Movie Reviews

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


V.28 No.16 | 4/18/2019
Peterloo

Film Review

Peterloo

Historical political drama proves social injustice is nothing new

Peterloo is pointed, immersive, unyielding and purposefully timely but it demands a great deal of sympathy and patience from its audience.
V.28 No.15 | 4/11/2019
Missing Link

Film Review

Missing Link

Animated adventure looks to the classics for inspiration

Lovingly rendered, swiftly paced and tenderhearted to a fault, Missing Link is an entertaining comic adventure for audiences of all ages.
V.28 No.14 | 4/4/2019
Ash Is the Purest White

Film Review

Ash Is Purest White

Chinese gangster saga evolves with its country’s economic history

Minimalist in nature and almost documentary-like in its visuals, Ash Is Purest White is a surprisingly light and engaging journey—one that evolves from revamped gangster film to contemplative character story to quietly observational look at modernity and the various discontents that come with it.
V.28 No.13 | 3/28/2019
Hotel Mumbai

Film Review

Hotel Mumbai

Well-packaged drama chronicles real-world horrors

Hotel Mumbai has the ensemble cast structure of an epic disaster movie and the disturbing visceral impact of a horror flick, but it leavens that with a white-knuckle narrative intensity and a respect for real-world events.
V.28 No.12 | 3/21/2019
Gloria, contemplating her love for ABBA

Film Review

Gloria Bell

Disco-fueled drama looks for love in several wrong places

Gloria Bell is about seeking out and accepting joy in life’s tiny moments, not wallowing in misery. Its empowering coda is mild and delivered as a spur-of-the-moment whim in an act that leads less to a life-changing epiphany and more to a moment of Zen-like acceptance.
V.28 No.11 | 3/14/2019
“Happy little clouds!”

Film Review

Ruben Brandt, Collector

Animated film folds art history lessons into Hitchcock-style thriller

Like all great works of art, your appreciation of Ruben Brandt, Collector may depend on what you bring to it. Watched as a casual, technically proficient imitation of a classic, Hitchcock-style move caper, it's a breezy, stylish diversion. Push past the surface and dive deep into its multiple layers and it's a Stendhal syndrome-inducing intellectual exercise.
V.28 No.10 | 3/7/2019
Climax

Film Review

Climax

Gaspar Noé gets down with his bad self in one freaky acid trip

Half Bob Fosse and half Marquis de Sade, Climax will be a torture test for the average moviegoer. But for those in the market for something unshakably original, this is one very bad trip you might want to check out for yourself.
V.28 No.9 | 2/28/2019
Never Look Away

Film Review

Never Look Away

German director examines the war of art

As an Oscar-nominated epic conflating art and history, Never Look Away is impressive in size and scope, but shortcuts keep this film from being a penetrating, nuanced work.
V.28 No.7 | 2/14/2019
Tito and the Birds

Film Review

Tito and the Birds

Brazilian cartoon paints a dark picture

Adults will certainly appreciate Tito and the Birds' visual brio—which reads like a children’s bedtime story run through a Museum of Modern Art nightmare machine.
V.28 No.6 | 2/7/2019
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part

Film Review

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part

Manic sequel builds on the original’s clever legacy

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part comes awfully close to meeting what amounts to some very high expectations. It’s surprising, funny, original and emotional. And like its predecessor, it’s a perfect film for kids and parents alike.
V.28 No.5 | 1/31/2019
Cold War

Film Review

Cold War

Oscar-nominated romance unfolds behind, in front of, the Iron Curtain

A sad ballad juxtaposing the intimate with the international, Cold War is a masterpiece of economy and image, mapping out the often seismic changes common to all affairs—the emotional as well as the political.
V.28 No.4 | 1/24/2019
Stan & Ollie

Film Review

Stan & Ollie

Genial showbiz biopic examines aging comics, changing times

Stan & Ollie is a film about passion, about loving what you do so much that you can’t give up on it no matter what happens. There’s a lot of laughter to be found, as well as a tear or two.
V.28 No.3 | 1/17/2019
Replicas

Film Review

Replicas

Keanu Reeves goes old school in retrograde sci-fi thriller

Replicas feels more like a Syfy Channel “mockbuster” parody of a sci-fi film than an actual sci-fi film. The effects grow increasingly junky, and the whole thing devolves into a poorly staged string of chases scenes involving lots of interchangeable guys in black suits with guns.
V.28 No.2 | 1/10/2019
On the Basis of Sex

Film Review

On the Basis of Sex

Courtroom drama lauds its subject for her role in the fight for equality

Anyone inclined to go see a biopic about Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the first place is going to be perfectly happy with On the Basis of Sex and its infectious optimism.
V.28 No.1 | 1/3/2019
The man, the myth, the Dick.

Film Review

Vice

Satirical biopic plays (dirty) politics

If you're inclined to laugh at the real-life hijinks of our country's various psychopathic politicos, then Vice just might get your vote.