“Free Fire” is crass escapism with some of the best filmed gunplay in recent memory. If you’re hoping for a little oomph to the plot and characters, outside of witty one-liners, you’ll be disappointed
A perfect gift just in time for Easter, “Gifted” could have easily been a two-hankie made-for-television Lifetime movie. However it rises thanks to the work of the cast
“The Fate of the Furious” is an entertaining distraction, that tragically relies more heavily on its slow storytelling pace, rather than its edge of your seat action
An entertaining comedy that leans on the talent of its stars, “Going in Style” is a fun way to kill 90 minutes in a darkened theatre
If John Carpenter’s creatures, Clive Barker’s perversions and the 80’s Satanic panic bent the laws of nature and had an unholy baby, it’d be “The Void”
It’s glum and tonally frustrating. Was a “Power Rangers” movie ever supposed to be good? No. But it’s not supposed to be this bad.
If you’re looking for a quirky comedy to help your day go by, feel free to spend some time with “Wilson.”
While Kong isn’t all over the film he appears enough to remind you who’s King. The action is intense and the special effects are well done.
The 21st century “Beauty and the Beast” is a lot more melodic and even more visually extravagant without ever being gaudy, and its newfound charm makes it an instant classic for newcomers
At times, “Table 19” is sappy like any love story culminating at a wedding, but sometimes you feel like you’ve shown up to a wedding you don’t want to be at.
“Before I Fall” is a film that is so bad it’s almost insulting to the audience. So many teen movie tropes fill the screen that you almost have to brush them away to see what’s happening.
If “Get Out” is any indication, Peele is not only a refreshing voice for horror, but may have just steered the genre in a completely new direction that’s wildly exciting, scary and ferocious
“The Red Turtle” is not only a stellar animation endeavor, but a soothing delight that reflects the human soul
Like “Loving,” which dealt with interracial marriage in the States, “A United Kingdom” rises above dealing with the same subject thanks to the performances of the film’s stars
“The Girl with All the Gifts” adds some intelligence to the brain dead genre by being more sensitive and curious about the human story developing on screen than it is with making the audience jump in their seats
Packed with wall to wall action, “Logan” is a fitting ending to Hugh Jackman’s association with Wolverine
A sweetly written story about love and the bonds it forms, “My Name is Emily” succeeds in part thanks to a fine cast of young actors
“The Great Wall” can never make up its mind on if it wants to be a serious attempt at a summer blockbuster or fantasy alternative history. It can’t be both and fails at being either one
“Fist Fight” is the result of a script by two first-time feature writers and it shows. Jokes, or what are supposed to be jokes, flow quickly and some hit their mark
Perfectly paced and skillfully cast, “In Dubious Battle” is one of those small films that occasionally see the light of day
Very funny but a little bit all over the place, “The LEGO Batman Movie” is fun for all ages
Wick’s world is noir, retro, and techno all in one cohesive ball. The John Wick franchise is not only a great addition to the action-film catalogue, but a much needed renaissance for the CGI-heavy genre
Do yourself a favor and put as much space as possible between yourself and “The Space Between Us”
When not focused on backstabbing survivalism, “Arbor Demon” peels back layers of its own mythology, touching upon the supernatural elements of nature and it’s deep connection to motherhood
Trespass Against Us can be tonally uneven but boasts enough solid performances and pops of quality car chases to recommend it.
4 Stars. The Founder zips along on the boundless energy that Keaton infuses into Ray Kroc.
“Split” isn’t quite a return to form for Shyamalan, but more of an evolutionary step in his directing and writing
The film does have some problems with its pacing, but the energy jumps up when any of the three female leads are on screen.
“Elle” is an unpredictable journey that explores the psyche of a woman; Not a victim.
“Silence” is not just an intense examination of religion, but it’s a study of societal ethics and personal morality as it relates to history, culture and your community.
Directed with an obvious love for the genre, “Live By Night” is a stylish – man did they know how to dress back then – film that overcomes some obvious errors with a first rate cast.
Outside of its wonderfully distinct style, it’s a deep observation about the power of loss and the capacity of absolute truth. “A Monster Calls” is a soulful metaphor for anyone who’s mature enough and open enough to feel, think and grow
Uplifting, if not a little heavy handed, “Hidden Figures” is based on the true story of three very remarkable women and all three stars make the wise choice of not being stereotypical in their performances
Powerful. That is how I’d best describe “Lion.”
Working with a screenplay by playwright August Wilson, Denzel Washington crafts a fine film as a director, opening up the once stage set drama and giving each actor a place to share their story
Natalie Portman captures every facet of Jacqueline Kennedy. The smiling, laughing young woman and the embittered widow, refusing to change out of her clothes, stained with her husband’s blood
“Passengers” is a movie about a relationship built on selfish lies, stalking and entitlement. It’s attempt at romance and a cutesy happy ending are stomach-turning
Despite its lack of storytelling imagination and original songs, “Sing” is still an adorable movie with an IPod stuck on shuffle soundtrack
“La La Land” is a love letter to a bygone era of cinema and antiquated model of love
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is a fine stand-alone film and one that will have you anticipating “Episode VIII,” which is just a short 367 days away!
