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Collin Parker (popcollin)

Joined 5 years ago from Vermont

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    "Unpregnant" Movie Review

    5 months ago

    It’s quite conceivable that Veronica (Haley Lu Richardson), the shoo-in valedictorian at her Missouri high school, has never failed a test in her life. When we meet her, however, in the opening frames of the HBO Max original Unpregnant, she’s not getting the result she wanted on a very different...

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    "The Argument" Movie Review

    5 months ago

    What if Groundhog Day wasn’t a movie about a weatherman trapped in an unexplainable time loop but instead presented it as a daily re-do of his own choosing? Well, if you squint your eyes a little and cock your head, you can kinda see that’s exactly what director Robert Schwartzman ...

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    "The Babysitter: Killer Queen" Movie Review

    5 months ago

    Three years ago, the Netflix horror-comedy The Babysitter came out of nowhere to become a fun little diversion during the Halloween season (and a better-than-expected success for the streaming platform). And though the door was left wide open for a sequel, it took almost two years for production...

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    "Love, Guaranteed" Movie Review

    5 months ago

    For a movie that seems like something stolen directly from The Hallmark Channel’s production room (right down to the casting of Hallmark mainstay Rachel Leigh Cook), Netflix’s new cheeseball rom-com Love, Guaranteed actually has a few things going for it (not the least of which is, in fact, Cook)...

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    "Get Duked!" Movie Review

    5 months ago

    While not exactly the second coming of Danny Boyle, Ninian Doff clearly shows plenty of promise in Get Duked (née “Boyz in the Wood”), his directorial debut—now streaming on Amazon Prime. A hilarious and biting mash-up of The Hunt and Trainspotting, with a little added whiff of Dazed and Confused...

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    "The Binge" Movie Review

    6 months ago

    If you feel like you’ve been waiting all your life for someone to finally make a raunchy comedy about teenagers bonding over a night of hedonistic excess, well it’s finally here. (I kid, of course. Is there a trope in existence that has been overplayed more?) And, just as you’d expect, Hulu’s ...

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    "The One and Only Ivan" Movie Review

    6 months ago

    Based on the 2013 Newberry Medal-winning children’s book by Katherine Applegate, The One and Only Ivan is the latest original offering from Disney+, and though it may prove a gentle diversion for kids (and parents) as the summer winds down, it has all the staying power of an August breeze...

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    "Class Action Park" Movie Review

    6 months ago

    Yes, kids, long ago there really was a place called Action Park. From 1978 to 1996, it attracted mainly teenagers primarily from the New York area to a quint little grassy knoll an hour outside of town in the northernmost part of New Jersey. The place was a no-holds-barred, largely unsupervised ...

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    "The Sleepover" Movie Review

    6 months ago

    Seeing as she was the brains behind those phenomenal, one-take music videos by OK Go, you would think anything that director Trish Sie touches would be a tightly-choreographed, uber-whimsical joyride. But as we learned in 2017, with her helming of the “silly whimper” that was the finale of the...

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    "Project Power" Movie Review

    6 months ago

    Take a couple of bankable stars, a directing duo whose last effort came out of nowhere to be considerably above average, and a premise that (at least on paper) has a decent amount of promise, and it would be hard to swing and miss, right? Netflix’s latest “original film” Project Power, however...

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    "Made in Italy" Movie Review

    6 months ago

    You can’t help but feel the presence of the late Natasha Richardson in virtually every frame of Made in Italy, the directorial and writing debut of actor James D’Arcy. Starring Liam Neeson and his son (with Natasha) Micheál Richardson, the film is a true life-imitates-art experience, as the ...

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    "Yes, God, Yes" Movie Review

    6 months ago

    When a film opens with a quote from Revelations about faithless and sexually amoral people and then follows it with an Urban Dictionary definition of “tossing someone’s salad”, we can safely assume we’re in for a bit of terrific. And Karen Maine’s satire/polite skewering of private Catholic...

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    "Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story" Movie Review

    6 months ago

    How much is too much for you to stop appreciating a former Hollywood favorite’s work once distasteful (or even criminal) revelations about him arise? Has The Usual Suspects and House of Cards been scratched from your watchlist in the wake of Kevin Spacey’s sexual assault charges?

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    "I Used to Go Here" Movie Review

    6 months ago

    As many folks as there are who are eager to leave the salad days of college life in the rearview mirror, there seem to be just as many people who find it impossible to shake the nostalgia for the ol’ alma mater. It’s a plot we’ve seen play out in Hollywood countless times (including 2018’s Life ...

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    "An American Pickle" Movie Review

    6 months ago

    If you’ve ever thought, while watching a Seth Rogen movie, that what it really needed was even more Seth, An American Pickle (now on HBO Max) doubles up the comedic actor for you, albeit with mixed results. Playing dual roles—as Brooklynite hipster app developer Ben Greenbaum and also Ben’s ...

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    "Howard" Movie Review

    6 months ago

    For those not among the deep-dive Disney faithful, the name Howard Ashman may only spark the slightest hint of recognition, but if you were told he’s the man who wrote the lyrics to all the songs in The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin, you may well light up like a Christmas tree...

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    "The Beach House" Movie Review

    6 months ago

    Getting its release in the heart of summer during a global pandemic certainly doesn’t hurt director Jeffrey A. Brown’s debut feature The Beach House from feeling particularly timely and relevant. And though there are certainly a handful of decent scares and a solid, pervading air of uneasiness...

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    "The Go-Go's" Movie Review

    6 months ago

    The recent spate of music documentaries has given us behind-the-scenes access into everyone from Taylor Swift (Miss Americana) to the late Michael Hutchence (Mystify) to Joan Jett (Bad Reputation), with varying results. It’s easy, it seems, for filmmakers to rely on the model that VH1’s acclaimed...

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    "Black is King" Movie Review

    6 months ago

    With the current state of the world these days, there may not have been a better time for Beyoncé to release Black is King, her feature film directorial debut. (She’s no stranger to the director’s chair, though, having helmed more than a dozen of her own music videos plus the 2016 long-form ...

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    "Summerland" Movie Review

    6 months ago

    Set against the backdrop of the early days of World War II in England, playwright Jessica Swale’s feature directorial debut Summerland (which she also wrote) is one of those fine British films that we’ve seen dozens of times before, but—buoyed by rich performances by Gemma Arterton...

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    "Radioactive" Movie Review

    7 months ago

    After years (heck, decades) of being a “Where have I seen her before?” actor on this side of the Atlantic, Rosamund Pike may now (finally) be getting some of the recognition that she’s long enjoyed in her native England. Perhaps best known Stateside for her Oscar-nominated role in 2014’s Gone...

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    "The Rental" Movie Review

    7 months ago

    Dave Franco is paranoid. And, as he told Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers, his paranoia reached its peak as he sat in the director’s chair for the first time, making The Rental—the story of two couples who vacation at an Oregon house for a weekend, only to find that they’re not alone. It’s a ...

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    "The Sunlit Night" Movie Review

    7 months ago

    Like a gentle breeze that leaves you refreshed but isn’t strong enough to even mess up your hair, The Sunlit Night arrives as yet another under-the-radar indie gem that tells a cute little story with fun characters, a pinch of drama, and all kinds of quirky local color. Adapted by Rebecca ...

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    "The Old Guard" Movie Review

    7 months ago

    It would be a good idea to avoid getting on Charlize Theron’s bad side. If her prowess in the fine art of kick-assery in recent films like Atomic Blonde and Mad Max: Fury Road isn’t enough proof, The Old Guard will cement the idea forever in your mind...

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    "Palm Springs" Movie Review

    7 months ago

    We’ve seen Groundhog Day as a gritty alien-invasion movie (Edge of Tomorrow), an amusing pseudo-horror flick (Happy Death Day and its sequel), and even as a sappy bit of holiday cheese (12 Dates of Christmas), so what could possibly be left to do do in the world of infinite time loop movies?

