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Movie review: ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’

We are now four movies into Michael Bay’s mind-numbing franchise, and there is very little left to say about the series that hasn’t been said already. The sequels have always been a monotonous rehash of the original robo-slugfest, and Transformers: Age of Extinction only offers the same thing, and more of it — literally, given … Continue reading

Movie review: ‘Snowpiercer’

Adapted from Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette’s obscure 1982 graphic novel Le Transperceneige by South Korean writer-director Joon-ho Bong, the politically charged Snowpiercer is a heady mix of art house and megaplex mainstream, beauty and brutality, that rates as one of the best dystopian allegories since George Orwell’s 1984. Or, to put it in less pretentious terms, it’s like Metropolis on a train, … Continue reading

Movie review: ‘The Rover’

Writer-director David Michôd’s spare tale of hard-scrabble life, brutal and sudden death, and alienation in a collapsed Australia is as frustrating as it is fascinating. On one hand it’s an ugly, evocative, and deliberately paced road movie that plays out like the Mad Max movies filtered through the works of Cormac McCarthy; on the other it’s so … Continue reading

Movie review: ‘Jersey Boys’

The break-out success of the jukebox musical Jersey Boys pretty much guaranteed the inevitable film adaptation; however, said spin-off not only fails to adequately compensate for the schmaltz, it exacerbates it with some truly bland, derivative film-making. It’s as if director Clint Eastwood set out to dramatize the most boring episode of VH1’s Behind the Music … Continue reading

Movie review: ‘The Signal’

A victim of its own lofty ambitions, William and Carlyle Eubanks’ The Signal is a visual impressively, occasionally inspired,  and thoroughly surreal science fiction thriller that often stumbles under the weight of self-consciousness. It’s also a nicely stitched-together pastiche of genres, starting off as a college-kids road movie, veering briefly into Blair Witch country on the … Continue reading

Movie review: ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’

It’s a rare sequel — animated or otherwise — that expands the story of its predecessor without rehashing it, and an even rarer family-oriented film that manages to be fun and mature without being condescending to its audience. How to Train Your Dragon 2 does both. Set five years after the first movie, a clunky prologue … Continue reading

Movie review: ‘Edge of Tomorrow’

Doug Liman had dropped the radar as a filmmaker for most of the past decade, but with the surprisingly smart and suitably bombastic science fiction thriller Edge of Tomorrow, he pops back up with more of the high-concept action beats and character development that made The Bourne Identity and Mr. and Mrs. Smith so much fun. More importantly, Liman takes … Continue reading

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