Author Archives: chrisreedfilm

About chrisreedfilm

Christopher Llewellyn Reed is a film critic, filmmaker, and educator. A member of the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA) and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic, he is Associate Editor and film critic at filmfestivaltoday.com; lead film critic at hammertonail.com, an online magazine devoted to independent cinema; the host of Dragon Digital Media’s award-winning "Reel Talk with Christopher Llewellyn Reed"; a film commentator for the "Roughly Speaking” podcast with Dan Rodricks at "The Baltimore Sun"; and the author of "Film Editing: Theory and Practice." In addition, he is one of three co-creators, along with Summre Garber of Slamdance and Bart Weiss of Dallas VideoFest, of "The Fog of Truth" (fogoftruth.com) – available on iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher – a podcast devoted to documentary cinema.

Film Review: “Dolittle” Could Do More with Much Less, but Still Offers Good Family Fun

Dolittle (Stephen Gaghan, 2020) 2½ out of 4 stars.  In 1920, British author Hugh Lofting, fresh out of the horrific trenches of World War I, published a children’s fantasy novel entitled The Story of Doctor Dolittle, in which he recounted the … Continue reading

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Film Review: “Just Mercy” Serves Powerful Justice with a Side of Cinematic Syrup

Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton, 2019) 3 out of 4 stars. Already the subject of an HBO documentary that opened in 2019, attorney Bryan Stevenson now gets his dramatized due in Just Mercy, from director Destin Daniel Cretton (The Glass … Continue reading

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Film Review: “Underwater” Nearly Drowns in Clichés, but Stays Afloat Long Enough to Somewhat Entertain

Underwater (William Eubank, 2020) 2 out of 4 stars. An action thriller that almost drowns in its soaked clichés, Underwater nevertheless manages to hold viewer interest for a good portion of its blessedly taut 95-minute length, largely thanks to competent performances from the … Continue reading

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Film Review: “The Song of Names” Too Often Sings Flat

The Song of Names (François Girard, 2019) 2 out of 4 stars. There is one truly affecting scene in The Song of Names, the new film from François Girard (The Red Violin), based on the eponymous 2002 novel by Norman … Continue reading

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Christopher Llewellyn Reed’s Top 10 Films of 2019

As I did last year, I offer, in my 2019 Top 10 list,* below, my 5 favorite fiction films and 5 favorite documentaries, in alphabetical order. I pull these from the 2 separate lists I already published at Hammer to … Continue reading

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Film Review: “Clemency” Falls Short of Absolution

Clemency (Chinonye Chukwu, 2019) 2 out of 4 stars. Despite strong central performances from lead actress Alfre Woodard (Knucklehead), as a benumbed prison warden on the verge of an emotional breakdown, and Aldis Hodge (Brian Banks), as a death-row inmate, … Continue reading

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Film Review: “Uncut Gems” Delivers an Effective, If Unpleasant, Thrill Ride

Uncut Gems (Benny Safdie/Josh Safdie, 2019) 2½ out of 4 stars. The new film from brothers Benny and Josh Safdie (Good Time), Uncut Gems, is a manic thriller about deeply unpleasant people. As such, it often impresses with its mechanics … Continue reading

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Film Review: “Little Women” Offers Powerful Performances in a Muddled Narrative

Little Women (Greta Gerwig, 2019) 2½ out of 4 stars. There is much to admire in Greta Gerwig’s cinematic version of Louis May Alcott’s 1868 novel Little Women – the latest in a long line of adaptations dating back to the silent … Continue reading

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Film Review: Cinematically Brilliant “1917” Explores the Horrors of World War One

1917 (Sam Mendes, 2019) 3½ out of 4 stars. It’s April 6, 1917, over a year and a half before the eventual end of World War I (via an armistice signed on November 11, 1918), and two English lance corporals … Continue reading

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Film Review: Entertaining “Bombshell” Takes on Fox to Mild Effect

Bombshell (Jay Roach, 2019) 2½ out of 4 stars. Neither a brilliant takedown of Fox News nor a misfire, Bombshellfeatures engaging lead performances from Charlize Theron (Long Shot), John Lithgow (Pet Sematary), Nicole Kidman (Boy Erased) and Margot Robbie (I, … Continue reading

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