Movie Reviews

Family values on the big screen

The ties that bind in this week’s new releases: 20th Century Women, The Ardennes, and more

Scott’s big (and mostly positive) review this week is 20th Century Women, Mike Mills’s memory of growing up surrounded by strong feminine figures of all sorts. (Greta Gerwig strikes again!) It’s one more example of ...

That ’70s movie

Life in Santa Barbara, 1979, “the time before America lost its individuality”

The characters in Mike Mills’s third feature, 20th Century Women, can’t wait to share their writer-director’s sketchy reminiscences of life in Santa Barbara, 1979. Mills calls it “the time before America lost its individuality,” but ...

Movies can make you feel things

New January releases: Patriots Day, Julieta, and more

A lot of critics liked Patriots Day — The Boston Globe‘s Ty Burr being a notable exception. I didn’t much care for it. Peter Berg’s dramatization of the Boston Marathon bombing and ensuing manhunt started ...

Patriots Day, a net cast wide but with little care

Berg’s Boston Marathon

Based on Peter Berg’s sprawling Boston Marathon bombing drama Patriots Day, here is what I know about Dzhohkar Tsarnaev, the younger of the two brothers who planted pressure cooker bombs near the marathon’s finish line ...

The best isn’t Silence

New year, new movie releases: Hidden Figures, Train to Busan, and more

Hmph. Happy New Year, indeed. All y’all out there in movie-pass land had a chance to win tickets via the Reader to see an advance screening of Underworld: Blood Wars. But not us critics. Like ...


Scorsese’s painful piety

Silence isn’t golden. He may not be the hardest working man in show business — not with just one theatrical release every two years — but at 74, and with almost 60 features, shorts, and ...

The Middlebrow Monk's best films of 2016

Critical listicle!

Matthew Lickona here. One of the painful things about looking back over the year in reviews is you get an eyeful of your unfortunate overuses. I’m going to try to excise “riveting,” “gripping,” and “fascinating” ...

Must-see movies of 2016

Top ten of the last year

10) Hirokazu Koreeda’s Our Little Sister At their estranged father’s funeral, the oldest of three sisters takes it upon herself to ask her little-known teenage half-sister — the product of an adulterous relationship that “crushed ...

Not with a roar, but a whimper

A fizzling end to a bang-up year of movies, including Passengers, Lion, and more

This is it, folks. Unless you know something I don’t, there will be no new releases next Friday, December 30. (Scott and I will take the occasion to post our two Top Ten Lists, which ...

Lion doesn’t roar

But Nicole Kidman delivers one of her finest performances

“‘Based on a True Story” has replaced “The Adventure Continues” as Hollywood’s most cringeworthy coming attraction tagline. Just because a narrative is rooted in reality doesn’t mean that its chronicler isn’t going to lie, cheat, ...

A welcome break from opera — super, space, or otherwise

A good week of new movie releases, including Jackie and Rogue One

The Wikipedia entry for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story calls it “a 2016 American epic space opera film.” There’s lots more after that, but let me pause for a moment. “Space opera?” As in ...

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