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Review: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

Review: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

From the ashes of George Lucas’ “Star Wars” prequels comes “The Force Awakens,” a continuation of the Star Wars saga that delivers for casual and hardcore fans alike exactly what they’ve been waiting for in the 32 years since “Return of the Jedi”: a stellar movie. It is impossible, or at least negligent, to consider […]

Review: “Steve Jobs”

Review: “Steve Jobs”

“I’m going to put music in your pocket. One hundred songs. No, 500. I’m going to put between 500 and 1,000 songs in your pocket,” Steve Jobs blurts out to his college-aged daughter Lisa (Perla Haney-Jardine)—yes, the same daughter whose paternity he vulgarly denied in the pages of Time magazine over a decade earlier—in the […]

Review: “Sicario”

Review: “Sicario”

“Nothing will make sense to your American ears, And you will doubt everything we do. But in the end, you will understand.” So says a character in Denis Villeneuve’s outstanding “Sicario.” These prophetic words haunt both the audience and protagonist until they suddenly crystallize. The film is like a whodunit where instead of a crime, there’s a philosophical […]

Review: “Avengers: Age of Ultron”

Review: “Avengers: Age of Ultron”

Despite the “Avengers” series’ guaranteed billions in box office for years to come, writer/director Joss Whedon won’t be returning after this latest entry. One might ask: What filmmaker and certified geek wouldn’t love the chance to helm the ultimate superhero franchise indefinitely, one that sends moviegoers into a delighted, money-burning frenzy? Well, one who prefers art […]

Review: “Inherent Vice”

Review: “Inherent Vice”

One wonders if there was something more than tobacco in the cigarettes used to burn the cue marks into the celluloid prints that filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson specially requested for the release of “Inherent Vice,” as it often seems that marijuana is part of the movie’s physical DNA. Protagonist Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix), a questionably-licensed […]

Review: “Interstellar”

Review: “Interstellar”

The large number of reviews comparing Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” to Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” is rather perplexing. Sure, both films tell stories involving intergalactic travel, but “Intersellar” is narratively straightforward where “2001” was enigmatic, and Nolan’s focus is on characters where Kubrick’s was on ideas. I do not say this to be dismissive […]

Review: “The Theory of Everything”

“What do cosmologists worship?” Stephen Hawking’s (Eddie Redmayne’s) future wife Jane (Felicity Jones) asks upon first meeting him at a university-sponsored dance and learning of the science major’s distaste for religion, minutes into “The Theory of Everything.” “One single unifying equation that explains everything in the universe,” Hawking responds, noting that the equation has not yet […]

Review: “Nightcrawler”

Review: “Nightcrawler”

The age-old (and perennially criticized) maxim of local TV news, “If it bleeds, it leads,” finds a fresh facilitator in Lou Bloom, the creepy-eyed, fast-talking protagonist played by an emaciated-looking Jake Gyllenhaal in “Nightcrawler.” Seeking work on the streets of Los Angeles, Lou is drawn to the eponymous profession, a colloquialism used to describe independent contractors […]

Review: “John Wick”

“John Wick” is the first feature that Chad Stahelski and David Leitch have ever directed, but their two decades working as stunt coordinators in Hollywood clearly taught them an invaluable lesson that prepared them for the job: efficiency is everything when it comes to action filmmaking. Because Staheleski and Leitch make optimal use of the […]

Review: “Citizenfour”

Perhaps the most surprising thing about the new documentary “Citizenfour” is that it does not require that the viewer have a positive opinion of its subject, the highly controversial NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, in order to be effective and vital. Make no mistake, the film hardly criticizes or even questions the ethics of Snowden’s extensively […]