Movie Reviews

Here comes Hell or High Water

Interview with director David Mackenzie and costar Gil Birmingham

The stars align in the Western sky. Hell or High Water is the sort of film that tempts the critic — well, tempts me, anyway — to start writing the sort of copy that might ...

Knitting the middlebrow

Movies opening this week: Indignation, Suicide Squad, The Innocents, and more

How do I know that I am, at heart, a middlebrow critic? Well, partly because I have yet to join my fellow critic Scott in his celebration of the Jackass franchise. But also because I ...

Bourne Too Late?

Movies opening this week: Jason Bourne, Bad Moms, Nerve, and more

Reader ur-critic Duncan Shepherd (who has been showing up on the site of late, praise be) was not a huge fan of the original Bourne trilogy. The first was something of a disappointment, I guess, ...

Two to view: Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Captain Fantastic

Idyll in the bush

This week sees two films that feature adventures on the fringe of civilization, Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Captain Fantastic. Wilderpeople — which zigs and zags from silly to somber (retaining perfect emotional frankness throughout) ...

Movies, 40 years ago

Duncan Shepherd's stars and black spots

The New Hollywood The central problem seems to be, How can they avoid giving it to Bogdanovich? or to Coppola? or to Nicholson? or to Hoffman? (It should probably be kept in mind that this ...

Louis CK as Max the Dog fails to unseat Patton Oswalt as Remy the Rat

Opening this week: The Secret Life of Pets, Zero Days, and more

I think it’s fair to say that the comedian Louis CK is squandered in The Secret Life of Pets, but the frustrating thing is, he’s not squandered right away. The opening holds such promise: a ...

BFG = Boffo Fart Gag?

Opening this week: The BFG, The Legend of Tarzan, Our Kind of Traitor, and more

I never had to tell my daughter to read the book before seeing the movie. All she needed was to see the first film adaptation of her beloved Percy Jackson novels. Now she makes a ...

Movie monster mania!

Opening this week: Independence Day: Resurgence, The Shallows, Therapy for a Vampire, and more

What a week. Aliens from outer space (again). Ravenous Vampires. Man-eating sharks. Bloodthirsty beauties. Good times. But maybe you're looking for something a little more...human? Something a little bit haunting? A little bit profound? A ...

Independence Day — a resurgence?

More of the same, but more

Twenty years ago, my new wife and I stood in line for what seemed like hours at Horton Plaza to see Independence Day. Why? Because of those fantastic teasers that showed the shadow of a ...

Just keep sequeling, just keep sequeling, just keep sequeling...

Finding Dory, Art Bastard, Central Intelligence, and more opening this week

I was one of the very few critics who had anything nice to say about obvious cash-grab sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass, mostly because I was able to enjoy it as a children’s story ...

The Aristocrats puts funny under the microscope

It’ll put you in the mood for Mike Birbiglia’s upcoming Don’t Think Twice

Try analyzing comedy. The only thing more exasperating is sitting stone-faced through one. Discussing the evening’s drama consumes a drive home from the multiplex, but ask someone why a gag made them howl and all ...

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