Movie Review: Truth

Welllllll, this movie—-detailing the 60 Minutes story about George W. Bush’s sketchy Vietnam War record and Dan Rather’s subsequent ousting from CBS News over it—-may be preaching to the liberal converted, but it sure is effective. Too few people will watch this movie, and too few reviewers are grading it properly, so it’s a natural… Read More »

Movie Review: Beasts of No Nation

A solid film that I only wish I’d had a chance to see in theaters, but it wasn’t released in most of the major chains since Netflix (the film’s distributor and major place to watch it) released it on the site and in theaters on the same day. Naturally, theaters aren’t excited for that, and… Read More »

Movie Review: Mississippi Grind

Movies about gamblers are essentially movies about losers–or should be if they want to be accurate–and so this film about two down-and-outers who make a gambling tour of the Mississippi River on their way to a fabled card game in New Orleans at least begins realistically enough. What Works: Ryan Reynolds plays the “winner” of the… Read More »

Movie Review: Pan

Although not as bad as you might think, I still can’t say there were more positives than negatives. What Works: There are some truly eye-catching sequences like a bit of exposition told through animated wood sculptures and an all-out pirate-on-fairy battle that looks like a Hindu celebration as fairies explode into clouds of brightly colored dust.… Read More »

Movie Review: Black Mass

This is a review where I have to part ways with most critics as they praised Johnny Depp’s performance and the movie’s clear-headed handling of Whitey Bulger’s case. Well, the former isn’t the way I see it and the latter isn’t accurate since the much more informative documentary “Whitey: The People Vs. James J. Bulger”… Read More »

Movie Review: The Martian

Everybody’s already seen this movie by now, but a review is still in order… What Works: The movie has been described (over and over) as “an unapologetic crowd-pleaser” which I guess means it has a happy ending and a likable lead character…as most movies do. I’m not sure what “The Martian” delivers that most movies don’t… Read More »

Movie Review: Crimson Peak

Although the set design threatens to walk away with the whole movie, there’s a nicely tense duel between two women at the center that makes it rare for both horror films and period pieces. What Works: Most Merchant-Ivory-era movies may have female protagonists, but not conflicts between a female hero and an antagonist. “Crimson Peak” is… Read More »

Movie Review: Bridge of Spies

A sturdy, appealingly old-fashioned drama that is also a little dull in certain spots. What Works: Tom Hanks fits the material perfectly as an American insurance lawyer in over his head after getting swept up in Cold War intrigue. He has to defend a Russian master spy, and then later negotiate his exchange at a time… Read More »

Movie Review: Sicario

“Sicario” is near-flawless in its technical aspects, and definitely worth a watch, but, at times, there are shadings of artificiality that keep it from being truly one for the ages. What Works: Almost from the very first frame, “Sicario” finds a way to pull (or drag) you into its world with sharp cinematography, an excellently dread-filled… Read More »

Movie Review: Everest

One of the very few films where the 3D ticket price was worth it. What Works: People going to a movie like this are really only looking for one thing: cool shots of snow-covered mountains, and suspenseful sequences. “Everest” delivers both with skill, and some solid performances from a cast that includes Jake Gyllenhaal, John Hawkes,… Read More »