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    "Greyhound" Movie Review

    7 months ago

    If there’s such a thing as a good ol’-fashioned war movie, Greyhound fits the bill. Starring, written and produced by Tom Hanks, the film (streaming on Apple TV+) is an economical yet highly-charged World War II-set matinee flick. All that’s missing is the fake-butter popcorn and the sticky floor...

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    "The Outpost" Movie Review

    7 months ago

    For the first hour of The Outpost—the phenomenal, visceral new film by director Rod Lurie—the U.S. soldiers stationed at the would-be death trap that is PRT Kamdesh in Afghanistan shoot the breeze while ducking a few stray bullets here and there. Like 2017’s Dunkirk, 2014’s Fury, and ...

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    "Desperados" Movie Review

    7 months ago

    The worst thing about the new Netflix original Desperados isn’t the fact that it completely squanders all the goodwill that the streaming service has recently built up with fun originals like Always Be My Maybe, The Half of It, and the recent Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga...

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    "Hamilton" Movie Review

    8 months ago

    After a musical about a “bastard, orphan, son of a whore” becomes the biggest thing Broadway has seen in ages, what comes next? The once-in-a-lifetime show had people spending in the neighborhood of $1000 for a single ticket, and though many folks were lucky enough to be in the room where it...

  • 2020 in Movies: The First Six Months
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    2020 in Movies: The First Six Months

    8 months ago

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    "Irresistible" Movie Review

    8 months ago

    News Flash: The American political system is corrupt, driven by greed, and fueled by money. If you need further proof, ex-The Daily Show anchor Jon Stewart’s Irresistible (which he wrote and directed) spells it out for you with all the subtlety of a ball-peen hammer to the skull.

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    "Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga" Movie Review

    8 months ago

    If you’ve ever had the pleasure of watching the annual Eurovision Song Contest and marveled (perhaps while chuckling politely) at the slickly-produced, over-the-top performances of the frothiest of frothy pop songs, just imagine what a Will Ferrell-written homage to it would look like...

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    "My Spy" Movie Review

    8 months ago

    Though My Spy may seem like the latest entry in the long line of kiddie flicks featuring tough guys hanging out with (and getting softened by) their young co-stars—think 2007’s The Game Plan or even 1990’s Kindergarten Cop—it actually carries a PG-13 rating. And that little bit of an edge gives ...

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    "Athlete A" Movie Review

    8 months ago

    Despite all of us being well aware of the scandal that brought down USA Gymnastics a few years ago, my guess is that the vast majority of people have never heard the name Maggie Nichols. And I’ll admit that until I watched Netflix’s powerful and vital new documentary Athlete A, I was among them...

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    "Judy & Punch" Movie Review

    8 months ago

    The directorial debut of Australian actress Mirrah Foulkes, Judy & Punch is one of those bizarre, quirky indie films that will leave you scratching your head and wondering whether or not you like it, even as you admire the heady, avant-garde filmmaking at its core...

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    "7500" Movie Review

    8 months ago

    Though marketed as a somewhat cheesy, Liam Neeson-esque thriller, writer-director Patrick Vollrath’s debut 7500 (streaming free on Amazon Prime) has a surprisingly decent amount of heft to it and is anchored by yet another rock-solid performance from Joseph Gordon-Levitt. One of the more vastly ...

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    "Artemis Fowl" Movie Review

    8 months ago

    With a $125 million budget and a primo post-Memorial Day weekend opening, Artemis Fowl was all set to be one of the tentpoles of Disney’s summer, nestled snuggly between the live-action Mulan and the Dwayne Johnson/Emily Blunt-starrer Jungle Cruise. It was also, presumably, the kick-off of a...

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    "Da 5 Bloods" Movie Review

    8 months ago

    Even if Spike Lee’s fantastic new film Da 5 Bloods hadn’t debuted this week (on Netflix), it still would be one of the most powerful and resonant films of the year. Arriving as it does, however, in the midst of Black Lives Matter protests and national unrest, helps it hit home that much more...

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    "Spelling the Dream" Movie Review

    8 months ago

    Netflix’s new documentary Spelling the Dream couches itself as an exploration of the spate of Indian-American winners at the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee—which is indeed a remarkable, noteworthy run. South Asian kids have won the event for the past twelve years straight (and 26 of the ...

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    "The Vast of Night" Movie Review

    9 months ago

    In the history of baseball, only 29 hitters have ever cracked a home run off the very first pitch they saw in the Major Leagues. With his debut feature The Vast of Night (now streaming free on Amazon Prime), director Andrew Patterson has accomplished an equivalent feat in the film world...

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    "Military Wives" Movie Review

    9 months ago

    Twenty-two years after The Full Monty (and eleven since his last film, the ill-fated The Rocker), director Peter Cattaneo is back with Military Wives. Getting its wide debut on Hulu after premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival last September, the film dramatizes the creation of ...

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    "The Lovebirds" Movie Review

    9 months ago

    Early on in The Lovebirds, the latest throw-away comedy from Netflix, on-the-rocks couple Jibran (Kumail Najiani) and Leilani (Issa Rae) sit in a diner and discuss how weird it is that milkshakes are the only food served with its own leftovers (that stainless steel cup with the extra last bit)...

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    "Buffaloed" Movie Review

    9 months ago

    Shooting a gold-plated pistol into the air after screaming a naughty word and pell-melling down the street in a smart pantsuit—that’s how we meet the fictional Peg Dahl, the firecracker at the heart of director Tanya Wexler’s indie-tastic looney-tune adventure Buffaloed. Call it a low-rent ...

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    "The Wrong Missy" Movie Review

    9 months ago

    If an Adam Sandler movie drops on Netflix, and his face never appears, is it still an Adam Sandler movie? You may find yourself pondering that (along with many other things) as you watch The Wrong Missy, the latest uninspired Happy Madison production to stream for the masses. Indeed, everything ...

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    "Valley Girl (2020)" Movie Review

    9 months ago

    37 years after Nicolas Cage grabbed Deborah Foreman’s hand and, like, ran out of the Valley High gym to the sounds of Josie Cotton’s “He Could Be The One”, MGM takes us back to the world of Randy and Julie with a spit-polished, musical remake of the cult favorite Valley Girl. As crisp and clean...

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    "Arkansas" Movie Review

    9 months ago

    Like a slow mosey through an Alabama backwater, Clark Duke’s directorial debut is a just-fine film with some colorful characters and some pretty views but not much else. (And, yes, it may be called Arkansas and be based on John Brandon’s 2009 novel of the same name, but the bulk of it was filmed...

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    "James vs. His Future Self" Movie Review

    9 months ago

    Ask anyone who’s ever time-traveled, and they’ll all tell you the same thing—never, under any circumstance, ever do anything that could mess up the space-time continuum. And that goes double when it comes to interacting with yourself from the future. Or the past. Or… whenever. All that goes ...

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    "The Half of It" Movie Review

    10 months ago

    Sure, teenagers’ proms and graduations have been canceled, and it certainly is difficult to get with their high school sweeties during quarantine lockdown, but at least they can take some comfort in the fact that there’s a slew of above-average teen-friendly fare to occupy their minds these ...

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    "Bad Education" Movie Review

    8 months ago

    Frank Tassone, the man at the center of the $11 million Long Island school-district embezzlement scheme that dominated headlines in the early 2000s, claims that the new HBO film about him is somewhere around 50% accurate. Admittedly, he’s the only one who truly knows, but even if the subplots ...

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    "The Willoughbys" Movie Review

    10 months ago

    Though it may not be the most prudent choice (especially during these shelter-in-place days) to gather the kids for a flick about tyrannical parents and their children’s fiendish plot to “off” them, Netflix’s latest feature The Willoughbys is so bright and fun, it’s quite possible that your ...

