"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Apr 252017
'La La Land' Review

"La La Land" was the exhilarating widescreen musical that set hearts thumping in the latter part of 2016, just in time to ameliorate (somewhat) a presidential election that tore the country apart. From the original and creative opening dance number staged on a freeway overpass during Los Angeles rush hour traffic to the alternative, dreamlike … More

 Posted by on April 25, 2017 No Responses »
Apr 252017
'Hidden Figures' Review

In a year of political incorrectness, "Hidden Figures" has to be the most politically correct film of the year. Based on a true story and adapted from the book by Margot Lee Shetterly, the film follows a group of African-American female mathematicians who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. … More

 Posted by on April 25, 2017 No Responses »
Apr 252017
'Lion' Review

"Lion" is a superbly directed and acted film that got great reviews but just didn't find the audience it deserved. Based on a true story, the film follows five-year-old Indian boy Saroo (Sunny Pawar) who gets lost on a Calcutta train traveling away from his home and family. Frightened and bewildered, he ends up thousands … More

 Posted by on April 25, 2017 No Responses »
Apr 042017
'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' Review

The first of the Star Wars stand-alone films. Since almost everyone in the known universe has seen "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" (except for the Trumps and the Putins, who were too busy divvying up the world), there's no need to replicate the entire storyline here, save to say that — unlike "Star Wars … More

 Posted by on April 4, 2017 No Responses »
Mar 152017
'Elle' Review

"Elle" is one of the most deliciously wicked and nasty films of the year, featuring a terrifically convoluted scenario, great performances (including a tour-de-force turn by Isabelle Huppert, who received this year's Golden Globe for Best Actress), and lots of off-kilter sex. It's a psychological thriller that casts a jaundiced eye at marriage, family, business, … More

 Posted by on March 15, 2017 No Responses »
Mar 152017
'Passengers' Review

"Passengers," a sci-fi yarn about an interstellar spaceship on a 90 year mission to a distant planet that malfunctions and wakes one of its hibernating passengers too early, is a B-film outing with an A-list cast and A-list special effects. The film begins as an existential journey when the Avalon, with some 5200 sleeping colonists … More

 Posted by on March 15, 2017 No Responses »
Feb 152017
'Arrival' Review

As far as alien arrival films go, this has to be one of the tamest ever. No cities destroyed. No humans pulverized. No flying saucer attacks. Instead, we get an arrival by 12 strange space crafts — aligned in different sectors of the world — occupied by aliens who just want to communicate with us. … More

 Posted by on February 15, 2017 No Responses »
Jan 122017
'The Accountant' Review

Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is a math savant with more affinity for numbers than people. Behind the cover of a small-town CPA office, he works as a freelance accountant for some of the world's most dangerous criminal organizations. With the Treasury Department's Crime Enforcement Division, run by Ray King (J.K. Simmons), starting to close in, … More

 Posted by on January 12, 2017 No Responses »
Nov 082016
'Indignation' Review

"Indignation" is filmic storytelling at its best. It doesn't hurt that the film is based on a 2008 novel of the same name by Phillip Roth ("Goodbye, Columbus"), or that the director and screenwriter is James Schamus, who wrote the screenplays for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," "The Ice Storm," "Eat Drink Man Woman" and "The … More

 Posted by on November 8, 2016 No Responses »
Nov 012016
'Bad Moms' Review

"Bad Moms" is one of the better comedies of the year, a film that doesn't take itself, or its topic — overworked moms rebelling against the constraints of modern "helicopter" parenthood — too seriously. Instead it takes its characters and situations and pushes them to the extremes of comedic silliness. Mila Kunis takes the lead … More

 Posted by on November 1, 2016 No Responses »