Posted in: Review

Give or Take

An aimless man in his 30s leaves the big city where he works at a corporate job and heads back to his small hometown for the funeral of a close family member. There, he reconnects with old friends, reassesses his priorities and learns to appreciate a quieter, slower way of life. It’s the plot of […]

Posted in: Review

On the Rocks

Sofia Coppola may have downgraded her ambitions with her seventh feature, On the Rocks, but that doesn’t mean she’s come close to selling out. A gentle comedy about the rocky relationship between a father and daughter, On the Rocks feels like a personal story, and there’s a temptation to search for a reflection of Coppola’s relationship […]

Posted in: Review

Possessor

David Cronenberg hasn’t made a movie since 2014’s Maps to the Stars, but his son Brandon has taken up his legacy of calculated, disturbing body horror in the intervening years. Brandon Cronenberg’s new film Possessor feels very much like the kind of movie his dad would have made, while also forging its own distinct path. […]

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Antebellum

For its first 40 minutes or so, Antebellum is virtually indistinguishable from a standard historical drama about the Civil War-era South. On a cotton plantation somewhere in the South, there are cruel masters who berate and abuse the slaves, while the slaves conspire in hushed whispers with each other to plan an escape that may […]

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The Personal History of David Copperfield

It’s unlikely that anyone would ever characterize a Charles Dickens novel as breezy, but that’s exactly the impression that comes from Armando Iannucci’s Dickens adaptation The Personal History of David Copperfield. Iannucci and co-writer Simon Blackwell attempt to include as much of Dickens’ 800-plus-page novel as possible into a two-hour film, turning the sprawling epic […]

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Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

The Eurovision Song Contest is inherently goofy, which proves to be a problem for the attempt to parody it in Netflix original movie Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. The annual event features countries across Europe (and beyond) competing with original songs performed in over-the-top production numbers, and it’s a celebration of unabashedly […]

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In Bright Axiom

It’s entirely possible (and even likely) that quite a lot of the material in Spencer McCall’s documentary In Bright Axiom is complete hokum. The movie itself is a chronicle of hokum, documenting the performance art project and alternate reality game known as Latitude, created by Bay Area artist and entrepreneur Jeff Hull. Hull’s work was […]

Posted in: Commentary

Interview: Soundwave Director Dylan Narang

Writer-director Dylan Narang came to the film business by way of a stint in military counter-intelligence and an MBA from Georgetown, before attending film school at Chapman University and making his feature debut with the 2016 horror movie All I Need. His latest film is the sci-fi thriller Soundwave, starring Hunter Doohan as Ben Boyles, […]

Posted in: Review

Soundwave

Movie characters should know by now not to invent world-changing devices in their home workshops, because it’s only going to lead to them being chased by nefarious government or corporate agents. That’s exactly what happens to Ben Boyles (Hunter Doohan) in the scrappy low-budget sci-fi movie Soundwave, which makes the most of its simple premise […]

Posted in: Review

Bad Education

Cory Finley’s 2017 debut feature Thoroughbreds was a strikingly original vision from the playwright-turned-filmmaker, but for his follow-up, Finley steps back a bit, working from someone else’s screenplay adapting a magazine article about real-life events. Bad Education is clever and funny and very well-acted, but it’s not the kind of bold artistic statement that puts […]

Posted in: Review

Trolls World Tour

Although 2016’s DreamWorks animated hit Trolls was based on the perennial line of long-haired troll dolls, its main appeal to audiences was its hyperactive pop-music soundtrack, led by the Justin Timberlake hit “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” So the new sequel Trolls World Tour overloads on the slickly produced music, to go along with its more-is-more […]

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Dolphin Reef

Since 2009, Disney’s nature-documentary label Disneynature has generally celebrated Earth Day by releasing a new movie in theaters, and while nearly all movie theaters are shut down this year, that hasn’t stopped the tradition from continuing. Dolphin Reef is one of two new Disneynature movies premiering on Disney+ to commemorate Earth Day (Elephant is the […]

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Onward

If Onward were produced by any other major CG-animation studio (DreamWorks, Illumination, Blue Sky, etc.), it would be a major achievement. It’s sweet and funny and gorgeously animated, full of clever details in a richly imagined world. But from the geniuses at Pixar, Onward feels like a bit of a step down, especially coming less […]