Movie Reviews

A visual feast at the Fest

San Diego Latino Film Festival trumps major movie release Beauty and the Beast

The great grinding gears of the pop culture PR machine would have you believe that Beauty and the Beast is the big movie news this week. But it’s not, and neither are the bleats of ...

Land of Mine is terse, tense, and terrific

Moving mine movie

Writer-director Martin Zandlivet’s terse, tense, and terrific post-WWII film Land of Mine establishes two of its three strengths immediately. First, star Roland Møller as Danish sergeant Carl Rasmussen, his eyes radiating barely controlled emotion from ...

March comes in like a wolverine

Logan heads up a strong bunch of new movie releases

I liked the superhero movie Logan a lot, mostly because it was less about superheroes and more about keeping the flame of faith alive as the darkness closes in and about keeping civilization going by ...

Wolfman Western

There’s a reason for Logan’s surprising power and poignancy

With 2013’s The Wolverine, director James Mangold took a near-immortal, adamantium-clawed (thanks to a combination of mutation and rogue science) superhero named Logan and stuck him in a Big Sleep–style mystery movie. The results were...unimpressive. ...

Two takes on interracial romance

This week’s new movie releases include Get Out and A United Kingdom

In A United Kingdom, a black man falls in love with a white woman, and their romance is tested by all sorts of opposing forces. In Get Out, a black man falls in love with ...

Female-fashioned frights

XX: A killer quartet

"Four deadly tales directed by four killer women.” That’s the tagline for XX, the new horror anthology opening Friday at the Digital Gym. This type of press agent math never adds up. Has there ever ...

Take cover from the storm and see these movies this weekend

A critic's job is to say "Hey, look at this!"

There is no delight in being contrary for its own sake. It's as dishonest a critical move as quote-whore cheerleading. It cries out, "Hey, look at me!" when, of course, a critic's job is to ...

Verbinksi on vacation

Madman's dream, A Cure for Wellness

With Pirates of the Caribbean, Gore Verbinski took a silly-spooky theme park attraction and built it into a multibillion-dollar defense of bucking the system and living by your wits. With A Cure for Wellness, he ...

Sequel report

Some follow-up movies (Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back) are considerably better than others (Fifty Shades Darker)

First things first: the 2017 San Diego Jewish Film Festival is underway, and runs through the 17th. Film lineup is here. I rather like the cutline: "Our Lives Projected." Between that and the first San ...

Maybe not a good time at the movies, but a timely time

Some relevant movies open this week, including I Am Not Your Negro and Fire at Sea

How does the old curse go? “May you live in interesting times”? It is certainly an interesting time. Things fall apart; the center cannot hold. Each side is forever seeing further evidence of the other’s ...

James Baldwin’s notebook

I Am Not Your Negro makes San Diego premiere at Human Rights Watch Film Festival

I was sorry when my interview with I Am Not Your Negro director Raoul Peck was cancelled at the last minute, in part because I wanted to ask him — out of genuine curiosity as ...

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