Now in Theaters

Review: “Hacksaw Ridge”

Review: “Hacksaw Ridge”

War is hell, but it might be even worse if you’re unarmed. That’s exactly how Desmond Doss ran into battle, and on purpose. A Virginia country boy and devout Seventh Day Adventist, Doss rescued nearly a hundred men in one of a nasty war’s nastiest patches of scorched earth without firing a shot. It’s through […]

Review: “Meet the Blacks”

While I cannot recommend the new comedy “Meet the Blacks” on artistic grounds, as it almost completely falls flat in the humor department, a part of me hopes that it does well at the box office. Why? Because if the film makes any commercial waves, it will more likely than not initiate an important discussion […]

Review: “God’s Not Dead 2”

Review: “God’s Not Dead 2”

The end credits of “God’s Not Dead 2,” similar to those of its smash-hit predecessor, begin with a detailed text scroll of court cases, both federal and local, that supposedly informed its legal-themed narrative about a high school teacher on trial for invoking Jesus in the classroom. Blink and you’ll miss them, as they fly […]

Review: “Eye in the Sky”

After exploding onto the international film scene with the virtuosic 2005 debut “Tsotsi,” made in his native South Africa, director Gavin Hood gave the term “sophomore slump” new meaning by ignoring filmmaking elementals in favor of blatant Bush-bashing in his 2007 crossover picture “Rendition.” Now, after big-budget forays into the fantasy realms of Marvel Comics […]

Review: “Knight of Cups”

Review: “Knight of Cups”

At what point does an auteur’s “signature style” cross over into becoming a game of directorial Mad Libs? That’s the question I wrestled with for most of Terrence Malick’s “Knight of Cups,” a typically gorgeous effort from the reclusive filmmaker that nonetheless employs his trademarks—shots following characters from behind and hushed voiceover the most recognizable […]

Review: “10 Cloverfield Lane”

Review: “10 Cloverfield Lane”

What is “10 Cloverfield Lane”? A helluva marketing gimmick, first and foremost, and a movie second. Produced and announced with impressive stealthiness, it arrives on the back of a brilliant advertising campaign that tantalizingly teases a frightening sci-fi mystery. Or is it a hostage thriller? And what’s the connection to the 2008 found-footage hit “Cloverfield”? […]

Review: “Embrace of the Serpent”

Review: “Embrace of the Serpent”

To be declared a “daring” film in the year of Gaspar Noé’s 3-D ejaculation and Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Planet Hoth-inspired horse carcass sleeping bag is a difficult feat. By these standards, Ciro Guerra’s “Embrace of the Serpent” is not particularly flashy: its most shocking moment involves a temporary switch out of black-and-white. Even Dorothy would […]

Review: “A War”

Curious name, “A War.” The setting of Tobias Lindholm’s miniature combat film is very specific—Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, where a group of Danish soldiers try to keep the peace—and yet that title, with its assertive indefinite article, suggests a deliberate distancing, presenting instead a military operation that might stand in for many battles and maybe all […]

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: “The Hateful Eight”

Few filmmakers ascend to the the levels of both commercial success and critical acclaim required for Hollywood to extend them a pass to make whatever film they desire, within reason, but Quentin Tarantino has seemingly occupied such a privileged position for the last decade. Tarantino’s blank checks, made out by his career-long godfather Harvey Weinstein, […]