John Wick: Chapter 4

John Wick: Chapter 4 Review: Reality Is Thrown Out a Window in Keanu Reeves’ Latest Action-Packed Sequel

To boost their middling viewership, the Oscars may want to introduce Best Original Headshot as a new category. The nominees for the past few months alone would include the sanguinary Violent Night, J-Lo’s Shotgun Wedding, and without question, Keanu Reeves‘ latest martial arts obscenity, the much-anticipated sequel John Wick: Chapter 4. It seems as if filmmakers are catering to an incessant audience desire for gore that centers around bullets, exploding […]

Shazam! Fury of the Gods

Shazam! Fury of the Gods Review: Childish Superheroes Deliver Low-Stakes Magic in DC’s Latest Sequel

The DC Extended Universe, which will come to a close later this year with Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, hasn’t done many things right, but director David F. Sandberg‘s Shazam! is one of the few exceptions. The title character is played by a charming Zachary Levi, and his teenage alter-ego is Billy Batson (Asher Angel), who lives in a Philadelphia foster home. He’s gifted magical, god-like superpowers by an ancient […]

Scream 6

Scream VI Review: New York, New Rules, New Horror Movie Excesses in This Fun But Mindless Slasher Sequel

The Scream franchise is now over 25 years old, surpassing in age most of its current target audience. The latest installment, Scream VI, perfectly encapsulates the new generation it is aimed at — fun and entertaining but also soft, mindless, and noncommittal. Though the old formula still works, surprisingly, the cleverness that made Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson‘s original so brilliant is totally slashed off the screen, as the blade […]

All Quiet on the Western Front

Oscar Nominees Reviewed: Best International Feature, Where All Quiet on the Western Front Looms Large

On Jan. 24, Riz Ahmed and Allison Williams read out the names of all the movies and artists nominated for an Oscar at the 95th Academy Awards, which will be held on March 12. Among the nominees for Best International Feature were four European films and one Argentinian movie that may as well be European. Best International Feature is the Academy’s recently-renamed award for movies outside of the English language. […]

Navalny movie

Oscar Nominees Reviewed: Best Documentary Feature, Where Navalny May, Unfortunately, Triumph Over All

In 1942, when the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature was first established, 25 movies were nominated and four received the Oscar. Back then, the award was a part of the Academy’s effort to support war-related movies, with propaganda films and morale-boosting documentaries from studios such as Disney and directors like Frank Capra occupying a bulk of the Academy’s time back then. Since then, the category has had as few […]

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio

Oscar Nominees Reviewed: Best Animated Feature Finds Guillermo Del Toro Serving as the Master of Puppets

It is hard to believe that the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature dates only to this century, but then again it took the Oscars over 60 years to nominate an animated film — Beauty and the Beast — for Best Picture. Since then, Disney/Pixar films have dominated the landscape, with DreamWorks snatching an Oscar here and there. Indeed, in the only 20+ years of the category’s existence, several men […]

Cocaine Bear

Cocaine Bear Review: Director Elizabeth Banks Lines Up Some Killer Action Scenes in This Grisly Dark Comedy

It is preposterous that a movie called Cocaine Bear can even exist, but what is even more outrageous is that anyone could turn the concept of a bear on a coke binge into exquisite cinematic entertainment. Leave it to Elizabeth Banks, whose signature dark humor is on full, majestic display in this movie about a wild animal that ingests cocaine and goes on a rampage. The movie may be predictable […]

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Review: Entertainment Shrinks in Paul Rudd’s Latest Marvel Adventure

The Marvel Cinematic Universe enters a new decade with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. For those not keeping track at home, this film is the first in Marvel’s all-important Phase 5, the third in the Ant-Man franchise, and the 30th in the MCU. You cannot fully fault the filmmakers for failing to find compelling narratives for 30+ movies that explore variations on the same themes, more or less, as audiences […]

Magic Mike's Last Dance

Magic Mike’s Last Dance Review: Channing Tatum’s Final Striptease Is Pleasure-Free

Only Steven Soderbergh could make a movie about a bunch of strippers seem poetic, as he did with 2012’s Magic Mike. But, much like his underwhelming sequels to the spectacular Ocean’s Eleven, the third lap dance in his latest franchise, aptly titled Magic Mike’s Last Dance, demonstrates that showbiz persistently ignores at its own peril the old adage that discretion is the better part of valor. Channing Tatum returns as […]

Knock at the Cabin

Knock at the Cabin Review: M. Night Shyamalan Resurgence Continues With This Tense Psychological Thriller

Artists who catch lightning in a bottle early in their careers frequently fail to live up to their promised potential. This was certainly the case of writer/director M. Night Shyamalan, whose stunning success with The Sixth Sense back in 1999 yielded a couple of smaller hits like Unbreakable and Signs before leading to a string of underperformers including Lady in the Water, The Happening, The Last Airbender, and After Earth. […]