Movie Reviews - Page 5

‘Captain Fantastic’ Review: Viggo Mortensen Raises A Family in the Wilderness

by Erin Whitney January 25, 2016 @ 9:22 AM
Sundance Film Festival
The beginning of writer, director Matt Ross’ ‘Captain Fantastic’ feels like both a naturalistic utopia and a cult of dangerous ideas. Bodevan (George McKay), the eldest of Ben Cash’s (Viggo Mortensen) six children, hides in the woods in camouflage as he waits to attack a deer. After the slaughter, Ben smears the animal’s blood across his son’s face and offers him the heart consume. This is the Cash family’s version of a Bar Mitzvah, Bodevan’s rite of passage into manhood.

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

by Erin Whitney January 24, 2016 @ 4:12 PM
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.

‘Manchester by the Sea’ Review: Casey Affleck Shines in This Powerful Tearjerker

by Mike Sampson January 24, 2016 @ 3:12 PM
If you tried to describe Manchester by the Sea to someone else it would sound an awful lot like many other indie dramas. Trouble white guy returns to his hometown to care for a relative. But that does not do justice to Kenneth Lonergan’s third...

‘Swiss Army Man’ Review: Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe Go On a Bizarre Fart-Fueled Adventure

by Erin Whitney January 23, 2016 @ 2:20 PM
Joyce Kim
If you’ve heard anything about ‘Swiss Army Man’ then you already know one very important detail: Daniel Radcliffe is a farting corpse. That may be enough to make you stop reading and decide this film isn’t for you. After all, there were walkouts during the premiere on Friday night (though when aren’t there walkouts?). But wait, there is more to this completely nutty adventure of hypnotic imagery and childlike fantasy. If you’re intrigued by the idea of how such an obscene and immature level of humor can give way to one of the most enjoyably bizarre, confounding and visually inspired movie-watching experiences, then bear with me.

‘Wiener-Dog’ Review: Love Dogs? Don’t See This Movie

by Mike Sampson January 23, 2016 @ 1:06 PM
Annapurna Pictures
Looking at that photo above, one might think that Wiener-Dog is a charming, little movie about a dachshund. Even the synopsis of the film provided on Sundance’s official site provides this description: Wiener-Dog tells several stories featuring...

‘Other People’ Review: A Clichéd Cancer Dramedy Starring Jesse Plemons

by Erin Whitney January 22, 2016 @ 3:30 PM
In ‘Other People,’ the opening night film at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, Jesse Plemons (‘Fargo,’ ‘Breaking Bad’) plays a struggling gay comedy writer who travels home to care for his terminally ill mother. If that synopsis doesn’t shout Sundance, nothing

‘Dirty Grandpa’ Review: I Can’t Believe How Bad This Movie Is

by Matt Singer January 22, 2016 @ 9:55 AM
Earlier this week, Buzzfeed’s Anne Helen Petersen wrote an essay called “The Shaming of Robert De Niro,” in which she criticized cinephiles who think De Niro should retire rather than continue to harm his legacy as one of his generation’s finest actors by appearing in subpar material. Such arguments, Petersen says, are “snobbery at best and thinly veiled ageism at worst.” Starring in films like The Bag Man, Red Lights, and Killing Season “might not be working with Scorsese for 10 years,” she adds, “but it’s not shameful.”

‘Concussion’ Review: Will Smith’s NFL Drama Is Hugely Important, But Not Very Good

by Matt Singer December 23, 2015 @ 11:57 AM
Dr. Bennet Omalu, the subject of the new biopic Concussion, was the first man to publish a study linking head injuries suffered playing football to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and his pioneering work as a forensic pathologist deserves recognition and appreciation. But that pioneering work involved things like autopsies, painstaking research, and lots of paperwork — not exactly the stuff of blockbusters — combined with (at least in Concussion’s telling of the tale) a lot of scolding and righteously indignant speeches. This subject is hugely important, but as shaped by writer/director Peter Landesman, it’s not especially cinematic.