Movie Reviews - Page 2

Review: ‘The Last Witch Hunter’ Is, Sadly, Not Even the Best Worst Movie of the Year

by Erin Whitney October 20, 2015 @ 9:56 AM
Vin Diesel’s The Last Witch Hunter is probably best enjoyed as one of those 9th grade date movies. The ones where you pick the next non-sold out showing of a movie starring familiar actors to make out during, thus not suffering from missing plot points. I did this once with Van Helsing, the 2004 vampire equivalent of The Last Witch Hunter.

‘Beasts of No Nation’ Review: Netflix’s First Original Movie Needs to Be Seen on the Big Screen

by Matt Singer October 16, 2015 @ 8:40 AM
Beasts of No Nation marks the streaming video giant’s first serious attempt to become a major player in the feature film world, the same way they’ve become a giant in the world of serialized TV. And what’s most surprising about that first serious attempt is the fact that Netflix made a movie that will probably not play very well on Netflix. Beasts practically demands to be seen in a movie theater, not just for its impressive cinematography and immersive sound design, but also because of its expansive runtime and harrowing subject matter — the plight of child soldiers in Africa.

‘Truth’ Review: Cate Blanchett Brings Greatness to a Flawed Journalism Drama

by Erin Whitney October 15, 2015 @ 1:47 PM
Sony Pictures
From first-time director James Vanderbilt, best known for writing Zodiac and The Amazing Spider-Man, Truth plays like a dramatic reading of Wikipedia pages about the CBS report that ended 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes’ career with the network and, likely, led to anchor Dan Rather’s retirement. But luckily, a not so great journalism drama is saved by the talents of its leading cast, with Cate Blanchett as the tenacious Mapes alongside Robert Redford as Rather.

‘Bridge of Spies’ Review: Master Spies From Master Filmmaker Steven Spielberg

by Matt Singer October 5, 2015 @ 8:45 AM
With Bridge of Spies, Steven Spielberg continues the project he started with Lincoln: Using history to illuminate his vision of modern American values. But where Lincoln was about a “great man,” Bridge of Spies is about an ordinary one — an insurance lawyer from Brooklyn named James B. Donovan. In the late 1950s, Donovan was chosen by his peers to represent a captured Soviet spy, Rudolf Abel. But while most of Donovan’s colleagues (and even the presiding judge on the case) want him involved purely to give Abel’s trial the appearance of due process, Donovan actually mounts a rigorous defense of his client, at considerable risk to his reputation and even his personal safety.

‘High-Rise’ Review: A Slick and Sleek Monument to Madness

by Britt Hayes September 30, 2015 @ 2:44 PM
Director Ben Wheatley and his screenwriting partner Amy Jump are known for their specific, darkly humorous sensibilities, from the horror thriller Kill List to the black and white psychedelic intensity of A Field in England, and the bleak hilarity of Sightseers. The duo return this year with High-Rise, based on J.G. Ballard’s sophisticated dystopian tale of class warfare in an elegant apartment block. It may be his most inaccessible and tonally ambitious film to date, but it also might be his best.

‘Man Vs. Snake’ Is the Documentary Every Video-Game Lover Should See

by Matt Singer September 30, 2015 @ 1:43 PM
Everyone wants to believe they’re special. When I was in second grade, I was a multiplication table genius. A gift for rote memorization and an intense competitive streak turned me into the Michael Jordan of Math Class Around the World. Almost 30 years later, I still remember playing and winning, probably because that was the last time in my life I really felt truly superior to everyone around me.

‘The Invitation’ Review: Karyn Kusama’s Fierce Drama Pulls No Punches

by Britt Hayes September 28, 2015 @ 1:15 PM
Drafthouse Films
After being dealt some bad luck in the studio system with the underwhelming action flick Aeon Flux and the undervalued horror comedy Jennifer’s Body, director Karyn Kusama emerges with her best film since she made her feature debut with 2000's Girlfight. The Invitation is an exceptionally unnerving thriller, a sharp study in the horrors of platonic indulgence and the over-extension of courtesy.