Featuring award-worthy performances from its three leads, “Manchester by the Sea,” is the perfect drama to off-set a multiplex full of Bad Santas and Dwayne Johnson.
“Office Christmas Party” isn’t going to become a holiday staple like “Christmas Vacation” or “Bad Santa.” It’s a handful of laughs and short escapism for those who don’t want to watch one of the Oscar hopefuls.
“Nocturnal Animals” delivers a slow reveal that will surely dissatisfy many, while simply turning off others in the first few minutes, but please those who hang with it and scratch beneath the surface.
Both brilliant and breathtaking, “Moana” is sure to be the next Disney classic. The characters are beautifully established and the actors behind them are pitch perfect.
“Bad Santa 2” isn’t a genuine sequel. It’s a greedy studio cash grab in the season of giving.
While “Loving” strikes many emotional chords, I was left with more questions than answers.
This is another in a list of fine performances by Miles Teller, who was so good in last year’s “Whiplash.” Here he captures the ego of Pazienza perfectly, making a man whose boasting should make him unlikable actually become someone to care about.
“Arrival” is a profoundly tragic and beautiful sci-fi movie that transcends its interstellar subject material with an introspective look at what it means to be human
“Christine” is the story of television personality Christine Chubbuck and is an in-depth look into a problem that was either misdiagnosed or just ignored: depression.
Outside of being the most mentally and spiritually stimulating entry into the Marvel movie catalog, “Doctor Strange” features a superhero that prefers brains over brawn.
“Hacksaw Ridge” relies on strong performances and brilliant storytelling to tell the story without being heavy-handed.
I found “Inferno” quite boring at times, wishing I had paid my money to have someone read the book to me, which would have been more exciting than what was happening on screen.
Running over two hours, I felt like it could have been summed up in a one hour MTV special
“American Honey” grew on me, much like a melancholy memory from my youth. I may not have enjoyed the experience at the time, but looking back on it I slowly begin to understand its importance and significance.
Smartly directed, with a nice twist in the story, “The Accountant” rests squarely on the shoulders of Ben Affleck.
Haunting. When people have asked me my opinion of “The Birth of a Nation,” that is the word I’ve used most. The story, the images, the history…
“The Girl on the Train” will most likely be compared to 2014’s “Gone Girl” which is really unfair. “The Girl on the Train” isn’t as smart, witty, or amusingly dark as “Gone Girl”.
The script has fun with the film’s premise and setting, which is the late 90’s where everyone in the South hangs out, robs banks and hire hitmen. With every instance you can’t help but be amazed how such a stupid group of people could pull off the biggest cash robbery in United States history.
The absolute panic and mayhem that takes over when the rig finally explodes into a massive fireball is intense to watch. This isn’t like most disaster movies where people complete inhuman feats of heroism to escape, this is blue collar men and women finding a way to survive in a scenario none of them were trained or prepared for.
“Magnificent Seven” is a stick of dynamite blast half the time, but the other half of the time it’s like watching a tumbleweed blow unenthusiastically in the wind.
The Blair Witch has entered the digital age. It’s no longer trapped in the Circuit City video camera age with a $22,000 budget. It now has drones, Bluetooth headset cameras, and $5 million to play with. And maybe that’s why it has inherently lost a lot of its horror charm and bite.
Centuries from now, should movies still be being made, film historians will still be talking about Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood…if you want to introduce your little one to a true hero, introduce them to “Sully.”
Full of inconsistent time jumps and heavy handed foreshadowing, “The Light Between Oceans” starts off strong but peters out by the time the film ends…about 40 minutes too late.
Whenever the movie gets close to developing a theme or message, it reverts back to finding meaning behind violence like a Kindergartener throwing a temper tantrum, frustrated that it couldn’t find a way to expel upon its interesting premise. If this is the final movie of the summer, the summer certainly went out on an uncreative whimper.
Based on a true story, the action keeps the film flowing smoothly without becoming preachy. As one of the last films of the summer season, “War Dogs” is definitely one to watch before you end your summer vacation.
“Kubo” will surely be keeping Disney and Pixar on the edge of their seat come award season. Laika Studios is proving to be a worthy adversary and showing that stop-motion can be just as colorfully lively, emotionally heartbreaking and creatively inspiring, than a lost fish in the sea or what your pets do while you’re at work.
“Hell or High Water” captures the rustic West, the deep-seeded “Don’t Mess with Texas” attitude of its characters and the unflinching misery of living in impoverished small town America. It flips between jovial Western and teeth gritting thriller flawlessly.
The first half-hour of “Sausage Party” is a comedy masterpiece. With great jokes and an amazing musical number, the film delivers on all cylinders. However, when the “chosen” ones realize what the outside world has in store for them, it becomes a hit or miss comedy. And a filthy one.
