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Uncharted Review: Tom Holland Gets Lost in a Sea of Adventure Movie Clichés

February 15, 2022 | By
<i>Uncharted</i> Review: Tom Holland Gets Lost in a Sea of Adventure Movie Clichés

There is no question that Tom Holland is the YA heartthrob du jour. If his Spider-Man box office draw were not sufficient proof, the repeated shirtless shots of him in his new film Uncharted should convince you. But popularity does not always translate into effective cinema, and here, Holland’s undeniable charm and comedic timing aren’t enough to... »

Death on the Nile Review: Kenneth Branagh’s Poirot Returns for Impeccably Crafted Murder Mystery

February 7, 2022 | By
<i>Death on the Nile</i> Review: Kenneth Branagh’s Poirot Returns for Impeccably Crafted Murder Mystery

Amidst or perhaps because of a heated Oscar campaign, 20th Century Studios has decided to finally release Kenneth Branagh’s COVID-delayed whodunit Death on the Nile, his second adaptation of Agatha Christie’s beloved Hercule Poirot novels. It’s hard to screw up Christie’s excellent plots, which made the author the Queen of Crime, and this is the third adaptation of her... »

Moonfall Review: Roland Emmerich’s Latest Disaster Epic Lacks Gravity of Past Hits

February 3, 2022 | By
<i>Moonfall</i> Review: Roland Emmerich’s Latest Disaster Epic Lacks Gravity of Past Hits

No living director has mastered or popularized the disaster drama quite like German director Roland Emmerich has. From Independence Day to The Day After Tomorrow and even 2012, Emmerich has a unique, grandiose vision for portraying the ends of the world — and beyond. However, his last few attempts, such as the Independence Day sequel and... »

Nanny Review: Sundance Winner Examines Horrors of the Modern Immigrant Experience

January 31, 2022 | By
<i>Nanny</i> Review: Sundance Winner Examines Horrors of the Modern Immigrant Experience

Motherhood was certainly a theme of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, from the lighthearted abortion drama Call Jane starring Elizabeth Banks to the suspense thriller Resurrection starring Rebecca Hall. Titans actress Anna Diop isn’t nearly as well known in comparison, and yet it was her new Sundance movie, Nanny, that outshined the others in terms of its thematic exploration of... »

Resurrection Review: Marvelous Rebecca Hall Can’t Save Sundance Thriller From Self-Inflicted Wounds

January 27, 2022 | By
<i>Resurrection</i> Review: Marvelous Rebecca Hall Can’t Save Sundance Thriller From Self-Inflicted Wounds

A good murder mystery asks the question of “who done it?” but the psychological version of a whodunit asks whether “it” was done at all. Resurrection isn’t a murder mystery at all, but it is one of those movies where you’re not quite sure whether the protagonist is suffering from some kind of mental illness... »

Call Jane Review: Elizabeth Banks Shines in Quiet Abortion Movie at Sundance

January 26, 2022 | By
<i>Call Jane</i> Review: Elizabeth Banks Shines in Quiet Abortion Movie at Sundance

In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court made abortion legal across the country, and 49 years later, the Sundance Film Festival hosted the world premiere of Call Jane, which tells the story of the women who ran underground abortion facilities that were necessary prior to that landmark decision. The film has limited commercial appeal beyond the... »

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande Review: Emma Thompson Comes on Strong in Sundance Tale of Sexual Discovery

January 23, 2022 | By
<i>Good Luck to You, Leo Grande</i> Review: Emma Thompson Comes on Strong in Sundance Tale of Sexual Discovery

So many clichés and sophomoric puns infect Emma Thompson’s sexy new Sundance film Good Luck to You, Leo Grande that it’s hard for this critic to admit that it’s an entertaining, superbly acted film — one that’s memorable enough to warrant an acquisition from a strong arthouse distributor such as Bleecker Street or Focus Features. Thompson plays Nancy,... »

When You Finish Saving the World Review: Jesse Eisenberg’s Uneven Directorial Debut Parodies Modern Values

January 21, 2022 | By
<i>When You Finish Saving the World</i> Review: Jesse Eisenberg’s Uneven Directorial Debut Parodies Modern Values

Oscar-nominated actor Jesse Eisenberg is mostly associated with quirky, comedic dramas that reflect or analyze modern, coastal sensibilities. Whether working with Woody Allen (Café Society, To Rome With Love), focused on society’s frustratingly selfish values (The Social Network), or delighting in amusing irreverence (Zombieland, Adventureland), the cerebral actor is evidently drawn to a certain aesthetic, so it’s not surprising, then,... »

How Spike Lee’s Photography Book SPIKE Captures the Director’s Evolution as an Artist

January 18, 2022 | By
How Spike Lee’s Photography Book <i>SPIKE</i> Captures the Director’s Evolution as an Artist

Late last year, Chronicle Books released the first-ever career-spanning book of photography celebrating the work of iconic auteur Spike Lee. Titled SPIKE, it features hundreds of never-before-seen photographs by David Lee, Spike’s brother and longtime still photographer. With its colorful purple cover emblazoned in giant gold letters, this bold and beautiful 360-page book is comprised of a... »

Scream Review: Middling Horror “Requel” Is Too Haunted By Its Own Past to Draw Fresh Blood

January 12, 2022 | By
<i>Scream</i> Review: Middling Horror “Requel” Is Too Haunted By Its Own Past to Draw Fresh Blood

Before I explain why the new Scream movie left me disappointed, you have to understand where I’m coming from. Scream (1996) is the reason I became a writer. No joke! I saw it when on Opening Day when I was 12 years old and it blew my adolescent mind so much that I returned the following... »