Archives

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Review

The second film in the “Fantastic Beasts” series, “The Crimes of Grindelwald” gives us a clearer sense of where “Harry Potter” author-turned-screenwriter J.K. Rowling intends to go with this supposed five-film prequel arc. The first installment, 2016’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” took us to a whole new corner of Rowling’s universe – […]

read more

Green Book Review

We have no shortage of challenging/feel-good educational films about the Civil Rights era and Jim Crow South. That puts “Green Book” in the position to prove its salt, and while it doesn’t necessary exceed the accomplishments of the prestige films of its ilk, it does enough to belong in the conversation among this frequented sub-genre’s […]

read more

Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench Review

Damien Chazelle’s debut feels somewhere between a Jim Jarmusch indie and an Astaire-Roger musical. Here’s a filmmaker with a deep love of the movie musical trying to make it work on a shoestring budget. The musical genre begs for rich production, so Chazelle tries to circumvent it with a nontraditional script; the central relationship is […]

read more

Eighth Grade Review

You’ve never experienced your middle school years thrown back at you with the same acne-covered-skin-crawling authenticity as Bo Burnham’s “Eighth Grade.” Maybe the film’s insane relatability factor doesn’t climb up to the oldest-living branches on our family trees, but awkward is awkward whether you’re a digital native or walked five miles in the snow to […]

read more

Incredibles 2 Review

Sometimes more of the same is a good thing. “Incredibles 2” feels like it could’ve come out a week after “The Incredibles” was released in 2004, but Pixar just decided to hang on to it for 14 years. It presents as “the next episode” and that consistency counts.

read more

Leave No Trace Review

The fast-paced technology-driven world we live in is reason enough for filmmakers to gravitate to stories of detachment. There’s strong thematic appeal in characters not only stripping themselves of these dependencies, but also completely removing themselves from society. Yet that’s not what director Debra Granik appears to be after in “Leave No Trace” despite that […]

read more

Pitch Perfect 2 Review

The surest way to ruin a great, original comedy is to give it a sequel. Fortunately, in all the ways that “Pitch Perfect 2” is pointless, it’s equally harmless. The movie knows it’s a studio cash-grab, and the effort behind it shows, but the care-free attitude from the onset also appropriately lowers expectations.

read more

Sorry to Bother You Review

To blend in or stick out; to speak up against injustice or ignore it; to prioritize one’s self or put the needs of the community ahead of our own — these are choices we make every day with little thought to the consequences. But Boots Riley makes us think long and hard about them in […]

read more

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Review

Maybe it wasn’t impossible, but in 2011 it seemed highly likely that the aging Tom Cruise and the “Mission: Impossible” series could keep going after three films spanning 10 years (and all earning merely “decent” marks). Then “Ghost Protocol” hit theaters and made doubters bite their tongues. That being the case, “Rogue Nation” keeps those […]

read more

Mission: Impossible – Fallout Review

The majority of today’s big blockbusters lean on gratuitous levels of digital effects and apocalyptic levels of conflict in which the world—nay, the universe—hangs in the balance. The heroes are impervious, the villains all-powerful and the action so detached from reality (and physics) that we leave the theater jaded. Meanwhile, the “Mission: Impossible” franchise, now […]

read more

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Review

It’s incredible to think that “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” was broadcast to family television sets for three decades. Multiple generations of children were charmed by Fred Rogers’ leisurely musical demeanor, abounding love and positivity and belief in the power of make-believe. “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” celebrates Rogers’ life, career and moral framework in an extremely […]

read more

The Disaster Artist Review

A feature film about the making of a cult movie (in this case, a horrible movie) has a unique challenge: How do you honor the movie’s cult status, while also being honest about it? “The Disaster Artist” tries to straddle being a comedic homage to the making of “The Room,” one of the most infamous […]

read more

Deadpool 2 Review

Hilarious movies don’t often lead to hilarious sequels, but the R-rated, tongue-in-cheek fourth-wall-breaking approach “Deadpool” brought to the superhero genre in 2016 seemed like the kind that could have legs – and indeed it does. (That will be funny once you’ve seen “Deadpool 2.”)

read more

Solo Review

Just how far is the “galaxy far, far away” expanding? “Solo,” the second “A Star Wars Story” after 2016’s “Rogue One” gives us more of a hint as to how Lucasfilm and Disney view this beloved franchise beyond its main stories, and so far, their intent appears to be to keep things on course, or […]

read more

Coco Review

Known for imagination and creativity, Pixar has transported audiences of all ages to astonishing cinematic worlds with nearly every film on its resume. “Coco,” inspired by Mexican culture and the aesthetic of Dia de Muertos – the “Day of the Dead” holiday – is another gem in its crown, a six-year passion project stunningly realized, […]

read more