V.26 No.34 | 8/24/2017
Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story
Portrait of unsung guitar god lets you doc out with your rock out
Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story provides an enlightening crash-course in the glitter-and-guitar-heavy glam rock era while simultaneously singing the praises of one of the music industry’s most talented hidden figures.
V.26 No.33 | 8/17/2017
Prison drama succeeds in making life behind bars look bad—which isn’t much of a challenge, really
Despite some committed acting and some gloomy cinematography, Shot Caller is far too melodramatic and drags its twisty story out far too long to have the solid, gut-punch impact it so desperately wants.
V.26 No.32 | 8/10/2017
Oddball indie comedy looks at the dangers of nostalgia and the joys of fandom
Brigsby Bear is a bit too self-conscious of the dorkiness of its main character and of the hipster profundity in his Quixote-esque quest, but the overall intent is sincere and openhearted enough to overcome the script familiarities and character tropes.
V.26 No.31 | 8/3/2017
Impolite BBC drama is bad romance at its best
Far too stark to call Gothic, way too bleak to call romantic, Lady Macbeth is a violent heartbreaker for those who prefer broken hearts to happy endings.
V.26 No.30 | 7/27/2017
A Ghost Story
Minimalist tale of life and death may be saying something, but it’s keeping awfully quiet
A Ghost Story is self-consciously arty and aggressively dull. If you cut out the scenes in which nothing moves, nothing happens and no one speaks, the entire film would be about 10 minutes long.
V.26 No.29 | 7/20/2017
Christopher Nolan goes to war in a heart-pounding, historical drama about victory in the jaws of defeat
Dunkirk expresses the panic, fear and sheer chaos of war better than just about any previous film.
V.26 No.28 | 7/13/2017
The Little Hours
Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza and Kate Micucci are naughty nuns in oddball literary adaptation
The Little Hours is a send-up of the absurd idea of sin and that human beings can actually give up their sins of the flesh, but Jeff Baena’s attentions are focused on the fact that cursing, drunken, fornicating nuns are funny as hell.
V.26 No.27 | 7/6/2017
Edgar Wright takes an eclectic cast on a high-speed joyride with the stereo cranked to 11
Baby Driver isn’t all testosterone-fueled explosions and physics-defying stunts. It’s a gritty, guns-and-bullets character study done with panache, skill and a slice of humor.
V.26 No.26 | 6/29/2017
Sam Elliott’s fictional career looks suspiciously like his real one in slow-going indie drama
In The Hero, what aims to be a self-referential, self-deprecating, late-career look back at regret ends up as a frustratingly predictable film with an overqualified, underutilized star standing front-and-center.
V.26 No.25 | 6/22/2017
Sentimental and scenic, trilogy-ending sports flick cruises to the finish line
Cars 3 is no ironclad Pixar classic but it is a well made film that delivers more or less the same sentimental moral as the original and Larry the Cable Guy is hardly in this one at all.
V.26 No.24 | 6/15/2017
Paris Can Wait
Rambling romantic trip to Paris should have taken the bullet train
Paris Can Wait is exactly the sort of pretty, pseudo-exotic, post-menopausal romance you’d expect a wealthy, film-obsessed octogenarian to make in conjunction with Lifetime Films.
V.26 No.23 | 6/8/2017
My Cousin Rachel
Love, marriage and maybe murder in merry olde England
Between My Cousin Rachel's intriguing opening and its punchy ending, the nuanced script and subtle direction successfully elevate du Maurier’s self-consciously old-fashioned source material.
V.26 No.22 | 6/1/2017
The Wedding Plan
Israeli romantic comedy eschews romance and comedy, but still finds sympathy for its undaunted heroine
The Wedding Plan never fully convinces as a romantic comedy but has a certain charm and velocity that’s hard to escape.
V.26 No.21 | 5/25/2017
Married couple cheat on the cheaters they’re cheating with in admirably drab domestic dramedy
Yo Dawg, I heard you like cheating, so I put cheating in your cheating so you can cheat on your cheater.
V.26 No.20 | 5/18/2017
Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
Richard Gere commits to character in influence-peddling drama
If your attention span is sturdy enough and your interest in international business/Israeli politics strong enough to get you through a swamp of wordy details, Norman is worth catching for the committed character work of Richard Gere.