Film Reviews

Film Review – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

The money is on the screen, Captain Jack is still a drunk and Bardem creates another infamous villain. Jack is not gay anymore. Long ago, when Johnny Depp was filming PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL … Continue reading

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Film Review: I Am Not Your Negro

Raoul Peck, a successful Haitian filmmaker and political activist, brings the controversial and thorny topic of racism to a discussion in his exemplary new documentary film “I Am Not Your Negro”. Peck’s past moves include “Sometimes in April” (2005), a … Continue reading

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Film Review: The Android’s the Thing, in “Alien: Covenant,” for Better and for Worse

Alien: Covenant (Ridley Scott, 2017) 2½ out of 4 stars. The original Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979) masterfully blended science fiction and horror, taking the conventions of monster movies and setting them on a lonely spacecraft in a galaxy far, far … Continue reading

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Charmed: The Maryland Film Festival Brings the World of Cinema to Baltimore

The Maryland Film Festival (MdFF), founded in 1999 by Festival Director Jed Dietz, just ran its 2017 iteration May 3-7, in Baltimore. With 11 blocks of short films – including the traditional opening-night program of five – plus 34 features, the … Continue reading

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Film Review: “The Wall” Needs a Stronger Foundation

The Wall (Doug Liman, 2017) 1½ stars out of 4. The Wall, from director Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow), tries very hard to achieve that seriousness of purpose that shouts importance with every spoken word. Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Godzilla) and John … Continue reading

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Film Review: The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki

Shot in a gorgeous black-and-white, “The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki” is an introspective, biographical drama directed by Juho Kuosmanen about the Finnish boxer Olli Maki, who was pointed to become a national hero in 1962 when … Continue reading

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Film Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 – **1/2 OUT OF 4 “The first Guardians movie is about becoming a family, and this one is about being a family,” says writer/director James Gunn, who, in a calculated way, claims sole writing credit … Continue reading

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Film Review: Personal Shopper

Two years after the highly esteemed drama “Clouds of Sils Maria”, French writer/director Olivier Assayas tackles a psychological drama/thriller bolstered by crime and spiritualism. Kristen Stewart is Maureen Cartwright, an American personal shopper based in Paris where she’s assisting Kyra … Continue reading

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Extraordinary “Graduation” Explores the Wages of Ordinary Sin

Graduation (“Bacalaureat“) (Cristian Mungiu, 2016) 4 out of 4 stars. The new film from Romanian director Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) begins with a bang. Well, a crash, anyway, as a rock shatters the glass of … Continue reading

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Film Review: Free Fire

The ultimate shoot-out with highly original characters. Ben Wheatley’s FREE FIRE is for people who appreciate innovative filmmaking and do not require a step-by-step traditional set-up, explaining who everyone is, their hopes and dreams for a better tomorrow and their … Continue reading

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