I have come to assume that a film helmed by Disney will shy away from more complicated parts of life and instead rely heavily on cliches and feel-good lessons. With director Mira Nair at the helm, Disney’s Queen of Katwe is shockingly light on cheesiness and instead offers a nuanced and uplifting
If the cliché holds that no good deed goes unpunished, then Sully captures the ways in which Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger is punished for the risk he took in making an emergency landing on the Hudson River in January of 2009.
Sully picks up in the days following what was dubbed a “Miracle
The Light Between the Oceans takes place on an island called Janus, named after the Roman god with two faces, allowing him to look in both directions. Like the island and its namesake, the film has two faces. It is both a tender love story and a survey of different types of grief and the ways people
Summer is a popular season for comedies about friends traveling together. This month’s Joshy, gives the genre a different spin by focusing on the hijinks of a mismatched group of friends as they celebrate their friend Josh’s (Thomas Middleditch) bachelor party as a way to grieve the loss of his
After how much I enjoyed Ghostbusters, I should have known that it was too much to hope for another great female ensemble film this summer. Bad Moms was clearly designed to provide an outlet for the pent-up frustrations of mothers nationwide. Instead, it offers a weak plot, poorly developed characters,
Do you remember seeing a movie as a kid and wanting to run out and play like you were the characters? The remake of Ghostbusters starring an all-female ghostbusting team inspired that level of delight in me.
I’m sure you know the plot of this film, but here’s a quick snapshot: Erin Gilbert (Kristen
I have a dog who is so devoted to me that it crosses over from sweet and loyal to slightly pathetic and disconcerting. I am pretty fond of her too. When I go to work and she makes a dash for the door, with the plea of “Take me with you!” written across her face, I placate my guilt with visions
There is a saying that I think could apply to the current trend for reboots, remakes and long-delayed sequels as well as to good eating habits: “The feast is in the first bite.” While watching Independence Day: Resurgence and trying to practice moderation on the movie treats, I reminded myself
Saying the book is better than the movie is a tired, if true, response to a film adaptation of a novel. That said, when the screenplay is written by the author of the novel I hold out more hope for the movie. Unfortunately, in adapting her book, Me Before You, Jojo Moyes abridged much of the detail
Imagine dropping Nancy Drew into a neo-noir film from the 1970s, but Miss Drew has taken on some of the characteristics of Tatum O’Neal in The Bad News Bears. This contrast and the chemistry between stars Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling provide most of the fun in the noir comedy The Nice Guys, a
Money Monster focuses on one particularly tense day on the set of the eponymous financial advice show. In the wake of Ibis, a large financial company, losing $800 million dollars of investors’ money, Money Monster host Lee Gates (George Clooney) is in the midst of covering the fallout and trying
The Huntsman: Winter’s War is so bad it breezes past the potential for “so bad it’s good” enjoyment and straight into boring, incoherent territory. Whereas the film seems to aspire to an anti-Frozen narrative by focusing on two sisters who are very powerful and very wicked, its real achievement
Between Gilmore Girls and Ghostbusters, Melissa McCarthy continues to pick projects certain to keep her career rolling. I find the projects where she has more creative control more interesting, even if, like The Boss, the results are not entirely successful.
The Boss centers on the rise and fall, or
My Big Fat Greek Wedding was the second movie I ever reviewed for this paper, back when I didn’t even have a driver’s license yet, and my parents had to drive me to the theater. It was a charming sleeper hit that became the highest grossing romantic comedy of all time. I was one of its many fans,
You know what I’m afraid of more than aliens? Car accidents and strangers. 10 Cloverfield Lane takes a step back from the sci-fi scares of the first film in the franchise and instead presents audiences with an emotionally complex nail-biter about a woman held captive in an underground bunker, allegedly
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