Recent Reviews

 

Toy Story 4

Toy Story 4 opens in a rainstorm where one of the toys is in danger of getting swept down the drainpipe, and what the message is imparting to its little ones […]

 
 

The Dead Don’t Die

Sleepy and mentally squishing to the point you walk out dumb and dumber after it’s over. If there’s one thing I learned in the course of two hours it’s that I cannot trust […]

 
 

Interstellar (Revisited)

“Interstellar” in 2014 was a momentous occasion before walking into the theater based on anticipation alone. You’d have to be blind not to see that while it was happening (in the second half in particular) it had spectacle and a vision […]

 
 

Domino

Seriously confused thriller that rushes past the important details when they do happen, but Domino has redeemable moments if you are a Brian DePalma completist like I am. On the upper end, it takes place in Copenhagen, Brussels and Spain, it has some sly DePalma cinematography […]

 
 

Rocketman

It’s practically a given by now: rock star biopics where the emphasis is on the many lows and pitfalls, to the point where the hero has lost his humanity before he gets it back in a jiffy. Elton John was never one of my favorite musicians, but I learned to like a lot about him […]

 
 

Booksmart

It started with Howard Hawks’ 1940 cream of the crop newspaper comedy “His Girl Friday,” or perhaps even earlier with Ernst Lubistch’s 1932 grifter comedy “Trouble in Paradise,” the motor mouth, rapid-fire dialogue exchanges where boy and girl shoot wit back and forth with each other with such natural aplomb that it’s high art. Eighty […]

 
 

Arctic

He catches fish and then cuts it up to eat like sushi rather than creating the luxury of fire to cook it. Mads Mikkelsen is the latest to get his own one-man survivalist tale that allows an actor to act with more sweat and tears than with the aid of dialogue. Arctic is not going […]

 
 

Climax

There will be more “important movies” or “sensibly humanist movies” to come out in 2019, but none will take us vicariously into the extreme depths of depravity like Gaspar Noe’s Climax […]

 
 

The Hustle

In the women in roles of men remake “The Hustle,” the chicanery is too loud, too conspicuous, too in the moment slapdash, too blustery […]

 
 

Long Shot

Rom-coms have been infrequent in recent years despite their once unstoppable popularity. Do we now need an avenger in one just to get a green light? We do now have Long Shot which has half-baked […]

 
 

Best Films 2018 Revised

When it comes to the list, I have no proclivity to win popular tastes. I have a few hits, a few misunderstood titles I want to defend, a few obscure titles and a few I am predicting will be discovered with cult devotion decades down the line […]

 
 

High Life

Outer space as a black pit with an avante-garde concentration on claustrophobia, dissension and debasement. Famed female French director Claire Denis has made her first English language film with an inordinately high budget (for her) with High Life, and to me, this cerebral science fiction […]