Category Archives: Film Reviews

A place to find all of our film reviews.

“Power Rangers” Film Review: Mighty Morphin Fun That Won’t Ruin Your Childhood

power-rangers-excerptThe adaptation is entertaining and fun enough to pass muster, but doesn’t break any molds. That being said, fans of the original can rest easy knowing that their childhood won’t be tainted by this diverse, edgy, and millenial-grade redux of Saban’s popular spandex-clad franchise.

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George Lazenby Charms in “Becoming Bond”, “Bill Nye: Science Guy” Shows a Different Side of the TV Icon

becoming-bond-excerptThe documentary Becoming Bond takes a refreshing approach to the story of one-and-done 007 actor George Lazenby while Bill Nye: Science Guy gives the iconic TV personality the scientific credit he deserves.

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“Nobodies” Off to a Hilarious Start, “Hot Summer Nights” Delivers Lukewarm ’90s Thrills

nobodies-excerptComedy nerds will love how Nobodies puts an absurd slant on a specific part of the comedy community, while the ’90s-set pic Hot Summer Nights fails to pick a lane when it comes to tone.

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“Mr. Roosevelt” Brings Humor to the Humiliation of Heartbreak

mr-roosevelt-excerptWhatever you do, don’t call Mr. Roosevelt quirky. Thrift shop dresses are quirky. Ironic coffee shop wall art is quirky. This comedy is not. What could have been an ordinary, boilerplate indie rom-com of the SXSW ilk, is a solid feature debut with lively personality and perspective from Noel Wells.

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“Gemini” is a Sleek and Simple Murder Mystery That’s So L.A.

gemini-excerptAaron Katz’s celeb murder mystery gives eerie vibes throughout, but as the film rolls along, the story loosens its grasp on the audience and makes for an ending that is simply satisfying rather than shocking.

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Virus-Induced Violence Makes “Mayhem” Delightfully Infectious

mayhem-excerptA genre mash-up of 28 Days Later, The Raid, and Office Space, Mayhem is a non-stop gnarly ride of tortuous blood-soaked fights driven by rage — and it is unbelievably awesome.

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“Small Crimes” is Hugely Complicated and Moderately Satisfying

small-crimes-excerptEvan Katz tackles very heady material in this pulpy noir and although it entertains (to a certain extent) and is stacked with a phenomenal roster of actors, the film tends to become over-involved and twisted within itself.

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“Atomic Blonde” Is a Bone-Breaking, Action-Packed Espionage ’80s Jamfest

atomic-blonde-excerptFrom beginning to end this is Charlize Theron’s shining moment as an action star. She’s like James Bond, but a lot cooler. Instead of shaken martinis, she guzzles down vodka on eyes and instead of nifty gadgets, she beats guys with everyday items like hoses, hotplates and house keys.

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Jessica Thompson’s Feature Directorial Debut “The Light of the Moon” Is Emotionally Honest and Important

The Light of the Moon ExcerptThe Light of the Moon is a whirlwind of emotions, but one that never treats its subject of sexual assault with anything but sincere honesty and compassion. It’s an important watch, especially for women, and continues to make the case for more female creators in this space.

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“Baby Driver” Asks an Important Question: Is Edgar Wright Incapable of Making a Bad Film?

baby-driver-excerptBetween the Cornetto trilogy and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, writer-director Edgar Wright has never had a bad film in his career — and he’s continuing that streak with his latest project, Baby Driver.

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“Win It All” Is a Fine Film for Joe Swanberg and Jake Johnson Fans

Win It All ExcerptThe latest film from the team of Joe Swanberg and Jake Johnson, Win It All, is a perfectly fine film — good, even, in some regards — but it’s also a safe film.

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“Small Town Crime” Feels Like a Film from Decades Ago — And It Should Have Stayed There

Small Town Crime ExcerptThe new film from Eshom and Ian Nelms, Small Town Crime, feels like it comes exactly out of ’70s Hollywood. Unfortunately, rather than doing anything interesting with the noir crime genre, it simply plays into the same, tired tropes

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There’s a Captivating Film Somewhere in “Song to Song,” But It’s Hard to Find

song-to-song-excerptSomewhere in Terrence Malick’s new film Song to Song there’s a beautiful, poignant, heartbreaking story about women but unfortunately, it’s hard to find in the midst of everything else.

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“Kong: Skull Island” Review: The Refreshing Take on the Iconic Monster is Absolutely Bananas

kong-excerptJordan Vogt-Roberts-directed Kong: Skull Island shoots down all preconceived notions of a “reimagining” and delivers a wildly entertaining adventure that is equal parts action-packed, silly, and fantastically bonkers.

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“Beauty and the Beast” Review: What it Lacks in Magic, It Makes Up For in its Message

beauty-and-the-beast-excerptAlthough a visual marvel, this opulent live-action interpretation of the Disney classic doesn’t capture the magic of the original animated feature. Despite a handful of drawbacks, there is a deeper meaning that can get eclipsed by the ornate fanciness and the movie does a good job of putting it front and center.

