here, and watching the way he plays the gradual thaw for the protagonist of this Western is powerful,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“All the Money in the World” Review: Ridley Scott Pulls Off a Miraculous Actor Swap, But His Film Still Lacks Warmth

All the Money in the World Review“Mark Wahlberg is completely miscast here, and the weird, vague threat of a romantic subplot involving Gail Harris (Michelle Williams) strikes me as both false and gross considering the circumstances,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“The Greatest Showman” Review: Hugh Jackman’s PT Barnum Musical Strikes Too Many False Notes

The Greatest Showman Review“It’s ironic that two actual Disney Channel stars — Zac Efron and Zendaya — provide the one moment that transcends the sort of shiny, made-for-TV quality that suffuses the rest of the film,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“Downsizing” Review: Matt Damon Is All Wrong for This Hateful, Phony Film From Alexander Payne

Downsizing Review“There’s an ugly heart to Downsizing and an ugly eye shooting it, and the result is dispiriting. For the first time, I feel like the knock against Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor as being condescending and misanthrophic, descriptors that have dogged them from the start, is starting to become immutable truth,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” Review: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart Have Good Comic Chemistry, But Jack Black Steals the Show

Jumanji Review“Much like I would say RoboCop is one of the great comic book movies despite not being based on a real comic book, this might be the best video game movie so far despite not being based on an actual video game,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” Review: Rian Johnson’s Thrilling Entry Represents a Genuine Moment of Growth For the Franchise

The Last Jedi Review“What is clear above all is that Star Wars is in good hands, and that the series retains the ability to both give us what we crave, and surprise us with choices,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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“Phantom Thread” Review: Daniel Day-Lewis Helps Paul Thomas Anderson Find His Voice With This Lush, Disturbing Film

Phantom Thread ReviewPhantom Thread is going to be with me long after the conversations about this year’s awards have faded, and for many viewers, this is going to be a film worth an obsession as focused as the one shared by its main characters,” writes Drew McWeeny.

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