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Movie Reviews

Latest Movie Reviews

A messy 'Terminator Genisys' shows why bigger is not always better

Though the character is now part of the pop-cultural firmament and Arnold Schwarzenegger's signature role, anyone who could travel back in time to just before the release of "The Terminator" in 1984 would know it as a modestly budgeted, little anticipated sci-fi action film. The film was driven...

  • Tonal flips test 'Faith of Our Fathers'

    Tonal flips test 'Faith of Our Fathers'

    The discovery of a box containing the hand-written correspondence from Vietnam of a young man's late father serves as a truth-seeking link to the past for his devout Christian son in "Faith of Our Fathers," a dramatically DOA road movie by actor and faith-based filmmaker Carey Scott.

  • 'Ted 2' is overstuffed and absurd but wickedly funny

    'Ted 2' is overstuffed and absurd but wickedly funny

    One joke in "Ted 2" potentially offends women, African Americans, couples struggling with infertility, sufferers of blood disorders, people who make medical shelving and the Kardashians. I laughed so hard at it that I waited for security to emerge from the theater aisles, escort me out and force...

  • Review: 'Fresh Dressed' checks out the why of what gets worn

    Review: 'Fresh Dressed' checks out the why of what gets worn

    Given the demand for today's latest "It" label and status accessories, and the constant push by media toward the next must-have purchase, a film that approaches clothing from a timeless point of view is a welcome respite from the exhausting cycle of trends that fuel the fashion industry.

  • 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' resonates marvelously

    'What Happened, Miss Simone?' resonates marvelously

    "What Happened, Miss Simone?" answers its own question. This impressive and deeply felt documentary starts with that query, asked by Maya Angelou in a 1970 magazine article, and then intimately examines the tumultuous, at times tragic life of the exquisite vocal stylist who battled her troubled...

  • 'The Midnight Swim' a mystery with supernatural touches

    'The Midnight Swim' a mystery with supernatural touches

    Revolving around three sisters' reunion after the drowning of their estranged mother, "The Midnight Swim" depicts the events through a home movie filmed from the point of view of June (Lindsay Burge), the family archivist.

  • Cut worthless 'L.A. Slasher' from any might-see list

    Cut worthless 'L.A. Slasher' from any might-see list

    Centered on a serial killer who preys only on pop media stars created by the entertainment industrial complex, "L.A. Slasher" gives the impression that writer-director Martin Owen filmed it off a particularly misanthropic and juvenile one-page script treatment rather than a complete screenplay.

  • Inexplicable behavior somehow never trips up 'Bound to Vengeance'

    Inexplicable behavior somehow never trips up 'Bound to Vengeance'

    Much like the protagonist in "Oldboy," twentysomething Eve (Tina Ivlev) escapes an abductor, Phil (Richard Tyson), at the beginning of "Bound to Vengeance." But immediately upon realizing she's stranded in the middle of nowhere, she returns to the dilapidated shack where he held her captive.

  • 'The Tribe' an unusual, powerful look at criminality

    'The Tribe' an unusual, powerful look at criminality

    There's nothing like "The Tribe," the astounding debut feature from Ukrainian writer-director Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy about a mob operating within a crumbling school for the deaf. One need not read it as a metaphor for the director's homeland to appreciate the movie as a tour de force.

  • Benicio Del Toro brings out the menace in 'Escobar'

    Benicio Del Toro brings out the menace in 'Escobar'

    The grandly titled "Escobar: Paradise Lost" follows the fall of not, as Milton would have it, Man, but of one particular (fictional) man, a naive Canadian surfer who finds himself enmeshed in the turbulent life of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

  • Following Rory Culkin and 'Gabriel' on a fraught mission

    Following Rory Culkin and 'Gabriel' on a fraught mission

    In "Gabriel," Rory Culkin's titular character is a fidgety, touchy, determined young man eager for an independence and adult fulfillment that we gradually realize over the course of writer-director Lou Howe's debut feature he'll likely never have.