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“Table 19” Review: A Sweet, Yet Meandering Love Letter to Wedding Guest D-Listers

table-19-excerptJeffrey Blitz’s dramedy captures the all-to-familiar feeling of “the wedding we don’t want to attend” and the pitiful feeling of being an outcast. The film manages to fish out repressed those “I don’t fit in!” feelings from everyone but is too scattered with multiple half-baked storylines. Its heart is in the right place,but falls a tad bit short in being the charming and cool indie dramedy it wants to be.

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“Get Out” Film Review: The Subversive and Racially-Charged Horror is a Disturbing Delight

get-out-excerptWatching Get Out was like watching an episode of The Twilight Zone or Black Mirror in that it gave us a story that felt fictitious enough to entertain, but real enough to freak us out. Peele cleverly uses the horror genre to craft a film that is a delightfully demented mashup of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? and Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

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“Logan” Film Review: An Epic Superhero Finale That Bleeds With Emotion and Carnage

logan-excerptJames Mangold’s Logan finally gives Jackman an opportunity to spread his claws and partake in all the graphic dismemberment that Wolverine fans deserve and that’s pretty much what diehard fans have been craving for the past decade and a half.

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“Fist Fight” Film Review: Comedy Lands a Couple Good Jabs, But Not a Knockout

fist-fight-excerptFist Fight delivers everything you expect to the point where it is predictable and unimaginative — but you watch it anyway because it has some talented, funny people in it. It feels like the kind of comedy that Hollywood made because they felt like this is exactly what the audiences wanted.

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XX Film Review: A Fierce and Frightening Foursome of Female-Directed Films

xx-excerptThe quartet of films helmed by an all-female crew including Roxanne Benjamin, Jovanka Vuckovic, Karyn Kusama, and musician-turned-director Annie Clark (a.k.a. St. Vincent) deliver four very different kind of scares that, although not pee-in-your-pants terrifying, keep in tradition of the horror anthologies before it.

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Fifty Shades Darker Film Review: The Heaping Pile of Garbage All of Us Wanted

fifty-shades-excerptFifty Shades Darker is the latest serving of the bland relationship adventures of the overwhelmingly basic Anastasia Steele and her painfully dull billionaire beau Christian Grey. As expected, the movie is terrible on all fronts — not “so bad that it’s good” terrible, but “I wish this franchise never existed” terrible.

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A Cure For Wellness Film Review: No Remedy For This Long, Drawn-Out Thriller

cure-excerptAfter being known primarily for the box office spectacle that is the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, it’s refreshing to see Verbinski take a nihilistic and Gothic turn with A Cure For Wellness, but there are too many ideas here and how they are sorted makes the movie a wonderfully art directed mess.

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John Wick: Chapter 2 Film Review: Unapologetically Rougher, Louder, and Wickier

JW2_D35_2333.cr2If you didn’t get enough brutal bone-crushing action and inimitable gunfight choreography in the first John Wick, then John Wick: Chapter 2 will quench that thirst for more violent bloodlust and good ol’ fashioned stone-faced Keanu Reeves acting.

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The Lego Batman Movie Film Review: A Sweet Skewering of the Superhero Genre

lego-batman-excerptAnimated spin-offs tend to work very well and The Lego Batman Movie is no exception. Keeping in spirit with its predecessor, director Chris McKay balances mature wit and child-like silliness to tell a surprisingly heartfelt superhero tale.

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Rings Film Review: An Unsurprisingly Unnecessary Horror Sequel

rings-excerptAfter 12 years, you would think that the world would be ready for another Ring movie. More than that, you would think that would be enough time to develop a juicy story that could build on top of such an iconic franchise — but don’t hold your breath. The world would have been fine without this excruciatingly boring sequel.

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The Space Between Us Film Review: Just Your Average Tale of Intergalactic Teenage Love

space-excerptThe sci-fi romance has the making of a sweet, old-fashioned Disney tale, but lacks another layer of magic and charm to make it a fully effective, well-rounded movie. It has its moments, but it will eventually blend into the late January/early February movie dumping ground.

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Lakeith Stanfield & Nnamdi Asomugha Shine In “Crown Heights”

crown-heights-excerptDirector-writer Matt Ruskin, along with standout performances by Lakeith Stanfield and Nnamdi Asomugha, brings the the gripping and heartbreaking story of a wrongfully accused man in prison and the country’s fractured justice system into the spotlight.

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Jenny Slate Comedy “Landline” Connects in All the Right Places

landline-excerptThe endearing, yet scathingly funny family dramedy reunites the Obvious Child director Gillian Robespierre with star Jenny Slate for story about sisterhood and family dysfunction set to the backdrop of Discmans, dial-up modems, and bodysuits.

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Jack Black Brings Comedic Kitsch to a Tragic Story in “The Polka King”

polka-king-excerptOne would think that a film titled The Polka King would be celebratory and bouncy like the music and the Maya Forbes-directed biopic about Jan “King of Pennsylvania Polka” Lewan definitely has a lot of that. Even so, the true story of the rise and fall of Lewan is quite tragic, but Jack Black drapes it in so much charismatic Polka charm that you hardly even notice.

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Charming Comedy “Wilson” Gives Heart to a Horrible Jerk

wilson-excerptDirector Craig Johnson serves up some major inappropriateness through the vessel that is the great Woody Harrelson, but above all, the indie comedy manages to balance heart and horrible with comedic charm.

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