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    "To the Stars" Movie Review

    10 months ago

    When director Martha Stephens took her fourth feature out on the festival circuit in 2019 (earning a Jury Prize for Best Narrative at the OUT at the Movies International LGBT Film Fest along the way), it was presented in black and white. It was a fitting choice, given that To the Stars is set in...

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    "Extraction" Movie Review

    10 months ago

    Though Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans have both parted ways with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (in a vain hope for greener pastures?) Chris Hemsworth will be back at Thor… though it most likely will be delayed at least a little due to the global COVID-19 quarantine. In the meantime, though...

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    "Beastie Boys Story" Movie Review

    10 months ago

    When I wrote my very first movie review (for Pixar’s Up) in May 2009, Beastie Boys were very much a thing, still two years from releasing Hot Sauce Committee Part Two. Streaming services were gaining some traction, but Blockbuster was still in business, and Apple was still working out the kinks ...

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    "Trolls World Tour" Movie Review

    10 months ago

    No matter what happens or where we go in life, Trolls World Tour will always live on as the answer to the trivia question, “What was the first-ever major Hollywood release that didn’t debut in a movie theater?” Don’t cry for the cute and colorful sequel from Dreamworks Animation, though. At $20 ...

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    "Sergio" Movie Review

    10 months ago

    In 2009, filmmaker Greg Barker released the documentary Sergio about the fascinating life and untimely death of UN administrator Sergio de Mello. The film went on to be a festival darling, winning a handful of awards around the world while serving as both a eulogy for the diplomat and a ...

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    "Other Music" Movie Review

    10 months ago

    It’s doubtful that many people sipping their Kombucha over a Shrimp Sesame Soba Noodle bowl at Broken Coconut in New York City’s East Village have any idea of the history surrounding them. Just four years ago, that location at 15 East 4th Street was the home of one of the most influential record ...

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    "Love Wedding Repeat" Movie Review

    10 months ago

    If you long for the 90s—when Euro-set rom-coms were all the rage (Only You, Love Actually, Forget Paris, etc.)—but wished they were infinitely more crass and included a Sliding Doors-esque alternate universe, well… I’m still not sure the Netflix original Love Wedding Repeat would be worth your ...

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    "Les Misérables (2020)" Movie Review

    10 months ago

    Fear not. French filmmaker Ladj Ly’s first feature is not another remake of Victor Hugo’s sprawling novel or its long-running, mawkish musical. What the they do share, though, is a location (the Parisian slums of Montfermiel) and a spirit (authority, bad—hoi polloi, good) that perfectly brings ...

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    "Sea Fever" Movie Review

    10 months ago

    When Neasa Hardiman won the Best Feature Screenplay Prize at the 2012 London Film Awards for the as-yet unproduced film Sea Fever, the Irish TV director and producer obviously had no idea how resonant her film would be when it finally saw the light of day in the spring of 2020. The sci-fi ...

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    "Mine 9" Movie Review

    10 months ago

    Winner of the Grand Prize at the 2019 Arizona International Film Festival a year ago, writer-director Eddie Mensore’s Mine 9 finally gets its wide release this week (thank you, Netflix!). Following in the footsteps of 2015’s The 33 (about the 2010 real-life Chilean Mine collapse), Mensore’s ...

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    "Coffee & Kareem" Movie Review

    11 months ago

    Pedophilia. Homosexuality. Racism. Not exactly the fodder for the world’s smartest comedy, but don’t tell Shane Mack. The first-time screenwriter thinks they’re all hilarious, and even more so (apparently) when the jokes come from the ridiculously foul mouth of a 12-year-old. Coffee & Kareem, the...

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    "Vivarium" Movie Review

    11 months ago

    Lest you need any further reminder that it can be a little stifling and claustrophobic to remain sheltered in-place in your suburban home and forced to interact with the children you’re not used to having underfoot all day/every day, Saban Films is pleased to offer Vivarium. Obviously the studio...

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    "Stargirl" Movie Review

    11 months ago

    It’s been 20 years since author Jerry Spinelli introduced the world to Stargirl, the quirky, manic pixie dream girl who descends on an Arizona high school and then disappears just as quickly, without anyone really appreciating her impact. Though the inherent lessons about individuality and not ...

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    "Ride Like a Girl" Movie Review

    11 months ago

    The name Michelle Payne is little known (if at all) outside of Australia, but the pioneering jockey who broke into the male-dominated sport of horse racing and then became the first (and still only) woman to win the signature Melbourne Cup race is getting her due at the cineplex. (Well—via video...

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    "Banana Split" Movie Review

    11 months ago

    Back in 2006, 10-year-old Liana Liberato and her 13-year-old best friend Hannah Marks were profiled in The New York Times Magazine article “Hollywood Elementary” about pre-teens struggling to make it in show business. Ten years later, each with a solid resume under their belt, Marks cast Liberato...

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    "International Falls" Movie Review

    11 months ago

    How is it that movies about stand-up comedians are often among the more melancholy and dark things out there? From 1982’s The King of Comedy all the way through to last year’s Joker (with pit stops at Punchline and Funny People along the way), the struggling stand-up has become the poster child ...

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    "Blow the Man Down" Movie Review

    11 months ago

    After winning Best Screenplay (U.S.) at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, the black comedy Blow the Man Down finally gets its wide release thanks to Amazon, which scooped up the distribution rights last May. The Downeast-set murder thriller plays very much like a low(er)-budget Seacoast version of ...

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    "Lost Transmissions" Movie Review

    11 months ago

    Whether it’s his recurring role as the comic relief in the Mission: Impossible series or being the co-writer and star of the vaunted Cornetto trilogy, Simon Pegg has made his name by being a very, very funny man. So when he has occasionally dabbles in pseudo-serious fare (2014’s Hector and the ...

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    "Lost Girls" Movie Review

    11 months ago

    One of the most famous unsolved American mysteries in recent years, the identity of the Long Island Serial Killer has long baffled authorities. Believed to have murdered somewhere in the neighborhood of a dozen young women from 1996 to the early 2000s, the killer primarily targeted young ...

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    "The Hunt" Movie Review

    11 months ago

    More famous for raising Trump’s ire than anything else, and after being initially shelved in the wake of the El Paso and Dayton mass shootings, The Hunt finally arrives in theaters six months after its scheduled release. Though it follows a plot we’ve seen many times before—humans hunting humans ...

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    "Big Time Adolescence" Movie Review

    11 months ago

    Whether Pete Davidson’s comments last month about being done with Saturday Night Live were true or not, it doesn’t look like it’s gonna matter, at least to him. Should the comedian put Rockefeller Plaza in his rearview, he’s proven that he’s got the talent to sustain himself for as long as he ...

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    "Emma" Movie Review

    11 months ago

    In these virus-laden days of fear and uncertainty (lockdowns, toilet paper shortages, social distancing), it may provide at least a smidge of comfort to know that Universal is saving you the trouble of having to go to a crowded movie theater and sit next to a human petri dish in order to enjoy...

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    "The Way Back" Movie Review

    11 months ago

    No doubt Ben Affleck’s well-documented struggles with addiction over the years, beginning with an Outward Bound visit at age fifteen, afforded the actor plenty of perspective in prepping for Gavin O’Connor’s The Way Back. In fact, according to O’Connor, Affleck finished his latest rehab stint ...

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    "Spenser Confidential" Movie Review

    11 months ago

    Director Peter Berg has apparently found his muse, helming five straight films with Mark Wahlberg in the lead. Three of them worked (Patriots Day, Deepwater Horizon, Lone Survivor), one didn’t (Mile 22), and the latest, Netflix original Spenser Confidential, falls squarely in between. Despite ...

