Movie Reviews - Page 5

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

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by Britt Hayes April 7, 2016 @ 2:16 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.

‘The Boss’ Review: A Shockingly Unfunny Melissa McCarthy Movie

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by Matt Singer April 6, 2016 @ 11:00 AM
Universal
There’s a scene in The Boss where Melissa McCarthy’s character, a disgraced business mogul named Michelle Darnell, tries to rebuild her financial empire by going to a country club to woo potential investors. Her pitch goes badly, from both a practical perspective and a comedic one. Not realizing one of the investors’ wives is dead, she mocks her and calls her terrible names, and basically makes a fool out of herself. None of this is funny. The conversation goes on and on, fumbling for some kind of ending, until Michelle excuses herself and then suddenly and randomly falls down a flight of stairs. End of scene.

‘Batman v Superman’ Review: Titans Clash (Eventually, After Like Two Hours)

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by Matt Singer March 22, 2016 @ 4:59 PM
Warner Bros.
Zack Snyder makes superhero movies, but his characters don’t act very heroic. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice features all the other trappings of the superhero genre: Capes, gadgets, outlandish muscles, punching stuff. But the two stars aren’t noble or chivalrous; they’re violent, aggressive, and angry — mostly at each other instead of the bad guys. In Snyder’s formulation, protecting the world from evil isn’t a gift or a calling; it’s a burden. And that feeling is reflected in the movie itself, a burdensome 150- minute slog about two men fighting over who is in the right when both are very clearly in the wrong.

‘Pee-wee’s Big Holiday’ Review: The Secret Word Is ‘Nostalgia’

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by Matt Singer March 17, 2016 @ 7:29 PM
Netflix
Judd Apatow knows a thing or two about manchildren. He’s built an entire career chronicling the exploits of immature boys straining for maturity against the pull of their juvenile urges. Apatow’s latest producing effort, though, presents an entirely...

‘Midnight Special’ Review: A Truly Great, Original Sci-Fi Thriller, Until...

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by Mike Sampson March 17, 2016 @ 11:30 AM
Warner Bros.
“Let the midnight special shine it’s light on me,” go the lyrics of the folk song that shares a title, Midnight Special, with director Jeff Nichols’ fourth film. While those lyrics have no explicit analog within the film, it certainly is a fitting description of the powers of a mysterious young boy, Alton, whose eyes can shoot bursts of a powerful blue light that deliver an overwhelming sense of emotion and awe to those in his gaze.

‘The Trust’ Review: Nicolas Cage Fulfills His Semi-Annual Good Movie Quota

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by Britt Hayes March 17, 2016 @ 10:55 AM
Saban Films
Let’s get this out of the way up front: No, Nicolas Cage does not go “Full Cage” in The Trust. He goes about half-Full Cage, or maybe half-Empty Cage — your Cage mileage may vary. For the record, this reviewer finds it to be the former in this somewhat sharp, darkly comedic little thriller from directors Ben and Alex Brewer, with the former making his feature directing debut. Cage returns to the Las Vegas he once famously left, joined by Elijah Wood for a simple but mostly effective heist flick.

‘Krisha’ Review: A Fantastic and Disorienting Psychological Family Drama

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by Erin Whitney March 16, 2016 @ 2:22 PM
A24
From the moment the titular Krisha appears on screen in Trey Edward Shults’ feature film debut, a current of unhinged anxiety is released. As menacing strings prickle over the soundtrack, the opening shot zooms in on Krisha’s face as she stares transfixed into the camera, her lips tight, chin quivering and eyebrows raised in a vulnerable, yet almost antagonistic manner. It’s an image that quickly establishes the blunt emotionalism of ‘Krisha,’ a film that grips the audience at the throat and keeps squeezing tighter and tighter.

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

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by Britt Hayes March 16, 2016 @ 10:17 AM
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.

‘Sausage Party’ Review: Just Get Stoned and Watch ‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs’ Instead

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by Mike Sampson March 15, 2016 @ 1:25 PM
Sony Pictures
Sausage Party is the first ever R-rated CG-animated film. Based on a concept Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and Evan Goldberg first came up with 8 years ago, the film, by definition, is something you have never seen before. It’s raunchy, rowdy and completely insane. Unfortunately, it’s just not very funny.

SXSW Review: ‘Everybody Wants Some’

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by Matt Singer March 11, 2016 @ 7:30 PM
Paramount
In what is surely a first in the 120-year history of movie marketing, the poster for Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some advertises the film as a “spiritual sequel” — specifically to Linklater’s classic high school movie Dazed and Confused. But Dazed and Confused chronicled a day in the lives of a variety of Texas teenagers: Nerds, athletes, stoners, hipsters, rockers, and bullies. Everybody Wants Some focuses almost exclusively on a bunch of boorish jocks; the rowdy members of the baseball team at an unnamed Texas college. In other words, its spirit is nothing like Dazed and Confused’s. It’s more like a spiritual sequel to Dazed and Confused if every character was Fred O’Bannion, the obnoxious a-hole played by Ben Affleck who cruises around town looking for incoming freshmen to beat with a wooden paddle.