  • 'Into the Grizzly Maze' takes weak swipe at nature-kills story

    'Into the Grizzly Maze' takes weak swipe at nature-kills story

    The makers of the bear rampage movie "Into the Grizzly Maze" couldn't have announced their influences more clearly if they'd named their movie "Claws": a small town terrorized, concerned citizens (James Marsden's ex-con prodigal son, Thomas Jane's eco-friendly deputy sheriff) torn over how best...

  • 'The Little Death' arouses interest as much as it disappoints

    'The Little Death' arouses interest as much as it disappoints

    No sexual fantasy goes unpunished — or at least greatly mismanaged — in the dark Aussie comedy "The Little Death." Writer-director-actor Josh Lawson takes on romantic ennui, fetishism, commitment phobia, couples counseling and more with mixed results.

  • 'Big Game' runs amok with outsized acting and eccentric cliffhangers

    'Big Game' runs amok with outsized acting and eccentric cliffhangers

    Renny Harlin lives! He didn't direct "Big Game" (and no, he's not dead), but the operatic nuttiness of Harlin's "Cliffhanger"-era action films is all over fellow Finn Jalmari Helander's B-movie throwback, a preposterous tale partnering an American president (Samuel L. Jackson), stranded in Finland's...

  • 'Glass Chin' a neo-noir knockout with fight-ready cast

    'Glass Chin' a neo-noir knockout with fight-ready cast

    Punchy dialogue, sharply drawn characters and excellent performances fuel "Glass Chin," an intimate drama that's set in the boxing world but is about so much more. It's the kind of terrific little indie that not so long ago might have gone quite a few rounds on art-house screens before hitting...

  • Crime drama '7 Minutes' packs a lot in, yet remains forgettable

    Crime drama '7 Minutes' packs a lot in, yet remains forgettable

    Although stylish and intriguingly told, the twisty crime drama "7 Minutes" never quite jumps out of the pack. Writer-director Jay Martin has a solid handle on his story and characters and is well supported by his cast. But in the end it's just another tale of bad eggs, bad choices and bad luck.

  • 'Gone Doggy Gone' serves up ripe humor that wears thin quickly

    'Gone Doggy Gone' serves up ripe humor that wears thin quickly

    A dog-napped teacup terrier proves better behaved than the hyper humans pursuing it in "Gone Doggy Gone," a shrill satire co-directed and written by Kasi Brown and Brandon Walter.

  • 'Saugatuck' spoof misses the mark

    Some lowbrow bathroom humor aside, "Saugatuck Cures" commences like a Lifetime movie in which Maggie (Judith Chapman), proprietor of a bed-and-breakfast in the titular bucolic Michigan town, presides over Thanksgiving dinner with dutiful gay son, Drew (Max Adler); stuck-up daughter, Penelope (Amanda...

  • 'Batkid' relives the 2013 feel-good event in San Francisco

    'Batkid' relives the 2013 feel-good event in San Francisco

    Miles Scott is easy to fall for. Endearingly good-natured and shy, the 5-year-old leukemia survivor got his strut on, as his somewhat amazed farmer dad puts it, one fall day in 2013 when the Make-A-Wish Foundation realized the boy's superhero dreams.

  • 'I Believe in Unicorns' is a fanciful teenage romance

    'I Believe in Unicorns' is a fanciful teenage romance

    A coming-of-age story about learning about love the hard way, "I Believe in Unicorns" feels like a teen movie made for an adult audience. It reminisces on a kind of loss of innocence not really seen since the advent of the Internet. Indeed, our budding photographer heroine Davina (Natalia Dyer)...

  • 'Charlie, Trevor and a Girl Savannah' a messy head trip

    'Charlie, Trevor and a Girl Savannah' a messy head trip

    "The challenge is you need to identify and separate the layers of your reality, your imagination, your dream state and this nightmare," psychotherapist McMillian (Eric Roberts) advises Trevor Jacobs (Toby Hemingway), whose messy, indecipherable head trips make up the duration of "Charlie, Trevor...

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