“Pete’s Dragon” is a sure bet for families needing a Summer escape and a positive message, but just like the original, this remake may inevitably end up in the Disney discount bin.
“Suicide Squad” is a wham-bam action punch with enough exuberant and unique performances to help overshadow the lacking plot structure. You’ll be talking about Robbie’s Harley Quinn more than you will about Leto’s Joker
It makes sense that the film is directed and written by the writers of “The Hangover” because it shares a lot of that film’s DNA. Three people, mismatched at times, decide to cut loose with alcohol and dirty talk.
“Nerve” is a sleek techno thriller utilizing America’s current craving for online infamy, naive adolescent sensibilities, and the mob mentality that the Internet has created.
Like the best laid plans of a “Saturday Night Live” inspired film, the bits only work in small doses. Exposing the girls to 90 minutes of screen time leads to a lot of hit-and-miss jokes and outrageous situations.
The new installment is pretty damn funny and stands as tall as the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.
We’ve seen “The Infiltrator” before. There are plenty of movies about the lengthy history of the worldwide drug war. But Cranston’s multi-faceted acting abilities create tension and heart pounding action where there isn’t.
“Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” has four actors that have no chemistry and are recycling vulgar jokes and punchlines from much better films. This movie should have been called “Zac, Aubrey, Adam and Anna Wanted to go to Hawaii”.
“The Secret Life of Pets” is from the same studio that brought you the adorable Minions from the “Despicable Me” films, and the animation is amazing. One scene finds our two pups in water that looks so realistic you can feel the wetness.
“The Legend of Tarzan” is a contrived, silly blockbuster. But on that same note, it’s an entertaining, and funny, summer escape.
Told with the same exuberance as the filmmakers being profiled, “RAIDERS!” shares the backstory of the production, including footage both from the film and behind the scenes.
Based on Roald Dahl’s book, in the hands of director Spielberg, “The BFG” becomes a new masterpiece that the whole family will enjoy.
“The Purge: Election Year” is the best of three, but still more of the same. It’s not a smart, tongue-in-cheek look at our inherently violent culture, race relations, or the current American class struggle. But it’s a chance to watch and cheer on our most animalistic tendencies, killing people who are holding us down.
Five stars. An unconventional spin on the tried-and-true old mentor meeting his younger match that manages to be action packed, unpredictable and heartfelt without veering into the saccharine territory oft trod by coming of age stories…Julian Dennison delivers a star-making performance.
“Free State of Jones” is another; white man comes to save the day for minorities, history lesson from Hollywood.
“A Fat Wreck: The Punk U Mentary” is half inspirational story of chosen family and community and half debauchery as it tells the story of Fat Wreck Chords founder Fat Mike (bassist for the band NOFX) and his ex-wife Erin-Kelly Burkett.
Funny as hell, with a sweet message built in, “Central Intelligence” is successful in part thanks to its genius casting, which makes Hart the Bud Abbott-like straight man while Johnson grabs the majority of the laughs.
It’s known that Pixar is willing to do sequel, just as long as it’s as emotionally resonant and intellectually stimulating as the original. “Finding Dory” does both, even while treading familiar waters.
“Warcraft” is a bore in desperate need of a skip button. It’s another lazy attempt by the studios to cash on naïve videogamers.
A true “fly on the wall” documentary, “Weiner” gives the viewer almost unfettered access to the man and his campaign.
It does drag on some but Samberg’s performance is so infectious that you’re willing to let a couple slow parts go by.
The CGI spectacle steps in where the script is missing, providing mouth silencing eye candy for the kids. So if you’re in need of a two hour daycare, this might be your best bet.
One half performance footage from Duff’s book reading at The Moore Theater in Seattle, WA and one half documentary consisting of archival footage and new interviews with former/current band members and friends. “It’s So Easy And Other Lies” is a unique spin on your standard biographical documentary.
4 Stars. Outrageously funny from start to finish…The two leads play off each other perfectly.
It’s just unfortunate that such an enlightening movie has to hammer home its theme at nearly every chance it can get. It’s nice to see that the five male writers were willing to flip the script and poke fun at the overtly sexual nature of college men who see women as objects.
X-Meh “With a cast that includes three Oscar-nominees, it seems like they may have gotten bored with their roles. All do good work here, but there almost seems to be a look of relief in their eyes that they’re done with the spandex for good. “
5 Stars. Marvel has seriously outdone themselves once again. Civil War is a near-flawless cinematic experience that neatly packages one of the most pivotal story lines in comic book history.
I urge you to head to the theatre. You won’t be disappointed.
From the brutalist production design to a stunning score by Clint Mansell (Requiem for a Dream), High-Rise is a darkly humorous, sexy, and oftentimes grotesque cinematic experience.
“Papa: Hemingway in Cuba” feels like a TV movie with a few ‘F’ bombs to spice it up