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    "Guns Akimbo" Movie Review

    11 months ago

    Anyone who remembers (and who among us doesn’t?) the 11-year-old moppet Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, strolling Diagon Alley and confronting Fluffy, will do at least a triple- (if not quadruple-) take at what’s he’s up to now. Guns Akimbo, the latest from Deathgasm director Jason Lei Howden...

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    "Escape from Pretoria" Movie Review

    11 months ago

    With all the impactful and important films that have been produced documenting the struggle against Apartheid in South Africa (Cry Freedom, A Dry White Season, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), it’s borderline-incredible that none have been made telling the story of Tim Jenkin and Stephen Lee...

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    "Onward" Movie Review

    11 months ago

    After two straight sequels, Pixar is back to offering up fresh material for the first time since 2017’s Coco. Onward, a magic-steeped bit of fun set in a world of elves, fairies, and the occasional centaur-stepdad-policeman, may not offer up Pixar’s usual level of instant-classic-ness, but it ...

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    "The Night Clerk" Movie Review

    12 months ago

    Michael Cristofer’s resume includes a Pulitzer and a Tony (for 1977’s The Shadow Box), and awards from the Writers Guild (for the 2009 TV movie Georgia O'Keeffe) and Director’s Guild (for the 1998 HBO film Gia). In the wake of The Night Clerk, though, you may find yourself wondering why...

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    "10 Things We Should Do Before We Break Up" Movie Review

    12 months ago

    At a surprisingly brief 74 minutes, writer-director Galt Niederhoffer’s 10 Things We Should Do Before We Break Up feels like it ends just as it gets going, but, as with the quirky relationship at its core, it turns out there’s the right amount of magic to sustain itself for the perfect amount of ...

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    "The Invisible Man" Movie Review

    12 months ago

    In a time when “horror movie” has come to mean paranormal things crawling across a ceiling or spooks providing cheap jump-scares as they pounce out of a closet, it’s easy for an excellent, truly terrifying film like The Invisible Man to stand out. The film is credited as being based on the 1897 ...

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    "Sonic the Hedgehog" Movie Review

    12 months ago

    As video games movies go, you can do worse than Sonic the Hedgehog. Faint praise, to be sure—when your genre’s standout entries include the Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, and Mortal Kombat series, you’re not exactly commanding the respect of the movie-going public—but Sonic not only works, it may ...

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    "Impractical Jokers: The Movie" Movie Review

    12 months ago

    The poster for Impractical Jokers: The Movie rationalizes the film’s existence by exclaiming “the small screen couldn’t hold them”. Couldn’t it, though? Really? For eight seasons, the four Staten Island gents (Murr, Q, Joe, and Sal) have made a living on truTV pulling Jackass-lite pranks on each ...

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    "All the Bright Places" Movie Review

    12 months ago

    From suicide to bulimia to mental illness, director Brett Haley’s Netflix film All the Bright Places doesn’t shy away from tackling some hefty topics, but it’s the connection shared between the two teens at its center that may be its most memorable component. Elle Fanning and Justice Smith star ...

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    "The Last Thing He Wanted" Movie Review

    12 months ago

    Though I've never read Joan Didion's 1996 novel, it's a safe bet that the entirely nonsensical, overly convoluted film adaptation of The Last Thing He Wanted has taken the best-selling novel, lit it on fire and chucked it into a trash can. It’s stunning, in fact, how bad this thing is. Just one ...

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    "Olympic Dreams" Movie Review

    12 months ago

    From Chariots of Fire to Miracle to Cool Runnings, the Olympics have long provided fodder for stirring stories of personal triumph and national pride. What they haven’t done as often (if at all) is serve as the backdrop for a quiet love story that barely mentions athletics. In a scant 83 minutes...

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    "The Call of the Wild" Movie Review

    12 months ago

    As much of an all-time classic as Jack London’s 1903 novel The Call of the Wild is (did anyone survive elementary school without reading it?), it’s no surprise the big-screen adaptations have been rolling out at a fairly consistent trot ever since the first, a 1923 silent film. Despite offering ...

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    "Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made" Movie Review

    12 months ago

    With 29 million subscribers in its first three months, Disney+ has clearly chiseled itself a nice little chunk of the streaming market. While most subscribers, I’ll warrant, are there for the back catalog of Marvel, Star Wars, Disney, and Pixar flicks, the channel’s original content is quickly...

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    "The Coldest Game" Movie Review

    12 months ago

    Set against the backdrop of the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, Polish writer-director Łukasz Kośmicki’s first feature The Coldest Game has all the trappings of an edge-of-your-seat period thriller. Spies, microfilms, poison, and even an international chess tournament all feature ...

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    "The Photograph" Movie Review

    12 months ago

    It’s a fairly sad commentary on the current state of the world that the Valentine’s Day offerings at the cineplex include a god-awfully stupid pseudo-horror reboot of a cheesy 80s show alongside a hundred-miles-an-hour, kid-tastic video game-inspired romp. What happened to, you know, love and ...

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    "Fantasy Island" Movie Review

    12 months ago

    As a movie critic (admittedly a semi-professional, less-than-part-time one), I feel at least a mild obligation to stick with a movie until the credits roll. Even recent dreck like Cats, Serenity, and Dolittle had a redeeming factor or two (and if not, I harbored a tiny, warped sense of curiosity...

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    "Short Circuit: Experimental Films" Review

    12 months ago

    The origins of the Disney empire can be traced all the way back to Uncle Walt’s very first animated short film, 1921’s “Cleaning Up”. (“Steamboat Willie” wouldn’t arrive for another seven years.) In the century since, full-length feature films have clearly evolved to become the backbone of ...

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    "Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn" Movie Review

    12 months ago

    On the plus side, Birds of Prey only needs to be better than its unmitigated disaster of a prequel, 2016’s Suicide Squad, to be considered a success. Though it’s definitely worse in the title department (with a ridiculous parenthetical like “...And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One ...

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    "The Rhythm Section" Movie Review

    13 months ago

    From Tomb Raider to Atomic Blonde and even to last month’s Underwater, those jonesing for a female-driven action movie haven’t had to wait very long at the cineplex in recent years. Reed Morano’s The Rhythm Section, based on Mark Burnell’s bestselling novel, is the latest ...

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    "Miss Americana" Movie Review

    13 months ago

    In July 2016, the interwebs were abuzz with the “TaylorSwiftIsOverParty” hashtag, trumpeting what many thought (and, no doubt, hoped) was the end of an era in pop music. As we have learned in the three years since, however, reports of the singer’s demise were greatly exaggerated...

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    "The Gentlemen" Movie Review

    13 months ago

    After venturing outside his own box and directing the horribly misguided King Arthur: Legend of the Sword in 2017 and this past May’s oh-so-painful live-action remake of Aladdin for Disney, writer-director Guy Ritchie has decided to get back to his bread and butter with The Gentlemen. But it’s ...

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    "Troop Zero" Movie Review

    13 months ago

    With characters named Christmas Flint, Dwayne Champaign, and Hell-No Price, and being set in a town called Wiggly, Georgia, in 1977, it’s clear from the giddy-up that Troop Zero is just about as nutty as a five-pound fruitcake. It’s also as cute as a button and more fun than a clown on fire...

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    "Mystify: Michael Hutchence" Movie Review

    13 months ago

    In the mid-1980s there were few men who could claim rock god status quite like Michael Hutchence. The hugely charismatic lead singer of INXS burst on the scene with his band’s first big hit, 1985’s “What You Need” (though true fans remember as far back as 1982’s “The One Thing” and ...

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    "Dolittle" Movie Review

    13 months ago

    One look at the poster will tell you everything you need to know about the horribly misguided and unwatchable Dolittle (not to mention the title itself, which accurately implies the mantra for everyone involved in this disaster). A thoroughly nonchalant Robert Downey Jr. seems to be shrugging off...

