Christopher Llewellyn Reed

Film Review: “Game Night” Is Dumb Fun

Game Night (John Francis Daley/Jonathan Goldstein, 2018) 2½ out of 4 stars. A completely stupid film about a group of friends whose game night goes horribly wrong (but also, so right), layered on top of an equally dumb tale of … Continue reading

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Film Review: Derivative “Annihilation” Disappoints

Annihilation (Alex Garland, 2018) 1½ out of 4 stars. In retrospect, I should not have read Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation – the first volume of his “Southern Reach” trilogy – just before watching director Alex Garland’s cinematic adaptation of it. I loved the … Continue reading

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Film Review: “Black Panther” Delivers a Glorious New Hero

Black Panther (Ryan Coogler, 2018) 3½ out of 4 stars. Call me a curmudgeon, but I am, overall, exhausted by the superhero genre, and the never-ending, extended universe(s) that come(s) with it. That doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy the … Continue reading

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Film Review: In “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool,” Actress Gloria Grahame Deserves a Better End

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (Paul McGuigan, 2017) 1½ out of 4 stars. The actress Gloria Grahame died in 1981, at the age of 55, mostly forgotten by an industry that had once celebrated her in the late 1940s … Continue reading

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Film Review: Overly Constructed, “The Insult” Still Packs a Powerful Punch

The Insult (Ziad Doueiri, 2017) 3 out of 4 stars. A brooding cinematic reflection on ethnic conflict and reconciliation, The Insult – from Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri (The Attack) – takes on the Middle East’s fraught history of sectarian violence in … Continue reading

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Film Review: A Brilliant Diane Kruger Comes out of the Shadows in “In the Fade”

In the Fade (“Aus dem Nichts”) (Fatih Akin, 2017) 3 out of 4 stars. Director Fatih Akin has long explored cross-cultural tension and reconciliation in his films, be they comedies or dramas, drawing on his own background as an ethnic Turk … Continue reading

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Film Review: In Witty, If Schematic, “Phantom Thread,” Three Fine Actors Engage in a Battle of Wills

Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2017) 3 out of 4 stars. Like, love or hate his movies, Paul Thomas Anderson is a filmmaker of uncompromising vision. Whether chronicling the porn industry in 1970s Hollywood (Boogie Nights), profiling the romantic misadventures … Continue reading

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Film Review: In “I, Tonya,” Margot Lands a Perfect Performance

I, Tonya (Craig Gillespie, 2017) 3 out of 4 stars. An alternately delightful and heartbreaking mockumentary romp of a biopic, I, Tonya features a mesmerizing performance by Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street) as disgraced former figure skater Tonya … Continue reading

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Film Review: Terrific “The Post” Chronicles Great American Journalism

The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017) 3½ out of 4 stars. Join me, dear moviegoer, on a journey back in time to when the fourth estate brought down a presidency through the exercise of its craft. Believers in their positions as … Continue reading

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Film Review: “Downsizing” Needs Major Trimming

Downsizing (Alexander Payne, 2017) 1½ out of 4 stars. One of the many curious aspects of Downsizing, the new film from Alexander Payne (Nebraska), is how a story about stripping ourselves of excess expands to include an overwhelming multitude of … Continue reading

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