Movie Reviews

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


V.28 No.37 | 9/12/2019
“Keira, who are you wearing?”

Film Review

Official Secrets

Government whistleblower drama is realistically disappointing

Official Secrets isn’t as thrilling or tragic or uplifiting as you might hope. It’s just a bummer—the exact sort of bummer we’ve come to expect these days from our government.
V.28 No.35 | 8/29/2019
After the Wedding

Film Review

After the Wedding

American remake of Danish film milks the mama drama

The story of people whose best intentions often end up steamrolling over the lives and emotions of others is both touching and universal, but overall, After the Wedding lacks the teary-eyed impact you'd expect.
V.28 No.34 | 8/22/2019
“Why couldn’t we have played Pokémon Go?”

Film Review

Ready or Not

Devilish black comedy is a real killer

With its mix of old and new, familiar and unexpected, silly and shocking, Ready or Not ends up as an audaciously unconventional exercise in genre cinema that plays out like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre as penned by Agatha Christie.
V.28 No.33 | 8/15/2019
“Baby, we were born to … do whatever this is.”

Film Review

Blinded by the Light

Springsteen-inspired “musical” tries to mix realism and romance

If you’re predisposed to the music of Bruce Springsteen or have a weakness for feel-good movies about scrappy Brits lifted out of their socioeconomic stresses by a little song and dance, Blinded by the Light will have you singing along in no time.
V.28 No.32 | 8/8/2019
Them That Follow

Film Review

Them That Follow

Backwoods melodrama slithers along slowly

Them That Follow's script feels generally underwritten, giving slight motivation to the various changes in character and ticking off the story beats in the rote manner of a cautionary after-school melodrama.
V.28 No.31 | 8/1/2019
Sword of Trust

Film Review

The Sword of Trust

Tiny indie comedy keeps mumblecore alive

The Sword of Trust is quirky and amusing and has just a tiny bit to say about human beings learning to trust one another. Viewers longing for the loose, improvisational indie films of the early 2000s will feel right at home.
V.28 No.30 | 7/25/2019
Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love

Film Review

Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love

Musical documentary ponders the inspirational power of love

It’s the simple idea of two people finding one another and loving each other through time and tide that gives Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love its deepest, most heartfelt impact.
V.28 No.29 | 7/18/2019
The Art of Self-Defense

Film Review

The Art of Self-Defense

Violent comedy finds humor in the hypermasculine

Twenty years ago Fight Club taught us the dangerous, contusion-filled consequences of toxic masculinity. Fifteen years ago, Napoleon Dynamite encouraged us to root for alienated dorks. Now the blackly comic indie film The Art of Self-Defense comes along to serve as the seemingly ill-conceived but somehow harmonious love child of those two cult favorites.
V.28 No.28 | 7/11/2019
The Fall of the American Empire

Film Review

The Fall of the American Empire

Canadian crime caper gets philosophical by following the money

Though it doesn’t go for all-out laughs, it’s hard not to be amused by the situations and characters in the brainy socioeconomic thriller, The Fall of the American Empire.
V.28 No.27 | 7/4/2019
“Did I mention I’m an Avenger?”

Film Review

Spider-Man: Far From Home

Marvel Universe swings on (while clinging to the past)

Marvel Cinematic Universe has offered up a postscript to the one-two punch that was Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame in the form of Spider-Man: Far From Home. If you like Marvel movies, you’ll like this latest Spider-Man outing. Simple as that.

V.28 No.26 | 6/27/2019
Echo In The Canyon
courtesy Greenwich Entertainment

Film Review

The Folk in California

Echo In The Canyon: The rise and influence of folk rock in America

Echo In The Canyon is a lovingly detailed examination of the ’60s counterculture and inter-band collaboration and inspiration.
V.28 No.25 | 6/20/2019
The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Film Review

The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Fresh-voiced debut dramedy places setting above all

The Last Black Man in San Francisco levies plenty of criticisms against the City by the Bay but, and because, it is also deeply steeped in a love for the place.
V.28 No.24 | 6/13/2019
“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. … I wrote that, you know.”

Film Review

All Is True

Shakespeare retires to the country in Kenneth Branagh’s speculative biopic

The new biopic All Is True posits a speculative reason for our lack of information about William Shakespeare's life: He intentionally vanished from public life based on an untimely tragedy, general world-weariness and a dark family secret.
V.28 No.23 | 6/6/2019
Halston

Film Review

Halston

Dazzling fashion industry documentary needs to take a step back and remove one accessory

Ironically, by trying to do too much—something the minimalist Mr. Halston certainly never strove for in his clean, modern designs—Halston falls into the same trap as virtually all documentary biopics.
V.28 No.22 | 5/30/2019
Non-Fiction

Film Review

Non-Fiction

Olivier Assayas’ latest French dramedy is more interested in conversation than sex

Not every viewer will stay tuned in through this film’s talky back-and-forth. Those looking for smart, adult conversation (with a wink and a nod toward European sexual mores), however, will find themselves well served by the fiction of Non-Fiction.