Movie Reviews - Page 5

‘Nocturnal Animals’ Review: Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal and Lots of Tom Ford Style

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by Erin Whitney September 10, 2016 @ 2:58 PM
Merrick Morton
There’s no doubting Tom Ford has an impeccable eye. The fashion designer-cum-film director knows how to dress people, and in his second feature Nocturnal Animals, he wastes no opportunity to aestheticize the sadness and cynicism of his well dressed cast.

‘Free Fire’ Review: An Audacious, Monotonous, Feature-Length Shootout

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by Matt Singer September 9, 2016 @ 1:13 PM
A24
I’ve already heard one colleague refer to Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire, in which an arms deal goes wrong and escalates into an almost 90-minute-long shootout, as a kind of cinematic high-wire act. But high-wire acts don’t last 90 minutes; watching somebody balance on a wire for 90 minutes would get pretty boring if that’s all they were doing. There’s an audaciousness to Free Fire that’s self-defeating. Yes, Wheatley pulled off a feature-length gun battle. But the result is so monotonous that I ran out of patience long before the participants ran out of bullets.

‘The Magnificent Seven’ Review: I Guess ‘The Okay Seven,’ While Accurate, Wouldn’t Sell Tickets

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by Matt Singer September 8, 2016 @ 2:13 PM
MGM/Columbia
Awards season may be underway with the official start of the Toronto Film Festival, but the fall of 2016 picks up right where summer left off with Antoine Fuqua’s ‘The Magnificent Seven,’ a loud and frenetic update of an old classic very few people were clamoring for. The question with any remake is why; why a new version and why one now? The movie just made its world premiere as the opening night film of TIFF 2016, and I still don’t have a satisfying answer to that question.

‘Sully’ Review: Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks’ Take on American Heroism

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by Matt Singer September 7, 2016 @ 9:03 AM
Warner Bros.
Even by the standards of a biopic about an incredibly famous man at the center of an incredibly famous real-life event there isn’t a ton of suspense in Sully. Everyone who was alive and conscious on January 15, 2009 remembers what happened that day, when Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger safely landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River after the plane was struck by birds during takeoff.(I certainly do; I’d just arrived at my condo for the Sundance Film Festival and watched the rescue efforts unfold on live television.)

‘The Light Between Oceans’ Review: Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender Star in a Heartbreaking Drama

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by Erin Whitney August 31, 2016 @ 8:44 AM
DreamWorks
Derek Cianfrance’s ‘The Light Between Oceans’ might be the most heartbreaking movie of the year. Cianfrance’s (‘Blue Valentine,’ ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’) latest looks at the many sides of grief and guilt, and how one’s joy may come at the expense of another’s pain.

‘White Girl’ Review: An Unflinching Look at Young White Privilege in Gentrified NYC

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by Erin Whitney August 29, 2016 @ 11:56 AM
Sundance Film Festival
As soon as I left the theater, still shaken from Elizabeth Wood’s ‘White Girl,’ I Googled the title of the film see what else the filmmaker has done. My finger must have slipped on the Google Search recommendations, as the results for “white girl wasted” popped up. I looked down at the Urban Dictionary definition highlighted at the top, a description that only just begins to capture the perilous, infantile destruction frequently found among, and willingly created by, a demographic often found at New York City bars and clubs.

‘Don’t Breathe’ Review: A Relentless Home Invasion Thriller That Borders on Unpleasant

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by Britt Hayes August 24, 2016 @ 12:00 PM
Lionsgate
What if Rutger Hauer’s relatively absurd, visually-impaired martial arts badass from Blind Fury was besieged by a home invasion in his reclusive Early Bird Special years? The answer is — to an extent — Don’t Breathe, a thriller that skews a little more toward The Collector than David Fincher’s underrated Panic Room. The latest effort from director Fede Alvarez (the Evil Dead remake) is a relentlessly intense cat-and-mouse game with a couple of hard lefts thrown into its twisted domestic labyrinth. It’s a nasty little piece of work that needs to be a bit more lean and slightly less mean.

‘Southside With You’ Review: A Sweet Retelling of the Obamas’ Meet-Cute

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by Erin Whitney August 24, 2016 @ 10:02 AM
Roadside Attractions
In the thick of the Chicago summer of 1989 two people went on a first date, marking the beginning of one of history’s most famous couples. It was Barack and Michelle Obama’s first date. But the First Lady, then Michelle Robinson, a 25-year-old lawyer, was insistent it was only a meeting between colleagues.

‘Morris From America’ Review: A Sweet But Familiar Coming-of-Age Tale

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by Erin Whitney August 18, 2016 @ 3:57 PM
A24
Chad Hartigan’s ‘Morris From America’ opens with a close-up of the titular 13-year-old boy bopping his head to an old school hip-hop song with his father Curtis (Craig Robinson). Morris (Markees Christmas) confesses he’s not a fan, calling out the song for its lack of a hook. Offended his son can’t appreciate the roots of the music genre they both love, he sends Morris to his room. It’s playful, but he’s not kidding. That’s the kind of relationship Curtis has with his son, loving, but firm, where the two share more of a brotherly bond. Curtis treats Morris like an equal, entrusting the boy to make his own decisions, but challenging him to grow into a more thoughtful adult.

‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ Review: A Mythological Masterpiece From Laika

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by Britt Hayes August 17, 2016 @ 12:45 PM
Focus Features
Anomalisa is a tough stop-motion act to follow (to be fair, Charlie Kaufman typically sets the bar pretty high), but if anyone is suited for the task it’s Laika, the studio behind delightful animated features like ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls. Their latest effort blends Laika’s usual wit and charm with stunning visuals matched by an equally remarkable journey, making Kubo and the Two Strings an epic worthy of the eponymous character’s vibrant mythology.