Posted in: Review

Love Is Not Love

Writer/director/star Stephen Keep Mills seems to have a lot on his mind in Love Is Not Love, but the largely abstract movie remains pretty much impenetrable, whatever it’s trying to say about love getting lost in scenes that come off like mannered, self-conscious acting-class exercises, the kind of thing that Bill Hader’s character would struggle […]

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Dolittle

Somewhere on some studio hard drive may exist a version of Stephen Gaghan’s Dolittle that preserves the director’s original vision, but it’s hard to imagine it could be worse than the disjointed, hastily pasted-together version that’s being released in theaters. Gaghan, who previously directed serious dramas like Syriana and Gold, seems like an odd choice […]

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Queen & Slim

Although Queen & Slim opens like an indie romantic comedy, there’s an undercurrent of uneasiness from the first moments of director Melina Matsoukas’ feature debut. The title characters (who are unnamed until the film’s epilogue) are on an awkward first date, clearly with different aims for the evening. The woman (Jodie Turner-Smith) is aloof and […]

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Frozen II

The massive success of Frozen pretty much guaranteed a sequel (Disney is not the kind of company to let it go when it comes to exploiting intellectual property), but it’s taken six years for the movie’s original creators to put together a follow-up that has the potential to stand alongside the original. It’s clear that […]

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Ford v. Ferrari

The most impressive feat that the filmmakers accomplish in Ford v. Ferrari is to turn one of the largest corporations in American history into an underdog. Director James Mangold and screenwriters Jason Keller and Jez and John-Henry Butterworth set up iconic car manufacturer Ford as the scrappy upstart in contrast to high-end Italian outfit Ferrari. […]

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Last Christmas

Last year, director Paul Feig took what looked like a Lifetime-style housewife-in-peril thriller in A Simple Favor and put a clever, self-aware twist on a familiar kind of story. With Last Christmas, Feig takes on another much-maligned, TV-friendly genre, the holiday romantic comedy, but he plays this one disappointingly straight, delivering a generic but sometimes charming […]

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Jojo Rabbit

Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit may have been undermined by its own marketing campaign. The acclaimed comedy filmmaker (What We Do in the Shadows, Thor: Ragnarok) has been touting his movie as a bold satirical comedy about Nazis since it was first announced, and the movie’s posters bill it as “an anti-hate satire.” The movie itself […]

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Sunday Girl

Sort of a deadpan version of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, the main character of Sunday Girl breaks up with five of her artisanally crafted hipster boyfriends in a single day in writer-director Peter Ambrosio’s twee, sardonic indie romantic comedy. Dasha Nekrasova is appealing as the seemingly cool and detached Natasha, who chain smokes as […]

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Gemini Man

With Gemini Man, Ang Lee cements his place among A-list directors whose fixations on technological advancements have eclipsed their instincts for quality storytelling. Filmmakers like Robert Zemeckis, George Lucas, Peter Jackson and James Cameron have all, to varying degrees, let their drives for innovation in moviemaking take precedence over narrative and character development. The more […]

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Judy

The Judy Garland of Judy is not the fresh-faced child star of The Wizard of Oz, nor the larger-than-life performer who filled concert halls for decades. Both of those Judys show up in the movie, but director Rupert Goold and screenwriter Tom Edge (adapting the Tony-nominated play End of the Rainbow by Peter Quilter) are […]

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Abominable

The third major animated movie about yetis in the past year, DreamWorks Animation’s Abominable is far less annoying than 2018’s Smallfoot (from Warner Animation Group) but not nearly as inventive and witty as Laika’s Missing Link from earlier this year. Abominable falls into a bland, safe middle ground, placing a yeti nicknamed Everest into a familiar story about a […]

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Human Capital (2019)

The title Human Capital sounds like it should accompany a heavily researched social-issue documentary about the way that people have been turned into commodities. But Marc Meyers’ adaptation of Stephen Amidon’s 2004 novel is more of a soap opera than a polemic, although it does deal indirectly with income inequality and the dehumanizing effects of […]