Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, the latest film starring Tina Fey, is most interesting as a war film that doesn’t engage with either patriotism or the discourse of brotherhood that is so paradigmatic of the genre. Instead, the story is told through the critical, somewhat jaded perspective of embedded reporters
The subtitle for Race, the new biopic about Olympic medalist Jesse Owens, should have been, “See What We Did There?”. Like the obvious double meaning of the title, the film itself continually uses easy conventions and sentimental shortcuts. Although Race is well acted and beautifully made once
Hail, Caesar!, the latest film from the Coen brothers, playfully represents Hollywood during the Golden studio system, with a tongue-in-cheek humor about the machinations of star making without steering into full-blown spoof.
The film centers on Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin), an executive at Capital Pictures
I think it is rare for filmmakers to really portray children playing authentically, capturing the randomness and abandon in their fun. Mustang, the French film nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Oscars, captures moments of make-believe and roughhousing between five sisters in
The Revenant, which means “one who has returned, as if from the dead”, is our semi-annual reminder that the frontier was violent, dangerous, and bleak. The film also features a performance from Leonardo DiCaprio that is so committed it seems like a dare to the Academy to pass him over for an Oscar
It has been a frustrating few months for me when it comes to the movies. Repeatedly, I went to a movie that seemed sure to impress and walked away underwhelmed. I thought maybe it was me, that I had become hard to please, but the box office reports and critical consensus confirm that it has not been
This fall, I’ve reviewed a string of movies that have good working parts that do not quite come together to make a good movie. For various reasons, they have fallen short of their intended tone, or simply fallen flat. Secret in Their Eyes continues this trend, featuring strong performances and interesting
The fear of being buried alive is a primal terror that has spawned its share of scary stories and legends. Yet, for miners, that fear is connected to a very real danger. In the event of a mine collapse, being buried alive is a real possibility. In August 2010, 33 miners in Chile’s San Jose mine
With our own elections dragging on for longer each cycle, audiences might wonder why they would want to see a movie about a presidential campaign in a Central American country, run by American strategists. Our Brand Is Crisis offers many of the frustrating tactics that we have come to expect and cringe
Every year, a new version of Malala Yousafzai’s story has come out. Two consecutive summers featured the release of an autobiography by the iconic activist. This year’s offering is the documentary He Named Me Malala.
He Named Me Malala takes a non-linear approach to telling the story of the young
As we headed into the theater on Friday, my fiance turned to me and asked, “So, is The Martian just Castaway on Mars?” Although the connection seems obvious, I think the emphasis on community in the film gives it a lighter tone and many fun characters to keep the plot going.
In The Martian, astronaut
In 2011, after 12 years on the run, James Bulger, one of the most notorious Irish mobsters in Boston, was captured and faced 32 counts of racketeering, including 19 murder charges. Black Mass, a movie controversial among those who lived through the events, depicts the rise of Bulger from small-time
Amid the genuinely terrible movies that come out at the end of summer, came a film starring Robert Redford, Nick Nolte, and Emma Thompson. With that formidable cast, and a plot that seemed hard to mess up, I was sure that A Walk in the Woods was better than my other options. The movie, however, is
In The Man from U.N.C.L.E., director Guy Ritche seeks to blend Mad Men style nostalgia for Cold War period pieces with the winking style of current genre films. The result is a stylish, fun, but ultimately unremarkable spy movie that is enjoyable to watch, but probably not worth your ticket money.
Have you ever run into someone at the store and not been able to place where you know them from, so you just played along? Now, imagine if that awkward moment did not end there, but instead spiraled into unwanted visits, confrontations, and drudging up old secrets. That is the premise of The Gift.
I am as big a fan of the Minions as any adult really has the right to be. There’s something wrong, however, when I take my eleven year-old sister to see Minions and the hardest she laughs is at the title characters singing the fanfare for the Universal Pictures logo.
Minions follows the little guys
If the opening sequence to Pixar’s Up made you cry, pack your tissues for Inside Out, the studio’s new film about what happens inside your head when you have a feeling, a daydream, a nightmare, and more.
Inside Out focuses on the emotions—Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill
If you grew up in the 1990s, chances are that Jurassic Park holds a pretty special place in your memories of childhood entertainment. For me, it’s right up there with Twister and Independence Day. It was the movie that introduced me to how feeling scared can actually be pretty fun in the right context
Last weekend, the box office offered a remake of a campy old ghost story and an original, if Disney-ified, adventure tale. Although I’ll undoubtedly eventually see Poltergeist, as the story that both terrified and amused me when I was a kid, I opted instead to check out Tomorrowland, starring
When I think of comedy duos, the names Vergara and Witherspoon never would have come to mind. I, however, really like Reese Witherspoon and I kind of like Sofia Vergara, so I figured that I had nothing to lose seeing Hot Pursuit, a buddy cop movie that features them together. What I lost was an hour
In Artificial Intelligence research, there is something called the Turning Test, which is used to determine if the machine can pass for human. This test, and the question of what exactly qualifies as human intelligence, is at the center of the sci-fi drama Ex Machina.
In Ex Machina, Caleb (Domhnall
Given the preponderance of low-quality found footage horror movies, I think I was justified in being skeptical when the ads for Unfriended claimed that the film was a great new innovation in the horror genre. While certainly not groundbreakingly original, Unfriended mostly lives up to the hype, using
Last weekend, audiences taught studios a lesson about underestimating girls and women at the box office. Home more than doubled its estimated opening weekend earnings, thanks to its lovable characters and diverse cast, enticing both adults and children to the theater.
Home tells the story of the unlikely
In an era of remakes and mashups and anti-heroes, it was hard to understand why Disney would go forward with a high-budget version of Cinderella that was so traditional in its style and narrative. Although I feared that I would be bored by Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of the classic fairytale