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Movie review: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

One of the most pleasant surprises of a mixed-bag movie summer, Guardians of the Galaxy is something akin to Star Wars on Quaaludes. It’s a tongue firmly in cheek throwback to cheesy ’80s-era B-grade sci-fi movies that is equal parts goofball comedy, cartoony action, and general weirdness. The movie opens with a brief prelude: A young … Continue reading

Movie review: ‘Lucy’

It’s almost impossible to sit through Lucy without pondering what could have been. A ham-fisted fusion of high-concept science fiction and lowbrow action from writer-director Luc Besson, it fails in both categories. It does succeed at being a very, very dumb movie about being very, very smart — for whatever that’s worth. Scarlett Johansson, slumming between … Continue reading

Movie review: ‘Boyhood’

Writer-director and indie darling Richard Linklater has never been one to shy away from unconventional projects; the philosophy primer Waking Life, the ambitious animated science fiction drama A Scanner Darkly, the Before trilogy, and the pseudo-true crime dramedy Bernie all bear the mark of a filmmaker playing with form. Which is why Linklater’s ambitious drama Boyhood is … Continue reading

Movie review: ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’

It’s rare that a sequel or a reboot manages to justify its existence in the megaplex, but Dawn of the Planet of the Apes manages to one-up its progenitor and then some. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2010) was itself a pleasant surprise; granted, expectations were low — most viewers still had the bad … Continue reading

Movie review: ‘Deliver Us from Evil’

A poor man’s The Exorcist grafted to a by-the-numbers police procedural, Scott Derrickson’s Deliver Us from Evil gets more mileage from its hybrid premise than one would expect, by it quickly goes adrift in before coming to rest with an anti-climactic thud of a conclusion. The story is based on the book Beware the Night … Continue reading

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