Tag Archives: 2019 reviews

REVIEW: THE IRISHMAN is Scorsese’s captivating epilogue to his exploration of the life of the mafioso on film

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Taken along with GOODFELLAS and CASINO, THE IRISHMAN explores the melancholy and regret in the life of a former mob hitman set against the backdrop of the rise and fall of the Teamsters Union. Early on in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas,

REVIEW: THE GOOD LIAR is an intriguing game of cat and mouse pitting Helen Mirren and Ian McKellan in a grift spanning decades.

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Helen Mirren and Ian McKellan are at the top of their game in this engaging film full of scams and grifting with a dark underside at the bottom. It goes largely without saying that the strongest asset in The Good

REVIEW: PARADISE HILLS aims to be a dark fairytale on the importance of agency and individuality, but loses itself in placing aesthetic over a compelling storyline

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Writer/director Alice Waddington’s PARADISE HILLS boasts lush and imaginative visuals in costume and production design, but the film’s point is lost in its emphasis on style over substance. It’s evident in viewing PARADISE HILLS that Alice Waddington has something to

REVIEW: DOLEMITE IS MY NAME is an enjoyable Ed Wood style dive into the world of blaxploitation films with a charismatic performance from Eddie Murphy at its heart.

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Eddie Murphy’s compelling turn as 70’s comedian Rudy Ray Moore is the spark of life at the center of this DISASTER ARTIST inspired dive into the world behind Moore’s persona and the making of 1975’s Dolemite. There’s something alluring about

REVIEW: Bong Joon Ho’s PARASITE is a compelling thriller that focuses on class division

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One of the year’s best films, Parasite evades easy pigeonholing into one genre and remains enthralling from start to finish. The issue of the haves versus the have nots is a theme that rears its head quite often when looking

REVIEW: LUCY IN THE SKY is an intriguing genre mash that examines the existential imprisonment of a life lived too ordinary.

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Writer/Director Noah Hawley makes his feature directorial debut with an engaging existential dark comedy with hints of magical realism reminiscent of the early films of the Coen Brothers. In many ways, Noah Fawley’s directorial debut Lucy in the Sky has

REVIEW: Joker is a true achievement in a cinematic character study that reinvents the comic book film.

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Joaquin Phoenix owns the role of the titular Batman arch-nemesis in a work that pays strong homage to the New Hollywood auteur storytelling of 1970’s Hollywood and reinvents the way that comic book films can be adapted for the big

REVIEW: OFFICIAL SECRETS is an engrossing look at the accountability of government and its actions to its citizenry.

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Director Gavin Hood delivers a taught and gripping political drama that raises the question of how far should a government go in justifying actions in service of its allies against the legality of those actions to its people. Ever since

REVIEW: Hobbs and Shaw is exactly the hyper-masculine anti-heroes vs. cyborgs action/buddy comedy cartoon of a film you never knew you needed.

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In which a movie where Dwayne Johnson holds a helicopter piloted by a cyborg from taking off with the sheer force of his biceps and a chain is somehow still maddeningly watchable in a non-ironic way. Last year, we had

REVIEW: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is Quentin Tarantino’s love letter to the fading Golden Age of Hollywood of the late 1960’s

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Tarantino’s 9th film is an ephemeral glimpse of a Hollywood that might have been; one grounded in the last gasps of the changing world of 1960’s Hollywood. I’ve often said that the 1970s were the last true golden age of

REVIEW: The Art of Self-Defense is one of the year’s best dark comedies.

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Writer/Director Riley Stearns takes a look at the dark side of masculinity as it affects a local karate dojo in his shining sophomore feature follow-up to 2014’s Faults. Like a lot of other kids growing up in the suburbs in

REVIEW: “Spider-Man: Far From Home” is a fitting epilogue to the saga of Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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Spider-Man: Far From Home is a solid piece of story-telling about the burden of carrying on a legacy that defines you in the eyes of others and aspiring to be your own man. As the epilogue to Phase 4 of

REVIEW: SHAFT is a throwback to the buddy cop comedies of the 80’s and the original blacksploitation classic.

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Black-ish creator and Girls Trip co-writer Kenya Barris along with Family Guy’s Alex Barnow craft a script that follows the too cool to suffer fools blueprint of the original franchise, while embedding it with a sense of the urban culture

REVIEW: TOY STORY 4 brings an emotional close to the story of Woody and the gang.

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Loyalty to those we care about and knowing when to let go are central themes in this bittersweet entry in Pixar’s signature series. I think growing up, most people have a toy or blanket or plush that they carried everywhere

REVIEW: X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX brings Fox era of X-Men Films to close with strong team ensemble film that frustrates with potential of what could have been.

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X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX, writer/director Simon Kinberg’s directorial debut, delivers what fans have asked for years: an actual X-Men team ensemble comic book space opera that feels authentic to the comic book despite Fox’s mishmash of timeline jumping and missing characters.

REVIEW: BRIGHTBURN conjures up a new genre: the superhero sociopath slasher.

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Director David Yarovesky directs this dark spin on Man of Steel from writers Brian & Mark Gunn that plays with the Superman myth in interesting ways but loses its way due to characterization by plot. It’s not anything new in

REVIEW: GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS shines when kaiju action takes center screen, but dims when human element is the spotlight.

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Godzilla: King of The Monsters presents the monster movie battle spectacles that you always wanted to see and movies like Rampage failed to deliver. But much like Godzilla (2014), it’s the bridge sequences between those fights with some puzzling acting

REVIEW: JOHN WICK CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM delivers visceral thrills and rich world-building worthy of the franchise.

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John Wick 3 continues the tradition of epic world-building and spectacular stunt-driven setpieces established in previous films in the franchise while delivering a highly serialized third entry into its pantheon. John Wick 3 picks up exactly where John Wick 2