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This tag is associated with 211 posts

Movie review: “Murder on the Orient Express”

A hearty serving of “meh”, actor-director Kenneth Branagh’s workmanlike adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express is diverting, crammed full of strong but unremarkable performances from an impressive ensemble cast, and mercifully short. It’s a fun ride, but there’s not enough steam in this engine for it to develop into anything memorable. However, the … Continue reading

Movie review: “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”

Classical tragedy mixed with moderate sadism and Polanski-ish surrealism, upstart filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos’ latest test of audience endurance plays like Sophie’s Choice by way of the ‘burbs. Don’t let that description be deceptive — it may not be everyone’s proverbial cup of tea. Lanthimos (Dogtooth, The Lobster) builds his bizarre revenge tale around a heart surgeon, … Continue reading

Movie review: “mother!”

When self-styled auteur Darren Aranofsky can astound us when he is focused and operating with at least a little self-restraint. (Case in point: The simple brilliance of The Wrestler.) When allowed to run amok, you get the intense weirdness of Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan. And then there’s mother!. Note the stylized spelling … Continue reading

Movie review: “Detroit”

Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal’s latest collaboration (following The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty) is provocative, infuriating, emotionally exhausting, and entirely timely. Like those previous two films, it utilizes a gritty, no-punches-pulled docu-drama style to explore a brutal war zone — one within America’s own borders. The movie begins with the raid of an illegal … Continue reading

Movie review: “A Ghost Story”

A man dies tragically and returns as a ghost draped in a white sheet with eye holes cut in it, and silently haunts his former spouse and the home they once shared. On the surface, it’s a goofy premise that most filmmakers would play for laughs, schlock, and/or sugary schmaltz of the highest order. However, … Continue reading

Movie review: “Dunkirk”

After 20 years of film-making defined by gritty Batman movies, twisty crime thrillers, and trippy science fiction, Christopher Nolan again re-invents himself with what is on the surface is a gripping war movie, but in actuality an exercise in heightened realism and a memorial to an event that ultimately shaped the world. For the uninitiated, … Continue reading

Movie review: “It Comes at Night”

Writer-director Trey Edward Shults’ (Krisha) sophomore feature won’t do much to re-affirm anyones faith in humanity under pressure, but it will put the screws to the viewer for a lean, nerve-wracking 90 minutes. Don’t be fooled by the trailer — it’s less of a horror movie and more of a slow-burn psychological thriller, a brilliant … Continue reading

Movie review: “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”

Generic sword & sorcery fantasy wrapped in pseudo-Arthurian legend, Guy Ritchie’s ill-conceived, atonal King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is a frustrating and incoherent mess with the occasional flash of brilliance. Granted, it couldn’t have been worse; if it had been, that would have made it more entertaining. This story is a drastic re-imagining of Arthur’s origins, … 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

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