Movie Reviews - Page 2

‘20th Century Women’ Review: A Tender Celebration of the Feminine Spirit

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by Erin Whitney December 29, 2016 @ 10:05 AM
A24
Early in 20th Century Women, Elle Fanning’s rebellious teenager Julie asks, “Don’t you need a man to raise a man?” With little pause, Annette Bening’s single mother Dorothea assuredly responds, “No, I don’t think so.” The latest from Mike Mills (Thumbsucker, Beginners), finds three women helping raise a teenage boy. It’s a premise that could easily crash and burn in the wrong hands by sacrificing nuance for stereotypes or marginalizing female voices to emphasize a male perspective. Yet 20th Century Women avoids all of that. Instead Mills has made not only one of the best films of the year, but one that unabashedly celebrates the feminine spirit.

‘Silence’ Review: Martin Scorsese’s Earnest, Exhausting Religious Epic

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by Matt Singer December 22, 2016 @ 9:16 AM
Paramount
Martin Scorsese has reportedly been trying to make an English-language adaptation of Shūsaku Endō’s novel Silence for upwards of 25 years. Watching the finished movie, it’s easy to see why he fought so hard to make it — and why it took so long to get someone to finance and distribute it. Silence encapsulates many of Scorsese’s most deeply felt themes; ideas about faith, sin, and guilt he’s considered in film after film for decades. But it does so in a package that is slow, dry, and a little monotonous. Fans (there will certainly be some, and not without reason) will hail Silence as a passionate and perceptive career summation. Silence’s critics will likely agree — while wishing that summation wasn’t such a slog.

‘Passengers’ Review: The Grossest Movie Premise of 2016?

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by Erin Whitney December 20, 2016 @ 9:07 AM
Sony Pictures
Imagine, you’ve given up your life on Earth, paid a ton of money to take a 120-year-long nap, and when you wake up you won’t have aged a day and will be starting over on a brand new planet. Now imagine something goes wrong and you accidentally wake up early. You’re stuck on a ship that can’t return to Earth and won’t reach its destination before you die. What do you do?

‘Assassin’s Creed’ Review: A Refreshingly Strange Video Game Movie

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by Matt Singer December 19, 2016 @ 2:09 PM
20th Century Fox
The assassins of Assassin’s Creed have an assassin's creed that they recite repeatedly in Assassin’s Creed. (If that mere fact alone makes you smile, you’re in for a treat.) This creed involves the phrases like “nothing is true” and “everything is permitted” (the assassins are the good guys in this movie, by the way) and concludes with the declaration "We operate in the darkness to preserve the light."

Our Sensors Are Picking Up an Incoming ‘Rogue One’ Spoiler Review

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by ScreenCrush Staff December 16, 2016 @ 12:10 PM
You’ve seen Rogue One. You’ve read our spoiler-free review. Now you’re ready to go deeper. Like the Rebels in the film, you want to smuggle the deepest, darkest secrets out of enemy territory and pass them along to those who need them most. As luck would have it, we’ve got a Rogue One spoiler discussion ready to provide exactly that.

‘Collateral Beauty’ Review: Beautiful? Yeah, No.

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by Matt Singer December 14, 2016 @ 1:46 PM
Warner Bros.
This review contains basic plot details for Collateral Beauty which for some reason were not included in the movie’s trailer. If you don’t want to know the movie’s basic premise, don’t read this article. I would also recommend not seeing the movie, but that’s up to you.

‘Office Christmas Party’ Review: A Comedic Lump of Coal

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by Matt Singer December 7, 2016 @ 3:04 PM
Paramount
Too many Hollywood comedies, Office Christmas Party included, seem to expend all their creativity in the casting office. Filmmakers assemble these impressive lineups acting talent — and Office Christmas Party has as good a collection of actors as any comedy this year — and then sets them adrift in dumb stories with no jokes, hoping their evident charisma and endless improvisations will deliver enough laughs to fill out a decent trailer. The people in this movie are funny, but the movie would be a lot funnier if it gave those people some clever material to perform.

‘The Founder’ Review: Bah Dah Bah Bah Bahhhh, I’m Not Lovin’ It

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by Matt Singer December 7, 2016 @ 11:00 AM
The Weinstein Company
A meal at McDonald calls to mind words like “processed,” “synthetic,” “safe,” and “familiar.” The Founder, the story of the man that transformed McDonald’s from a regional burger chain into a fast-food juggernaut, is not a particularly compelling biopic, but it’s not a bad cinematic translation of what it feels like to eat at Mickey D’s. Every beat comes straight out of the great-but-complicated man movie biography playbook. Each element seems selected to fulfill the audience’s expectations for this kind of film. In one scene, the title character screams at a McDonald’s franchisee for deviating from the company’s strictly mandated burger toppings: two pickles, a sprinkle of onions, and a squirt of ketchup and mustard. This particular owner dared to break the rules and put lettuce on their burger. Lettuce! The Founder is a movie with no lettuce.

'Jackie' Review: Natalie Portman Is Spectacular in Pablo Larrain’s Intimate Jackie Kennedy Biopic

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by Erin Whitney December 1, 2016 @ 5:00 AM
TIFF
It doesn’t hurt that Natalie Portman looks a lot like Jackie Kennedy. Dressed in pearls and a classic 1960s suit with a perfect bouffant hairstyle, she’s the splitting image of the former First Lady. But in Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín’s ‘Jackie,’ Portman’s performance goes beyond looks. As the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Portman flourishes in one of the best and most deeply human roles of her career.