Dunkirk (2017)

Dunkirk (2017)

It’s been an amazing run of excellence for writer/director Christopher Nolan. Undoubtedly one of the twenty-first century’s most accomplished and groundbreaking auteurs, few can compete with his ability to deliver stunning visuals and thought-provoking, challenging narratives. Unfortunately, Dunkirk only delivers on the visuals, and that’s simply not enough if you’re… Continue reading

The Magnificent Seven (2016)

The Magnificent Seven (2016)

The return of the Western continues with this incarnation of The Magnificent Seven, a remake of the 1960 John Sturges classic, which was a remake of the 1954 Akira Kurosawa film, Seven Samurai. As one might expect, we’re treading familiar territory here. This time around, director Antoine Fuqua (Shooter, Training Day)… Continue reading

Free State of Jones (2016)

Free State of Jones (2016)

Free State of Jones features a handful of moderately powerful moments that don’t add up to a powerful overall experience. Writer/director Gary Ross’s screenplay bites off more than it can chew, resulting in a frustrating narrative structure that softens the most potent material and injects confusion at inopportune times. Newton Knight’s… Continue reading

Spectre (2015)

Spectre (2015)

With Spectre, the James Bond series has once again reached a crossroads. The decision can really be simplified down to this: do we want to continue this dark, gritty charade or actually have some fun again? Spectre, despite its lush locales and trademark superb action set pieces, is a mostly… Continue reading

Unfriended (2015)

Unfriended (2015)

As universal fears go, public humiliation is near the top of the list. In the quaint old days, when something embarrassing happened to you, it was usually only witnessed by a few people and forgotten relatively quickly. Not anymore in our age of social media, instant camera access, and countless outlets… Continue reading

Into the Woods (2014)

Into the Woods (2014)

Into the Woods is eighty minutes of energy and joy followed by forty more of tiresome, by-the-numbers visual effects. The drop-off in quality is notable. It’s a shame, as the first two-thirds are filled with crowd-pleasing tunes, beautiful set designs, and a playfulness that jumps off the screen. All of… Continue reading

Unbroken (2014)

Unbroken (2014)

“If you can take it, you can make it.” Those were the words spoken by Louis Zamperini’s brother as he prepared to train as an Olympic runner in Unbroken. Little did he know that over the next few years those words would take on more meaning than ever. The film… Continue reading

Happy Christmas (2014)

Happy Christmas (2014)

Happy Christmas is a solidly-acted, meandering effort that doesn’t really amount to much. It contains some thoughtful passages on the challenges of everyday life with a toddler and the yearning to take care of a family member that is struggling to find his/her way in life, but the film isn’t very engrossing… Continue reading

Gone Girl (2014)

Gone Girl (2014)

Gone Girl is basically two movies in one; a serious, realistic missing persons boiler followed by a laughably over-the-top second half that comes dangerously close to unraveling the whole works. The film does not depend upon the audience buying wholesale into the numerous twists, but rather the shifting character motivations and completely… Continue reading

Dracula Untold (2014)

Dracula Untold (2014)

The allure of the prequel, from the studio’s standpoint, makes a whole lot of sense. After all, something can always occur before something else and you can pretty much make up your own rules. Dracula Untold, the latest in the Dracula saga that has served Universal well for decades, is a… Continue reading