Movie Reviews

Read up, before you pay $5 for a bucket of popcorn.


V.27 No.10 | 3/8/2018
A Fantastic Woman

Film Review

A Fantastic Woman

Chilean drama examines grief and gender

A Fantastic Woman is a tiny character study of a film with an almost gut-wrenching impact.

V.27 No.8 | 2/22/2018
Black Panther

Film Review

Black Panther

Afrofuturist epic takes superheroics in a fresh direction

Black Panther stakes out its own unique territory, mixing the royal backstabbing and intrigue of George R.R. Martin’s fantasy series “Game of Thrones” with the impossibly high-tech, glowing bodysuit action of Disney’s Tron.
V.27 No.7 | 2/15/2018
Have a Nice Day

Film Review

Have a Nice Day

Handcrafted crime film looks up at China from the animated gutter

Modern economic forces and old-fashioned crime collide in Liu Jian’s offbeat, Quentin-Tarantino-meets-Adult-Swim animation, Have a Nice Day.
V.27 No.6 | 2/8/2018
Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool

Film Review

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

Wannabe actor meets faded star in romantic memoir

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool is happy to serve out its time as a teary-eyed, tragic romance played out in the long shadows of Old Hollywood.
V.27 No.4 | 1/25/2018
In the Fade

Film Review

In the Fade

Cross-cultural crime drama puts a match to modern European society

There is power in In the Fade, and much of it comes from actress Diane Kruger. She holds nothing back, letting the grief, pain and anger of her character spill out onto the screen in tears and blood. Even in moments of quietude and stillness, there’s a keening sadness to her performance. Pay closer attention and you’ll notice a lot of the hot button issues writer/director Fatih Akin folds into this deceptively simple story.
V.27 No.3 | 1/18/2018
12 Strong

Film Review

12 Strong

Latest war movie proves Hollywood is still soldiering on

Those inclined to see a movie about the unquestioned heroism of American soldiers (and cannily employing the word “strong”) will like the patriotic dustup of 12 Strong just fine.
V.27 No.2 | 1/11/2018
Call Me By Your Name

Film Review

Call Me By Your Name

Languid romance withers under the Tuscan sun

Stripped of its postcard beauty and its academic pretensions, Call Me By Your Name is little more than a soapy, overlong melodrama.
V.26 No.51 | 12/21/2017
The Shape of Water

Film Review

The Shape of Water

Peculiar romance finds the beating heart below the scaly surface of a misunderstood monster

Surrender to the sensual cinematic visuals and the humid air of sexual tension surrounding The Shape of Water and you’re sure to be swept up in its particular, peculiar tide.
V.26 No.50 | 12/14/2017
Hedy Lamarr

Film Review

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

Hollywood documentary embraces beauty and brains

Hedy Lamarr, actress and inventor, gets the documentary biopic treatment she so sorely deserves with Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story.

V.26 No.49 | 12/7/2017
The Disaster Artist

Film Review

The Disaster Artist

Actor-director James Franco transforms into actor-director Tommy Wiseau

The Disaster Artist is both a hilarious comedy of errors and a touching love letter to Hollywood. Add to that The Disaster Artist’s meta-humorous “film within a film”/“good actors playing bad actors” japery, and you’ve got the makings of a cult film about making a cult film.
V.26 No.48 | 11/30/2017
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Film Review

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Crime doesn’t pay and neither does justice in pitch perfect comedy-drama

Between its corrosive sense of humor, its jaundiced look at small-town Americana and its cynicism about the entire concept of “justice,” Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri probably isn’t for mainstream audiences looking for a simple larf, but those attracted to interesting shadows will find a wealth of rewards here.
V.26 No.47 | 11/23/2017
"I'm applying to clown college, mom."

Film Review

Lady Bird

Great Gerwig’s witty charm is undiluted in savvy coming-of-age comedy

With her newest, the coming-of-age semi-memoir Lady Bird, Gerwig steps fully behind the camera to write and direct, leaving the acting duties to others.
V.26 No.46 | 11/16/2017
“Pick a card, any card.”

Film Review

Dealt

Magic-minded documentary switches hands on audiences

Dealt follows Richard Turner, master of prestidigitation who doesn't let his lack of sight slow him down.
V.26 No.45 | 11/9/2017
The Divine Order
Zeitgeist Films

Film Review

The Divine Order

Vox pop as engine of reeducation

Swiss screenwriter-director Petra Volpe deftly illustrates the subversive power of communal coercion in the Swiss suffrage dramedy The Divine Order.
V.26 No.44 | 11/2/2017
The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Film Review

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Absurdist filmmaker scares up a new film

The Killing of a Sacred Deer looks gorgeous in its own grim, spare way and builds an air of tension and mystery, but lacks director Yorgos Lanthimos' usual deadpan sense of humor.