Fairyland movie

Fairyland Review: Another Stellar Emilia Jones Performance Highlights This Moving Father-Daughter Drama

Children grow up with all different kinds of role models. Strict parents insist on respect and adherence to rules from their offspring, while more relaxed guardians may treat their younger relatives more as friends or peers. Both approaches can have mixed results, depending on the temperament of all parties and the environments in which they are raised. For Alysia Abbott, her father’s unique style left a distinct impression, one movingly […]

Drift movie

Drift Review: A Melancholy Examination of Trauma Featuring a Compelling Turn From Cynthia Erivo

“I know what you mean” and “I get what you’re going through” are statements that are meant to express support for someone else but most often serve to undermine the significance and specificity of a person’s experience. Without having been there, it’s not really possible to truly relate. Drift presents a scenario in which one woman is recovering from a devastating ordeal without seeking the support of anyone else, understandably […]

Shortcomings movie

Shortcomings Review: Randall Park’s Directorial Debut Delivers a Very Different Asian-American Story

Every culture wants to see itself reflected positively and accurately onscreen, but that doesn’t always happen. In its opening moments, Shortcomings parodies the way in which Asians are typically portrayed in cinema before zooming out to reveal that it’s all part of a film ripe for mocking by our pretentious protagonist Ben (Justin H. Min), who has more than a few things to say about it and can’t stop himself […]

You Hurt My Feelings

You Hurt My Feelings Review: Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tobias Menzies Get Honest in Nicole Holofcener’s Decent Marriage Comedy 

Just how important is honesty in a marriage? Lies tend to be most dangerous when the truth is exposed, and that’s not always an inevitability. You Hurt My Feelings amusingly explores what happens when the last person you want to overhear a secret admission does, and what the road back to an open and honest relationship can look like if that element of trust is threatened. Writer-Director Nicole Holofcener (Lovely and Amazing) […]

Cat Person

Cat Person Review: Emilia Jones Is Fantastic in This Strange, Enthralling Dating Story Based on the Viral New Yorker Tale

Dating isn’t easy, and cell phones and the internet have only further complicated what to many is a drawn-out and unpleasant process. It’s possible to analyze the meaning of a text message for hours on end, and some relationships take shape through that form of communication before the phone owners ever meet in real life. Cat Person is a peculiar but resonant story of what might have initially seemed like […]

The Son movie

The Son Review: Hugh Jackman’s Misbegotten Family Drama Spawns Only Contrived Emotion

In 2021, during the COVID Oscars, Sir Anthony Hopkins surprised awards handicappers by winning his second Best Actor statuette for his bravura turn in the family melodrama The Father. Written and directed by Florian Zeller, who adapted his own play, The Father saw Hopkins bring a quiet power to his tender portrayal of an aging man struggling with memory loss, and it boasted clever editing that complemented its powerful script. […]

Plane movie

Plane Review: Gerald Butler’s Latest Action Film Fails to Distinguish Itself From All His Others

The frustrating thing about a movie like New Gerald Butler Film is that it provides undeniable entertainment while laying to waste all fundamental rules of creative, interesting, and surprising filmmaking. The movie — actually called Plane and coming to theaters this Friday via Lionsgate — is Gerald Butler’s latest salvo in his (and Liam Neeson‘s) fusillade of action movies starring aging male superheroes that double as shots across the bow […]

Top 10 Movies of 2022

J. Don Birnam’s Top 10 Favorite Films of 2022

The end of the year means it’s time to reflect on those failed resolutions, plan new futile ones for 2023, and think back on the best moments of the previous 12 months. This includes sifting through some of our favorites in the world of entertainment to find the Top Ten “Best” (or, as I like to call them, my “Favorite”) films of the year, which has become something of a […]

A Man Called Otto

A Man Called Otto Review: Tom Hanks’ Familiar Remake of Hit Swedish Film Has Lost Something in Translation

Over the last few decades, American remakes of successful international films have a decidedly mixed track record. On the one hand, we have brilliant, refreshing second looks like The Ring (based on the Japanese film Ringu) or The Departed (based on the Hong Kong crime film Infernal Affairs), while on the other, there are spectacular duds ranging from Secret in Their Eyes (based on Argentina’s stunning The Secret in Their […]

Babylon movie

Babylon Review: Decadence Spells the Downfall for Damien Chazelle’s Star-Studded Epic About Old Hollywood 

At 37 years old, writer-director Damien Chazelle is quite young to be a Hollywood veteran — he’s still the youngest person to have ever won the Oscar for Best Director — but like a grizzled filmmaker twice his age, he sure does have a lot to say about showbiz and its difficult relationship with the City of Los Angeles. Chazelle named La La Land after the city itself and examined […]