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    "Bad Boys for Life" Movie Review

    13 months ago

    Way back in 1995, Martin Lawrence was wrapping up season 3 of his successful Fox sitcom, Will Smith hadn’t yet thought about getting jiggy wit xxanything, and the only credits on Michael Bay’s resume were a few music videos and the famous Got Milk commercial about Aaron Burr. (Yup, that was ...

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    "Underwater" Movie Review

    13 months ago

    There’s not a lick of William Eubank’s Underwater that hasn’t been borrowed or stolen from any number of movies that have come before it. It’s Alien at the bottom of the ocean, DeepStar Six with an evil corporation, and The Abyss as a horror film. It’s Godzilla (any of them) meets Leviathan, and...

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    "Just Mercy" Movie Review

    13 months ago

    Even if you don’t know the story behind Just Mercy, the real-life legal drama that mirrors everything from To Kill a Mockingbird to A Time To Kill, you won’t have a hard time figuring out exactly what’s gonna happen at every step along the way. When you indeed know the exact destination of a ...

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    "1917" Movie Review

    13 months ago

    By now, the secret (if it ever qualified as one) is out. Director Sam Mendes’ World War I epic 1917 is made to appear as though it is (for the most part) one, long continuous shot. What could, though, be simply tossed aside as a gimmick included solely to get people talking about the film is ...

  • 2019 in Movies: The Last Six Months
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    2019 in Movies: The Last Six Months

    13 months ago

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    "Bombshell" Movie Review

    13 months ago

    He may have started out as a guy known for the broadest of broad humor—helming the Austin Powers trilogy and the first two Meet the Parents films—but Jay Roach has since evolved into one of the more incisive contemporary directors, particularly when it comes to real-life, politically-tinged....

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    "Little Women" Movie Review

    14 months ago

    Before writer-director Greta Gerwig took her shot, Louisa May Alcott’s classic 1868 novel Little Women had been adapted for the screen six times, including a silent film in 1917, the George Cukor-directed, Oscar-winning standard-bearer in 1933, and even a contemporary re-telling in 2018.

  • 10 Worst Films of the '10s
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    10 Worst Films of the '10s

    14 months ago

  • 10 Best Films of the '10s
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    10 Best Films of the '10s

    14 months ago

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    "The Two Popes" Movie Review

    14 months ago

    A pair of stodgy elderly gents sit around for two hours chatting with each other in a smartly crafted blend of comedy and drama. They tell jokes, discuss life’s great mysteries, and even hurl taunts about each other’s favorite sports teams, sometimes over a meal of pizza and Fanta. It’s a ...

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    "Spies in Disguise" Movie Review

    14 months ago

    The last time we saw Will Smith (and Will Smith), he was fighting himself in the decidedly average Gemini Man—a so-so film that squandered its nifty concept and found Smith sleepwalking his way through a rote action flick. In the animated, kid-friendly, James Bond-lite effort Spies in Disguise ...

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    "Jumanji: The Next Level" Movie Review

    14 months ago

    Two years after earning a billion dollars (and a couple Kids’ Choice Awards, which is, you know, nothing to sneeze at) the Jumanji saga continues with The Next Level, its entertaining sequel (or three-quel, depending how you count). Blasting into theaters with all the subtlety of a marauding ...

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    "The Report" Movie Review

    14 months ago

    A film about a five-year Senate inquiry that resulted in a 6,700-page report written by a bland man working alone in a concrete basement room may not sound like riveting, must-watch stuff, but The Report (which itself may be the blandest of bland titles) is instantly reminiscent of political ...

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    "Cats" Movie Review

    14 months ago

    Way back in January, I confidently declared Steven Knight’s Serenity was the “runaway contender for worst movie of the year.” And then I doubled down, avowing, “Truly, it will take a calamitous motion picture event to knock Serenity from its perch, and that’s not likely since the majority of the ...

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    "The Aeronauts" Movie Review

    14 months ago

    It’s a safe bet that very few people know about the pioneering, ninety-minute hot air balloon flight that took place above England in 1862, but since it paved the way for the entire concept of weather forecasting, its a story that may well be worth a couple hours of your time. And fortunately...

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    "Richard Jewell" Movie Review

    14 months ago

    After the failed experiment that was 2018’s The 15:17 to Paris, Clint Eastwood has bounced back with Richard Jewell, the compelling, based-on-a-true story biopic of the man who went from hero to villain to forgotten footnote in the summer of 1996. Jewell, who is credited with saving countless ...

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    "Parasite" Movie Review

    14 months ago

    Parasite may just be the best film of the year.

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    "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" Movie Review

    14 months ago

    When a long-storied franchise nears the finish line, it’s almost inevitable that the filmmakers will stumble over themselves to cram ten pounds of stuff into a five-pound bag, trying to not only please audiences and complete the tale but to also do justice to the installments that have come before.

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    "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" Movie Review

    14 months ago

    When one of the more memorable moments of Marielle Heller’s touching A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is an all-out fistfight at a wedding, followed later by a whack-a-doo dream sequence involving a grown man shrunk to puppet size and cavorting with Daniel Striped Tiger and King Friday XIII...

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    "6 Underground" Movie Review

    13 months ago

    Michael. Bay. Two words that elicit an almost visceral reaction among moviegoers. Critics, by and large, can’t fathom the fell, but he does fare better, by and large, with average Joes and Janes. (A quick flip through his oeuvre on Rotten Tomatoes reveals a general gulf of around 30 or 40 ...

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    "The Farewell" Movie Review

    14 months ago

    If we’re lucky (and we usually are), any given year will provide two or three truly outstanding films that transcend all others and remind us why we go to the movies—why we pony up ten, fifteen bucks, munch grease-lubed popcorn, and tolerate the tool behind us whanging our seatback all too ...

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    "Marriage Story" Movie Review

    14 months ago

    It would be easily forgivable should you need a reminder that Scarlett Johansson is among the more talented actors working today. She has, after all, spent most of the past decade donning a catsuit and kicking ass as Black Widow in the Marvel Universe. Fun times, to be sure, but not exactly the ...

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    "Where'd You Go Bernadette" Movie Review

    14 months ago

    Four times. The release of Richard Linklater’s adaptation of Maria Semple’s best-selling novel Where’d You Go Bernadette was delayed four times—from its original release date of May 2018 to October 2018 to March 2019 to August 9, 2019, before landing at its final resting place of August 16, 2019...

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    "Love, Antosha" Movie Review

    15 months ago

    Of the late Anton Yelchin, co-star Jon Voight (2015's Court of Conscience) says, “You’re always grateful when you see one of these talents. They’re very rare.” It’s one of the more poignant moments in Love, Antosha, the documentary of Yelchin’s all-too-brief life as one of the more gifted and ...

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    "The Irishman" Movie Review

    15 months ago

    In a match made in cinematic mobland heaven, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel, and Joe Pesci come together under the guiding light of the great Martin Scorsese for a three-and-a-half-hour sprawling epic about the man who claims to have killed Jimmy Hoffa. It’s exactly what you would ...

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    "Klaus" Movie Review

    15 months ago

    If you haven’t already, you’ll no doubt be bombarded (either willingly or not) over the next month by more holiday movies than may seem possible. Some will disappoint (Last Christmas), and others may only just suffice (Noelle)... and then there’s Klaus, the slightly off-kilter Netflix offering ...

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    "Knives Out" Movie Review

    15 months ago

    In a manner befitting the stick-’em-with-the-pointy-end weapons in its title, Knives Out slices and dices the whodunnit genre, arriving in theaters as one of the more entertaining films of the year. Writer-director Rian Johnson (Looper) has crafted a unique and deliciously clever ensemble film ...

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    "Frozen II" Movie Review

    15 months ago

    It’s been six long years since Elsa belted out (and belted us with) “Let It Go”, the show-stopping power ballad from Disney’s Frozen. At the time, I called the film “an exciting, charming, and downright exceptional movie that may just be Disney Animation’s finest effort since Beauty ...

