Roman J. Israel, Esq. Review: Denzel Shines in Muddled Legal Drama

Roman J. Israel, Esq. features another standout performance by Washington, but the story around him is mundane and fails to leave an impression. The second directorial effort from Dan Gilroy (following his 2014 film Nightcrawler), Roman J. Israel, Esq. is another drama set in Los Angeles starring a peculiar character with his own set of quirks and ideals. Whereas Nightcrawler explored the world of sensationalized television news, this movie … [Read more...]

Wonder Review: A Heartwarming Story of Family Love

Wonder is a touching tale of love and friendship, buoyed by strong performances from Jacob Tremblay and the rest of the cast. Based on the novel of the same name by Raquel Jaramillo (who used the pseudonym R.J. Palacio), Wonder is being positioned as a heartwarming family film for the holiday season, covering a variety of important themes such as acceptance and overcoming adversity. The source material was inspired by a real event Jaramillo … [Read more...]

Lady Bird Review: Greta Gerwig’s Coming of Age Romp Delights

Lady Bird makes for a delightful coming of age comedy/drama, fueled by Gerwig’s inspired direction and Saoirse Ronan’s charming performance. Lady Bird is the thoroughly enchanting solo directorial debut for Greta Gerwig, who is perhaps best known at the moment for her multiple collaborations with indie auteur Noah Baumbach. Having previously starred in the Baumbach-directed Frances Ha and Mistress America (both of which she also … [Read more...]

Mudbound Review: A Moving Tale of Two Families

Fueled by compelling performances and compassionate storytelling, Mudbound is a powerful examination of American society in the aftermath of WWII. Adapted from the novel of the same name (as written by Hilary Jordan and published in 2008), Mudbound is the latest offering from writer/director Dee Rees. Following the release of her 2011 Sundance Film Festival breakout hit Pariah – an LGBTQI coming of age film based on Rees’ original … [Read more...]

Call Me By Your Name Review: A Beautiful Portrait of First Love

Call Me By Your Name is a beautiful and powerful coming of age love story with remarkable performances from Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet. Directed by Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino, Call Me By Your Name is a triumph of film, adapted from the novel of the same name by André Aciman, with James Ivory penning the movie script. Gaudagnino kicked off his feature film career in 1999 with The Protagonists, but rose to prominence with his 2005 … [Read more...]

Call Me By Your Name Review: A Beautiful Portrait of First Love

Call Me By Your Name is a beautiful and powerful coming of age love story with remarkable performances from Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet. Directed by Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino, Call Me By Your Name is a triumph of film, adapted from the novel of the same name by André Aciman, with James Ivory penning the movie script. Gaudagnino kicked off his feature film career in 1999 with The Protagonists, but rose to prominence with his 2005 … [Read more...]

Justice League Review: DC Films Rebirth Has Begun

Justice League successfully ushers in a new era for DC Films and delivers lots of superhero fun – at the expense of a richer and more layered movie. Justice League is the third DC comic book movie adaptation directed by Zack Snyder, as well as the fifth overall installment in DC’s shared cinematic universe (unofficially known as the DC Extended Universe). In many ways, however, the film is less a conclusion to Snyder’s DC … [Read more...]

The Shape of Water Review: A Monstrous Fairy Tale For the Ages

Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water elegantly blends whimsical fairy tale with a fresh spin on classic monster movies for a delightful experience. The Shape of Water is horror maestro Guillermo del Toro’s latest work, and perhaps his best work to date. After helming a handful of smaller budgeted horror films, the vampire-focused sequel Blade II, and the first Hellboy film, the Mexican-American director truly began to make his mark … [Read more...]

Thelma Review: The Perks of Being a Supernatural Wallflower

Thelma makes for an effectively moody and evocative piece of Norwegian-flavored filmmaking, even as it brings more groundbreaking stories to mind. The fourth feature-length offering from Norwegian filmmaker Joachim Trier – whose previous films include Reprise, Oslo, August 31st, and Louder Than Bombs – Thelma is a coming of young adult age parable that draws on familiar genre conventions; those of the supernatural horror … [Read more...]

Murder on the Orient Express Review: An Old Fashioned Stylish Mystery

Murder on the Orient Express is well-crafted entertainment whose flaws are covered up by great work from Branagh in multiple facets. Based on the Agatha Christie novel of the same name, Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express is the latest screen adaptation of the famous crime thriller. It was most famously brought to film by Sidney Lumet in 1974 with an Oscar-winning interpretation, so Branagh’s version had a tall order to … [Read more...]

Coco Review: Pixar’s Gorgeous Celebration of Family & Music

Coco is a heartwarming story about family and a well-crafted coming of age tale steeped beautifully in the traditions of Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos. Pixar’s latest offering, Coco, is the animation studio’s second premiere of 2017, following Cars 3 this summer, and the first original, non-sequel since The Good Dinosaur in 2015. Pixar has made a name for itself over the last two decades as an animation house that infuses … [Read more...]

Blade of the Immortal Review: Takashi Miike Presents Logan

Blade of the Immortal lacks depth as a quest for redemption narrative, but makes for good (and very bloody) pulpy fun in Miike’s skillful hands. In addition to being an adaptation of the Japanese manga series written by Hiroaki Samura (first published in 1993), Blade of the Immortal is the 100th film directed by Takashi Miike. As one would expect from the cult Japanese filmmaker responsible for such movies as Audition, Ichi the Killer, and … [Read more...]

Suburbicon Review: George Clooney’s Tonally-Confused Misfire

Suburbicon is a confused mishmash of a movie that attempts to blend two different storylines and fails to fully develop either in an engaging fashion. Suburbicon has been in development since 1986, when Joel and Ethan Coen wrote the original script, but it has only now made it to the big screen thanks to the efforts of director (and frequent Coens collaborator) George Clooney. With talented people on both sides of the cameras and writers known … [Read more...]