Hollywood is so obsessed with superheroes these days they made a superhero movie about an accountant. It’s called The Accountant, and it is indeed about a guy who prepares people’s taxes, looks for deductions, and monitors financial records for fraud. But in his off-hours, this guy is also a master martial artist and a sniper capable of hitting targets a mile away. He also has a secret identity and what amounts to a low-rent Batcave, an Airstream trailer full of weapons and cash, stashed in a storage unit. He’s played by former Daredevil and current Batman Ben Affleck. He doesn’t wear a cape, but he might as well.
Movie Reviews - Page 5
When Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation debuted at the Sundance Film Festival last January, it got a standing ovation before its premiere. People were excited to see this movie. Nine months later, the reaction to its arrival in theaters is a little bit different.
It’s no wonder Paul Hawkins’ debut novel, The Girl on the Train, novel was quickly pegged “the next Gone Girl,” and that DreamWorks scooped up the rights a year before the novel hit shelves. It’s a murder mystery told by an unreliable narrator full of twists, sex and violence. It has all the makings of a hit. But here’s a hot take: despite topping the bestseller list, Hawkins’ book isn’t good. Piggy backing on the hype of Gillian Flynn’s work, the novel uses a gimmicky narrative structure to glorify melodrama and violence. That could’ve been salvaged as a high-intensity thriller that indulged in the trashy source material, but director Tate Taylor’s (The Help) adaptation falls ill to the same shortcomings of the novel, resulting in a sluggish mess of self-seriousness.
Raw is the debut feature from French director Julia Ducournau, a fact that is nothing short of astonishing from the opening moments of this inventive and beautifully shot new horror film. To say that Ducournau’s cinematic introduction is assured would be an understatement; it’s a shrewd, insightful and surprisingly funny film that feels like the work of a more accomplished filmmaker who has refined their talents over the course of many films and many years. Though it is not without slight flaw, Raw is one of the smartest, most rewarding horror movies in recent years.
‘Masterminds’ stars some of the funniest names in comedy, like Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis, and Leslie Jones. Too bad ‘Masterminds’ isn’t funny.
Hollywood has finally found someone to compete with Nazis for the title of ultimate movie villains: Oil executives. In Deepwater Horizon, the blue-collar crew of an off-shore rig battles malfunctioning equipment, an unpredictable ocean, pipe blow outs, explosions, and fires. But all those dangers seem to pale in comparison to the threat posed by a bunch of starchy white men. In their uniform of blue button-down shirts and khaki pants, they’re the walking embodiment of pure, unadulterated greed.
Imagine if Larry Clark was a woman, capable of depicting the inner lives of disenfranchised youth with all the psychic nuance and sensitivity estrogen could provide. Imagine a road trip through Middle America as presented by Claire Denis; now imagine that the brutal emotional intensity and distinct feeling of dread remain intact, while the threat of grotesque acts of violence lurk on the periphery, merely imagined and never realized. If you can imagine that, you might come close to approximating the experience of watching American Honey, the latest stumbling-of-age drama from Fish Tank director Andrea Arnold.
Tim Burton’s career has experienced wildly diminishing returns in recent years as he slides further into nauseatingly wacky computer-generated excess, with only the occasional glimmer of the gothic whimsy that made him a beloved household name. The good news is that Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is a much better and more restrained film than Dark Shadows or Alice in Wonderland; the bad news is that it’s a somewhat tedious YA adaptation with a half-baked-in metaphor about Burton’s career that might make you feel even more depressed about what it’s become.
Disney movies about triumphant characters overcoming great odds often come with a heavy serving of sap, hyperbolizing struggles and achievements with a glossy Hollywood veneer. Mira Nair’s Queen of Katwe doesn’t entirely do that. While there is a sweet and sentimental flourish, Nair’s film about a young Uganda chess champion plays like a sincere biopic that isn’t desperate to pry tears from your eyes or exploit a minority tale for dramatic effect.
Here’s the pitch: two women with grudges from their past reunite at a party years later. Fueled by alcohol and gallons of rage, they start beating the living crap out of each other. I’m not talking about some light hair-pulling or petty slapping; I’m talking full-on rampant violence that would make Quentin Tarantino wince. That’s Onur Tukel’s ‘Catfight,’ a pitch-black comedy and political satire about two women with an insatiable hunger for revenge, where head-butts and punches are their only form of therapy.