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    "Earthquake Bird" Movie Review

    15 months ago

    Buried somewhere under the foundation of the latest throw-away Netflix thriller is a halfway-decent, moody suspense flick. The problem is, it’s buried so deep that no one can even begin to know it’s there, much less find it. And, after only ten or so minutes of watching Earthquake Bird, it’s ...

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    "Ford v Ferrari" Movie Review

    15 months ago

    Despite what you may think, you don’t need to be a speed freak or even a nominal car aficionado to get your motors revved by James Mangold’s full-throttle Ford v Ferrari. It may, in fact, be better if you’re not—the largely true-to-life film is eminently accessible for even the most novice ...

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    "Last Christmas" Movie Review

    15 months ago

    After eight years of destroying civilizations, executing armies, and scowling down on creation from high atop a fiery dragon, it’s nice to see Emilia Clarke smile. The Game of Thrones star has re-entered the rom-com world—following up 2016’s Me Before You—with Paul Feig’s laughy-weepie Last ...

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    "The Good Liar" Movie Review

    15 months ago

    How Ian McKellan and Helen Mirren have never had the opportunity to share the screen is beyond me and, after seeing their performances in Bill Condon’s The Good Liar, may even be grounds for criminal neglect. The two are, at ages 80 and 74 respectively, at the top of their game and could be ...

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    "Noelle" Movie Review

    15 months ago

    On one level, I suppose we should all just be thankful (especially during this joyous holiday season) that Disney has graced the world with an actual original movie and not a remake, sequel, reboot, or yet another live-action version of one of their animated classics. And though Noelle—the first...

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    "Jojo Rabbit" Movie Review

    15 months ago

    Not that it would be advisable at first glance, but if you could somehow cobble together a mash-up of Wes Anderson, Monthy Python, and The Diary of Anne Frank, you might find yourself in the neighborhood of Taika Waititi’s simultaneously whack-a-doo and gut-wrenching Jojo Rabbit. It may indeed ...

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    "Dolemite Is My Name" Movie Review

    15 months ago

    With a career that includes seven Golden Raspberry nominations for Worst Actor (and a “win” for 2007’s god-awful Norbit), Eddie Murphy is one of Hollywood’s great conundrums. The man who ruled on the stand-up stage and at the box office in the 80s, brilliantly voiced Shrek’s wise-cracking ...

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    "Terminator: Dark Fate" Movie Review

    16 months ago

    Three years after director Tim Miller blasted into our consciousness with his record-breaking, super-fun Deadpool, he’s breathing new life into the long-dead (well…felt-like-dead) Terminator franchise, and he’s bringing James Cameron and Linda Hamilton along with him. Yes, there have been ...

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    "Countdown" Movie Review

    16 months ago

    Playing like a harmless mash-up of Drag Me To Hell and Happy Death Day (with a little Scream thrown in for fun), writer-director Justin Dec’s feature debut Countdown is a fun, horror-lite movie that succeeds despite relying too much on tired genre tropes and jump scares. And though it takes its...

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    "Abominable" Movie Review

    16 months ago

    Following in the footsteps of E.T., Big Hero 6, and any number of other movies where kids discover an otherworldly creature/thing and then try to protect it from the pesky adults (who are usually wearing lab coats), Abominable certainly doesn’t break any new ground, but that’s not to say it’s not...

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    "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" Movie Review

    16 months ago

    Sad to say, but it’s not often these days that Disney has an original idea. So, after years (and years and years… and *sigh for many more years to come) of the Mouse House recycling their old animated movies into live-action flicks, it’s almost shocking to see something fresh arrive at the ...

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    "Zombieland: Double Tap" Movie Review

    16 months ago

    Ten years ago, as I was just starting out on my journey (notice I didn’t say “career”) as a movie critic, one of the first movies I reviewed was Ruben Fleischer’s genre mash-up Zombieland. At the time I gave it four and a half stars, praised it as “one of the year’s most truly entertaining ...

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    "Gemini Man" Movie Review

    16 months ago

    In 2013, Ang Lee was at the top his game—a two-time Oscar winner (2005’s Brokeback Mountain and 2012’s Life of Pi) with a slew of additional top-notch films to his credit, including Eat Drink Man Woman, Sense and Sensibility, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

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    "The Addams Family" Movie Review

    16 months ago

    At the beginning of The Addams Family (buh-duh-duh-duh… snap snap), we watch as the creepy and kooky Gomez (Oscar Isaac) and Morticia (Charlize Theron) get run out of town mid-nuptials by a pitchfork-wielding crowd. Frustrated, they exclaim that they wish there was somewhere they could just be ...

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    "Fractured" Movie Review

    16 months ago

    Following up his taut 2018 political thriller Beirut, director Brad Anderson has decided to join the growing throngs in offering up his latest feature on Netflix. Good thing, since it saves you from plunking down a ten-spot (or more) on Fractured in the theater and then grappling with the lousy ...

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    "In the Tall Grass" Movie Review

    17 months ago

    Stephen King is often asked where he gets the inspiration for his novels, and though the end results are (more often than not) admirably complex and inventive, I’m convinced they usually start with the simplest of notions: Take anything (literally anything) and insert the word “scary” or ...

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    "Joker" Movie Review

    17 months ago

    Calling Joker a comic book movie is akin to calling The Great Gatsby an interesting little book or Mirazur a nice place to grab a bite. Sure, technically you’d be correct, but some things in life transcend the basic description. As disturbing and terrifying as any movie you will see this year...

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    "Light of My Life" Movie Review

    17 months ago

    After the first ten minutes of Casey Affleck’s astounding Light of My Life (which he directed, wrote, produced, and stars in), you may find yourself cocking your head to the side or raise an eyebrow in quizzical wonder. Affleck begins the film with a lengthy storytelling moment between an unnamed...

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    "Hustlers" Movie Review

    16 months ago

    There’s no doubt the buzz will fade over the next few months, but who knew Jennifer Lopez had an Oscar-caliber performance tucked away in there somewhere? Sure, she made her stamp in Hollywood with some above-average early work (1997’s Selena and 1998’s Out of Sight, in particular), but the vast...

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    "Between Two Ferns: The Movie" Movie Review

    17 months ago

    Like a heaping bowl of black jelly beans, Funny or Die’s Between Two Ferns web series is the definition of acquired taste. No doubt many folks find the humor (they’ll probably use air-quotes there) so cringe-inducing that they’d rather pluck their nose hairs with a pair of rusty tweezers, but...

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    "Ad Astra" Movie Review

    17 months ago

    Feeling like an exquisitely blended concoction of Apocalypse Now and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar (with, perhaps, a dash of 2001), writer-director James Gray’s spooky and stunning Ad Astra is a heady, mind-trip of a film—a slow-burn anchored by what may be Brad Pitt’s most compelling work to ...

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    "Downton Abbey" Movie Review

    17 months ago

    As sweet as the most frothy of Mrs. Patmore’s souffles and as welcoming as a nuzzle from Lord Grantham’s retriever Teo, the Downton Abbey movie is a more-than-satisfying return to the life and times of the posh British domicile’s inhabitants, which held fans rapt for six seasons until its 2016 ...

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    "Falling Inn Love" Movie Review

    17 months ago

    Look no further than the title of Netlifx’s most recent throw-away, night-with-the-girls rom-com to get a clear sense of what this thing is all about and where we’re headed. Falling Inn Love makes no effort at all to hide what it is—a paint-by-numbers bit of cheesiness that takes an age-old ...

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    "The Goldfinch" Movie Review

    17 months ago

    After thirteen nominations for the Best Cinematography, the legendary Roger Deakins finally won his first Oscar for 2017’s Blade Runner 2049. His first film since that win is Brooklyn-helmer John Crowley’s adaptation of Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Goldfinch. And for those ...

