The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017)

The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017)

Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol is as timeless as stories come because its themes are universal and forever. Greed, lack of awareness of the consequences of our actions, and redemption are ubiquitous. It’s impossible to read or watch A Christmas Carol and not want to do something charitable or even… Continue reading

Jackie (2016)

Jackie (2016)

The opening frames of Jackie lead one to believe they’re about to see a horror film. One wouldn’t be far off. The camera rests on Natalie Portman’s solemn face, staring off into the distance, as Mica Levi’s heart-rending score pounds out strained, delirious notes. It’s a jarring opening for a… 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

Joy (2015)

Joy (2015)

Joy presents Jennifer Lawrence with her meatiest role since Ree in 2010’s Winter’s Bone, which fast-tracked her rise to one of Hollywood’s most sought-after actresses. With some of the lighter roles she’s taken on in recent years it’s easy to forget how effortlessly she can carry a film. Her presence alone… Continue reading

Amy (2015)

Amy (2015)

One of the more amazing things about Amy, Asif Kapadia’s tragic and sad documentary about the late singer Amy Winehouse, is just how much footage of Winehouse there was. Today we can all shoot video on the fly with smartphones, but Amy begins in 2001, when Winehouse was only eighteen. Much… Continue reading

Spotlight (2015)

Spotlight (2015)

Spotlight is one of the great investigative journalism films; compelling, flawlessly acted, and successful in its invitation to join in the hunt for the truth. It’s enough to make you think twice about the easy, convenient dismissal of the importance of newspapers in our digital times. Even with an ending… Continue reading

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon (2015)

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon (2015)

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon is a fast-paced, often hilarious look at the magazine the defined lewd, counter-culture humor. Most contemporary audiences likely know the name and its association with such timeless cinematic comedies as Animal House, Caddyshack, and Vacation. But in its heyday the… Continue reading

The Wolfpack (2015)

The Wolfpack (2015)

As the story goes, director Crystal Moselle met the “wolfpack,” otherwise known as the Angulo brothers, by chance in Manhattan in 2010. Struck by their Reservoir Dogs-esque black Ray-Ban sunglasses, leather coats, and waist-length hair, she became friends with the group and soon uncovered the kind of story documentary filmmakers dream about.… Continue reading

The Imitation Game (2014)

The Imitation Game (2014)

The Imitation Game tells the story of Alan Turing, a prodigal mathematician who played an integral part in breaking Nazi Germany’s “unbreakable” Enigma code during World War II. He and his team’s work shortened the war by an estimated two years, saving upwards of fourteen million lives. Told in a focused,… Continue reading

Foxcatcher (2014)

Foxcatcher (2014)

Foxcatcher, director Bennett Miller’s latest blend of sport and human drama, is an actor’s movie. That’s not so much an insult as an observation. Understated and very casually-paced, the film features three pristine performances in service to a story that builds tension leading to inevitable tragedy. The ending will be a… Continue reading