Wide Releases

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: “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: “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, […]

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: “The Martian”

Review: “The Martian”

“The Martian,” when it succeeds, does so despite itself. It is a survival-in-space movie almost entirely free of tension, its tone set always to comic relief, its grand imagination and serious plot almost completely ruined by its own sarcasm. The film stars Matt Damon as Mark Watney, an astronaut in dire straights. After the crew […]

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 […]