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    "Angel Has Fallen" Movie Review

    17 months ago

    In what is presumably the last of the Fallen movie series, invincible Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is up to his old tricks—doing his best John McClane impression as bullets and bombs and fists fly all around him. Like the first two films in the series, Angel Has Fallen is a...

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    "It: Chapter Two" Movie Review

    18 months ago

    At 1,138 pages (with an audiobook that requires a 45-hour listen), Stephen King’s It is a monster of a novel, so it’s no surprise director Andy Muschietti split the book into two movies at its natural breaking point—2017’s Chapter One follows the Losers Club, a group of seven kids who join forces...

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    "Driven (2019)" Movie Review

    18 months ago

    Few people, outside of auto industry insiders, probably know much at all about John DeLorean, other than perhaps his cocaine charges and the fact that his namesake car was immortalized (along with a custom flux capacitor) in the Back to the Future series.

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    "Ready or Not" Movie Review

    18 months ago

    Rare is the movie that’ll make you laugh with glee when a character takes a crossbow bolt right through their gullet, but Ready or Not—directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett—isn’t your average “horror” movie. A delightful hybrid of, say, The Purge and 1985’s Clue, it’ll leave you ...

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    "Good Boys" Movie Review

    18 months ago

    Despite what comes out of their mouth—and, occasionally, what goes in it—the trio of sixth-graders in director and co-writer Gene Stupnitsky’s Good Boys (produced under Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s Point Grey Pictures banner) actually are...

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    "Blinded by the Light" Movie Review

    18 months ago

    From Swifties to Deadheads to the BeyHive, thriving fan bases have always powered popular musicians, and Bruce Springsteen’s loyal, fervid army is no exception. I doubt there are too many people who have only been to only one of The Boss’s concerts. You’ve either never seen him, or you’ve been a...

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    "The Kitchen" Movie Review

    18 months ago

    Even in a world where last November’s outstanding (and identically-plotted) Widows didn’t exist, it would be nearly impossible for anyone to justify the existence of a mess like writer-director Andrea Berloff’s lame, blood-soaked The Kitchen. Based on the 2014 DC comic series (though played as a ...

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    "Hobbs & Shaw" Movie Review

    19 months ago

    During the past few years there’s been no shortage of drama between cast members of the Fast and Furious franchise, but the latest flick—the laboriously-titled spinoff Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw—leaves all the drama behind to focus on the action (with a dollop of comedy thrown in for ...

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    "The Red Sea Diving Resort" Movie Review

    19 months ago

    For his first foray into his brave new post-Avengers world, Chris Evans goes on a based-on-a-true-story mission to rescue Ethiopian Jews in the early 1980s in Gideon Raff’s The Red Sea Diving Resort. The mostly shrug-worthy, paint-by-numbers Netflix film certainly gives a powerful (and largely...

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    "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" Movie Review

    14 months ago

    Quentin Tarantino has always worn his love for vintage Hollywood on his sleeve, and his penultimate film is his ultimate postcard. From the opening shots of a PanAm 747 landing at LAX in 1969 to the individual authentic props that dot the film from start to finish, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood ...

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    "The Lion King (2019)" Movie Review

    19 months ago

    There was once a time that Disney was widely regarded as a paragon of ingenuity and creativity. Chief among the surest things in Hollywood were the latest Disney film’s fantastic animation, super-memorable characters, and brilliant story. And starting with 1989’s The Little Mermaid, the ...

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    "Crawl" Movie Review

    19 months ago

    Ah, the good ol’-fashioned “man vs. creature” flick—it sometimes feels like more of a summer rite than barbeques and pool parties. Occasionally it’s done with its tongue firmly planted in its cheek, like last summer’s The Meg. Other times it takes itself (mostly) seriously, like 2017’s 47 Meters ...

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    "Spider-Man: Far From Home" Movie Review

    19 months ago

    If you’re still digesting that superbly filling five-star Avengers: Endgame entrée from April, loosen one more notch on your belt—Spider-Man: Far From Home is the frothy rainbow sherbet palate cleanser you may need. An overall pleasing and fun (though not without its faults) chapter in the now ...

  • 1

    "Stuber" Movie Review

    19 months ago

    There have obviously been plenty of oil-and-water pairings on the big screen over the years, but few can match this one in terms of sheer lunacy.

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    "Point Blank" Movie Review

    19 months ago

    Leaving his Falcon wings behind (at least for the time being), Avengers co-star Anthony Mackie keeps expanding the Netflix corner of his resume with Point Blank, a so-so remake of the 2010 French thriller (À Bout Portant) of the same name. Directed by Joe Lynch (Mayhem), Point Blank actually ...

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    "Toy Story 4" Movie Review

    20 months ago

    Who else but Pixar could extend a trilogy many agreed had concluded with its best installment nine years ago? And not only extend it but improve on what is already among the highest-rated franchises of all time? And center it on a literal piece of trash—a super-endearing, crudely cobbled-together...

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    "Yesterday" Movie Review

    20 months ago

    If you woke up one day and discovered you were the only person in the world who knew the song “She Loves You”, was familiar with the name John Lennon, and had ever used the “the long and winding road” in conversation, what would you do? Now, imagine (pun intended), you are Jack Malik ...

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    "Men in Black: International" Movie Review

    20 months ago

    Without scientific data or reliable polling, it’s hard to make the point that Men in Black I-III’s primary appeal was Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones (more specifically, their obvious chemistry)—though I’d be willing to bet that was the case. So what exactly is the point of making a fourth movie ...

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    "Murder Mystery" Movie Review

    20 months ago

    It’s more than likely the names Adam Sandler and Agatha Christie haven’t shown up in a sentence together too often. And though Sandler’s latest Netflix venture Murder Mystery won’t draw any direct comparisons to The Mysterious Affair at Styles anytime soon, you can squint and cock your head ...

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    "Late Night" Movie Review

    20 months ago

    When Mindy Kaling joined the writing staff of The Office in 2004, she was the first woman and the only minority. What would have been a rewarding but intimidating situation for anyone has clearly stuck with Kaling, as it serves as the inspiration for her first feature film script. Late Night...

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    "Hotel Mumbai" Movie Review

    20 months ago

    The latest in the long line of dramatic recountings of horrific real-life tragedies (22 July, The 15:17 to Paris) Hotel Mumbai takes us smack into the middle of the bloody attacks in India in November 2008. More than 150 people were killed, and 300 were injured in the four-day siege, which was ...

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    "On the Basis of Sex" Movie Review

    18 months ago

    Some movies have that “Oscar bait” air about them—triumphant, uplifting, and powerful biopics of groundbreaking people who fought for human rights and made the world a better place through an unending struggle. And after viewing the trailer, it was very easy to imagine putting the Ruth Bader ...

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    "The Secret Life of Pets 2" Movie Review

    21 months ago

    After the mile-a-minute whirlwind of slobber and pet hair that was the first Secret Life of Pets movie in 2016, it’s nice to see that apparently you can teach an old dog new tricks. The gang at Illumination has wisely taken a breath and dispatched with most of the hyperkinetic nuttiness that ...

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    "Destroyer" Movie Review

    21 months ago

    The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus is credited with telling us that the only constant is change, and though many in Hollywood pride themselves on always keeping audiences guessing (the Coen Brothers have never made the same movie twice, Gary Oldman and Meryl Streep are veritable chameleons)...

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    "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" Movie Review

    21 months ago

    If it’s been too long since you’ve had an uncontrollable urge to chuck Raisinettes at a movie screen while your ears bleed and your eyes bug out, congratulations—Godzilla: King of the Monsters is here for your cinematic enjoyment. Solidly in the camp of bigger-is-better and more-is-never-less...

