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Movie Reviews

This category contains 287 posts

Movie review: “Ghost in the Shell”

As emotionless and robotic as its lead character, the live-action remake of the 1995 cult classic cyberpunk anime Ghost in the Shell is a self-conscious imitation of its predecessor. It takes a few liberties to differentiate from its source material, but the changes are arbitrary and add up to little more than a tiresome origin … Continue reading

Movie review: “Life”

Judging by the non-stop string of failures by Ph.D.s under pressure in Life,  NASA’s employment standards must be slipping. The ratio of horror movie stupidity to real-life common sense in Life is lower than usual, but that still doesn’t prevent the six-person crew of the International Space Station from being consistently outwitted by a space … Continue reading

Movie review: “Beauty and the Beast”

There is arguably more to like than dislike about Bill Condon’s live-action version of Disney’s 1991 animated musical Beauty and the Beast, but there really isn’t much to love about it. It’s a serviceable (read: slavish) adaptation content to coast on the novelty of CGI rather than ink-and-paint animation. The story is the same: After being rude to … Continue reading

Movie review: “Kong: Skull Island”

There are a lot of pretty pictures and pretty actors in Kong: Skull Island, as well as some suitable splashy and occasionally scary set pieces, but there’s also a shallowness to it. It’s less of a slog than Peter Jackson’s tedious 2005 remake of the original, but it’s just as over-populated with stock characters, up to and including … Continue reading

Movie review: “Logan”

With Logan, Hugh Jackman’s tenure as the gruff, haunted, acerbic mutant anti-hero Wolverine comes to an end in with an impressive bang. Director James Mangold and his co-screenwriters Michael Green and Scott Frank send him off with gritty style, and deconstruct the character and the superhero genre while they’re at it. The story is set … Continue reading

Movie review: “The Lego Batman Movie”

Though it’s not as consistently or as unrelentingly hilarious as The Lego Movie, Chris McKay’s comic book spin-off is nevertheless a clever and enjoyable spoof of comic book movies in general, and the Dark Knight in particular. After the morose beat-down that was the ludicrously self-important Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, it’s a much needed … Continue reading

Movie review: “Live by Night”

When Ben Affleck adapted Dennis Lehane’s gritty crime novel Gone Baby  Gone to the big screen in 2007, he established himself as a nascent directing talent and reinvigorated a career that had become a joke. He displayed a vice-like grasp of the material; his grip on Lehane’s pulpy gangster tale Live by Night is depressingly weak. the young … Continue reading

Movie review: “Silence”

Martin Scorsese once said that the two most important things in his life were “my art and my religion.” Nowhere has that been more evident than in Silence, a passion-project in every sense, written and rewritten by Scorsese over the course of 25 years. An intense study on faith, the human condition, and what it … Continue reading

Movie review: “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”

There is indeed life to be found in the Star Wars franchise beyond the saga of the Skywalker clan. Despite being a prequel scandalized by extensive reshoots and featuring nary a Jedi to be found, Rogue One is one of the best Star Wars flicks to date — as well as the grittiest, darkest, and most grounded. … Continue reading

Movie review: “Nocturnal Animals”

Visually stunning, often chilling, and occasionally clunky, fashion designer-turned-filmmaker Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals is a stronger sophomore effort than most. It’s a Texas Gothic crime thriller sutured to a potboiler melodrama about the existential despair of L.A. socialites in a David Lynchian fashion — though with less surrealism and more coherence. Make of that what you will. … Continue reading

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