V.29 No.11 | 3/12/2020
Arty reimagining of Peter Pan grows up fast
Wendy is a fantastical and wholly original work of art but its mixture of gritty, down-to-earth realism and dreamy childhood reverie are two strong flavors that aren’t always easy to swallow together. If you prefer your fairy tales fractured, however, Wendy definitely fits the bill.
V.29 No.10 | 3/5/2020
Steve Coogan fiddles while Rome burns in broad satire
Greed has definite moments of pointed humor, but the target of the film’s humor and outrage is just too broad. We don’t need a comedy to tell us the Kardashians are stupid or a drama to tell us that billionaires don’t care about the 99 percent.
V.29 No.9 | 2/27/2020
Impractical Jokers: The Movie
Why, God, why?
The guys in Impractical Jokers: The Movie are clearly having some stupid fun. Unlike the Coronavirus, however, the fun is not all that infectious.
V.29 No.8 | 2/20/2020
Low-key drama examines office politics in #MeToo era
If The Assistant were a documentary, it would be deadly dull. As a drama it’s … well, it’s still pretty dull.
V.29 No.7 | 2/13/2020
Icy European dramedy gets watered down stateside
Downhill is an English language reshoot of Ruben Östlund’s 2014 film Force Majeure, by the writing-directing team of Nat Faxon & Jim Rash. Yet where Östlund’s packed a primal punch, Faxon & Rash’s offers only a light slap.
V.29 No.5 | 1/30/2020
Historic haunted house drama is a ghost of its former self
If you’re looking for cheap PG-13 scares, you could—theoretically anyway—do worse than The Turning. But dragging a classic like The Turn of the Screw into this generic haunted house mess feels, at best, like a missed opportunity and, at worst, like an insult to English literature.
V.29 No.4 | 1/23/2020
The Song of Names
Historical drama plucks at heartstrings but buries tune
Those interested in stories of love, family, forgiveness and faith will be swayed by the backstory but The Song of Names gets lost somewhere in its construction, working far too hard to deliver an emotional payoff that should have been immediate and effortless.
V.29 No.3 | 1/16/2020
Newest version of animal-filled fable does a little
Dolittle has just enough fantastical visuals and innocuous one-liners to appease the family audiences it’s aimed at.
V.29 No.2 | 1/9/2020
Rise of Skywalker vs. “The Mandalorian”
Glimpsing the future a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away
Could the future of Star Wars actually lie in the small screen?
V.29 No.1 | 1/2/2020
A Hidden Life
Saying “no thanks” to Nazis
A Hidden Life paints a picture of times that are hard, but reminds us that solace, and even beauty, can be found in our own convictions.
V.28 No.51 | 12/19/2019
Knives and Skin
Feminist thriller goes deep
Devote a couple hours’ worth of dedicated attention to Knives and Skin, and you’ll never see making meatloaf, giving books report or recycling tinfoil quite the same way again.
V.28 No.50 | 12/12/2019
Teen drama burns off a lot of emotion and a ton of energy
Waves is a worthy effort in the end—even if the man behind it might want to expend a little less effort next time around.
V.28 No.49 | 12/5/2019
Scientific documentary sings the praises of our fungal friends
Consider the humble mushroom. That’s more or less the premise behind Fantastic Fungi, a hagiographic documentary aimed at elevating the status of spores, molds and fungus. Don’t think that mushrooms are the greatest thing on planet Earth? Well, you soon will.
Under the Gun
The Irishman on Netflix
Though long and slow, The Irishman is a consistently absorbing drama about one man’s life in crime and serves as an elegiac capper to the mafia myth and Scorsese’s career.
V.28 No.48 | 11/28/2019
Old-fashioned murder mystery plays by the rules
If you like your mysteries done up old school, Knives Out is the genre-loving homage you’ve been searching for.