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    "We Have Always Lived in the Castle" Movie Review

    21 months ago

    There was once a time that We Have Always Lived in the Castle would have been considered a horror film, a gothic tale of suspense and darkness that fueled nightmares in the mind of many a youngster during the wee hours. Nowadays, though, in a time when “horror” means constant, hollow jump scares ...

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    "Rocketman" Movie Review

    21 months ago

    Seven months after Bohemian Rhapsody gave us a heavily sanitized, watered-down history of Freddie Mercury and Queen, we finally get a no holds barred, fantastical, Behind the Music-esque film about one of music’s most colorful and prolific icons. Rocketman is every bit the movie Rhapsody could ...

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    "Aladdin (2019)" Movie Review

    21 months ago

    In the current climate of living green and sustainability, it’s at least somewhat comforting that Disney has taken the concept of recycling and run with it. And though I’m not sure this is the kind of recycling environmentalists have in mind, the Mouse House can at least earn partial credit, right?

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    "Booksmart" Movie Review

    21 months ago

    Easy A. The DUFF. The Edge of Seventeen. The list of criminally underrated, largely ignored, flat-out excellent teen coming-of-age movies grows longer every year. And now we can add the fantastic Bookmart. (Yes, it’s somehow possible that Booksmart gets the box office attention it deserves, but ...

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    "The Sun Is Also a Star" Movie Review

    21 months ago

    The latest in the long, long line of beautiful-looking movies about beautiful-looking star-crossed teeangers, The Sun is Also a Star has all the elements of a halfway-decent young adult drama, but it simply can’t help itself—the overpowering urge to be a cheeseball tween weepie is just too strong...

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    "The Hustle" Movie Review

    21 months ago

    Watching 1988’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, a deliciously wicked tale of grifters (Michael Caine and Steve Martin) trying to one-up each other in the beautiful South of France, you’ll oddly find yourself rooting for the “bad guys” throughout, grateful to be in on the con. Twenty-one years later, as ...

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    "John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum" Movie Review

    21 months ago

    Five years ago Keanu Reeves was at the end of a decade-long post-Matrix hangover—a ten-year run that included a string of clunkers and crap, topped off by 2013’s dismal 47 Ronin. Then in the summer of 2014, we began hearing rumblings about a new Reeves starrer called John Wick, written by ...

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    "Wine Country" Movie Review

    22 months ago

    Just a week after Netflix dropped the haunting and ghastly Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile on us—chronicling the life and times of serial killer Ted Bundy—they grace us with the utterly mindless and frothy Wine Country, an estrogen-loaded, SNL-alum-heavy vino-fest. I’m not sure the ...

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    "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile" Movie Review

    22 months ago

    Back in my 2011 review of Garry Marshall’s slog-fest New Year's Eve, I bemoaned how little of the film made any sense, including the fact that Zac Efron turned in one of the better performances among a cast including Oscar winners/nominees Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, John Lithgow, and ...

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    "Long Shot" Movie Review

    22 months ago

    Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron first started talking about what would eventually become Long Shot five years ago, hoping to make a contemporary and relevant rom-com with its toes dipped in the political pool. But the more bonkers the real-world political landscape became, the harder it was for the..

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    "Avengers: Endgame" Movie Review

    21 months ago

    In my recent review of DC superhero flick Shazam!, I labeled it “the cocktail weenies appetizer” before Avengers: Endgame’s “super-loaded, mile-high platter of nachos.” Little did I know Endgame would actually arrive at my table more closely resembling a sterling cut of prime rib with a side of...

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    "Missing Link" Movie Review

    22 months ago

    At the risk of sounding like the cantankerous old geezer lounging on his porch with a shotgun and a tall glass of lemonade, there’s something to be said for animation that’s still done the ol’-fashioned way—frame-by-frame and all by hand. Whether it’s physically-painted cels (as with Disney ...

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    "The Silence" Movie Review

    22 months ago

    Who would have ever thought that a pseudo-dystopian suspense/drama about a herd of other-worldly creatures who hunt and destroy humanity based on a keen ability to exploit one of the five senses would be seen as derivative? Yet here we are with The Silence, based on Tim Lebbon’s 2015 novel.

  • 1

    "Shazam!" Movie Review

    23 months ago

    If Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame is the super-loaded, mile-high platter of nachos on the cineplex menu this year, then Shazam! (exclamation point included) is the cocktail weenies appetizer—it tastes good, is fun to eat, and is just filling enough to get you ready for the main course without ...

  • 0

    "Dumbo (2019)" Movie Review

    22 months ago

    At one point in Dumbo—Disney’s ill-advised live-action remake of its own 1941 classic—a potential circus investor turns to a colleague and exclaims, “Wow, what a disaster!” As tempting as it is to end this review right there, I’ll soldier on. Going into Dumbo, as you see Tim Burton’s name on the ...

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    "Cold War" Movie Review

    15 months ago

    Those of us who lived through the Cold War remember it as a time dominated by the ever-present fear of mutually assured destruction between two superpowers. In Pawel Pawlikowski’s brilliant, engrossing film, it’s two people whose assured mutual destruction drives the narrative, and their story ...

  • 1

    "The Highwaymen" Movie Review

    23 months ago

    Despite Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker’s standing as one of the most notorious duos of the twentieth century, Hollywood certainly hasn’t brought their story to the big screen very often—Arthur Penn’s 1967 masterpiece Bonnie and Clyde is the only major production so far, in fact. And Texas Ranger ...

  • 0

    "Wonder Park" Movie Review

    14 months ago

    Reminiscent of Pixar’s 2015 hit Inside Out, Wonder Park is set almost entirely in the mind of a young girl coping with drama. Inside Out gave us young Riley and her traumatic cross-country move (and XX-ick- broccoli pizza), while Wonderpark focuses on young June (voiced by Brianna Denski), who’s ...

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    "The Dirt" Movie Review

    22 months ago

    All manner of bodily fluids, narcotics, alcohol, and carnal knowledge of the female body are presented in just the first ten minutes of the new Netflix film The Dirt, a biopic of L.A. rockers Motley Crue. Truly, everything even remotely hedonistic is spotlighted early and often ...

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    "Triple Frontier" Movie Review

    14 months ago

    In the opening moments of Triple Frontier, the latest Netflix film, it’s not the action on screen that might catch your attention—it’s the appearance of two names in the opening credits: Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal. The pair are credited as executive producers, and Boal also co-wrote the script...

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    "Captive State" Movie Review

    21 months ago

    Either Rupert Wyatt has zero faith in humanity, or he’s a prisoner of his own imagination. Or both. Eight years after his Rise of the Planet of the Apes rebooted the decades-old simian overlord franchise, he’s once again depicting the demise of the rule of humans, only this time it’s courtesy of ...

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    "Five Feet Apart" Movie Review

    14 months ago

    Back in 2013, actor Justin Baldoni (Jane the Virgin) created a documentary web series called My Last Days, a real-life look at people coping with terminal illness. “I wanted to create something that could really make a difference and impact people in a real way,” Baldoni told Variety in 2016 ...

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    "How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" Movie Review

    21 months ago

    It’s not often that a trilogy, particularly in the world of kids’ animation, holds up from movie to movie (to movie). With the exception of the Toy Story franchise, there hasn’t been much. Cars faltered on its second outing (though bounced back), Despicable Me should have stopped after two...

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    "Captain Marvel" Movie Review

    14 months ago

    There’s a pretty slickly-produced, retro-90s Captain Marvel trailer from Nerdist making its way across the interwebs (just Google “Captain Marvel 1995”, and you’ll find it), which will instantly get you in the perfect mindset for the latest superhero epic from Marvel Studios...

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    "Fighting with My Family" Movie Review

    14 months ago

    What were you doing at age 13? Chances are you weren’t sporting a leotard alongside your mom in a tag-team professional wrestling match organized by your dad. But that’s the life that Saraya Bevis knew, growing up in mid-2000s Norwich, England. Those, um, humble beginnings are the starting-off ...

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