Posted in: Review

The Addams Family (2019)

The Addams Family reboots the satirically spooky family last seen in live-action form in the early 1990s. Although not as kooky as longtime fans of the Addamses might want, it’s ooky enough in parts to endear youngsters to the family’s amusingly macabre humor. The Addams Family starts promisingly, with the wedding of Morticia (Charlize Theron, […]

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Amaurosis

Grief can be a launching point for a decent psychological thriller, but in Amaurosis, this is an uneasy mix. Now streaming on Amazon Prime, Amaurosis starts off well enough as the type of story where a traumatized woman wonders if someone’s deceiving her or if she’s losing her mind. Unfortunately, any suspense unravels from slow […]

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JT LeRoy

In the world of JT LeRoy, people are so hungry for art that feels edgy and real that they won’t scratch the surface of a facade that turned out to be a multifaceted literary hoax. In the late 1990s, the supposedly autobiographical tales of LeRoy, a transgendered, abused teen whose mother was a truck-stop prostitute, […]

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Velvet Buzzsaw

Velvet Buzzsaw splatters a satire of the art world across a Tales from the Crypt-style morality lesson. Although not as gruesomely clever or funny as Tales, it gets in some decent barbs amid its behind-the-scenes backstabbing and bloodletting. Writer-director Dan Gilroy (Roman J. Israel, Esq.) reunites with Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo of his directorial […]

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Bumblebee

The Transformers franchise gets a welcome jolt of eighties nostalgia and heart with Bumblebee, an Earth origin story for the fan favorite VW Beetle who evolves into a Camaro. Director Travis Knight (the acclaimed Kubo and the Two Strings) and screenwriter Christina Hodson (Unforgettable, the upcoming Birds of Prey) wisely jettison political machinations, world takeovers, […]

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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

The visually inventive animated adventure Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse pops off the screen like a comic book come to life. Rectangular panels spell out characters’ thoughts. Action and scenery pulse with neon colors, ink splatters, even Ben-Day dots. But this joyous concoction isn’t just a fanciful lark. It reaches into multiple dimensions, shows there’s more […]

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Teen Titans Go! To the Movies

Why should Deadpool have all the fun? The animated heroes of Teen Titans Go! To the Movies might ask the same question, spurring this cheerfully irreverent adventure for the PG set that pokes fun at superhero tropes while embracing what audiences love about them. If you’re a superhero fan—or perhaps have superhero fatigue—this deliriously funny […]

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Incredibles 2

Love for superheroes—and this super family in particular—zings throughout Incredibles 2, an invigorating all-ages adventure that slips in sly commentary about what truly makes a hero. Fourteen years ago, Disney/Pixar introduced The Incredibles, about a family with extraordinary powers forced to live incognito. “Supers” are still outlawed when Incredibles 2 begins, fresh on the original’s […]

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Ocean’s 8

Ocean’s 8 breezes along the way Debbie Ocean cruises through the luxe Bergdorf Goodman after five years in prison—light on its feet with a calculating mind. This all-female heist film gets the feel of the fizzy end of this genre (like 2003’s The Italian Job) just right. Combine an eclectic group, quick-witted dialogue, and a […]

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Deadpool 2

Deadpool 2 is like a raunchier MAD Magazine version of a superhero movie. Limbs and heads fly as thick as the dick jokes, and characters emerge unscathed. That sounds a lot like 2016’s Deadpool, actually, only with more outlandishness and a larger supporting entourage. This sequel feels like it’s working harder to give fans even […]

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Tully

Charlize Theron trudges into the first moments of Tully with a pregnant belly bursting between her top and pajama bottoms. Her character, Marlo, approaches her young son with a smile that doesn’t quite reach her eyes. Her body language says this woman is so over this but trying to put up a good front—for her […]

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Anon

Andrew Niccol is one writer-director comfortable in the kind of alternate universes that author Philip K. Dick once concocted. The screenwriter of The Truman Show and writer-director of In Time and Gattaca (one of my favorites), Niccol loves to explore how technology impacts or even tramples our identity, let alone privacy. Those themes return in […]

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Love, Simon

Love is precious and rare, stories say. So is a film like Love, Simon, a sweet and funny coming-out story that’s also a relatable coming-of-age tale and teen romantic comedy. There’s a temptation if not a tendency in films about acceptance to feel preachy or cloying. Love, Simon is sincere and heartfelt without patting itself […]