Film Reviews

Film Review: In “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” the Force Rises, Then Takes a Midday Nap

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Rian Johnson, 2017) 2½ out of 4 stars. As a child of the 1970s, I grew up adoring the original Star Wars franchise … at least until The Return of the Jedi came around, with … Continue reading

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Film Review: “The Disaster Artist” Reaps Magic from Chaos

The Disaster Artist (James Franco, 2017) 3½ out of 4 stars. The Disaster Artist, in case you haven’t heard, is a movie about the making of another movie. The film in question is The Room, a 2003 drama directed by … Continue reading

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Film Review: American Made

Based on a true story, “American Made” just validates the rumors that CIA agents are or had been involved in drug trafficking, in a clear exertion of influences and abuse of power to stuff their pockets with large sums of … Continue reading

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In “The Divine Order,” Women Claim Their Rightful Place

The Divine Order (“Die göttliche Ordnung“) (Petra Volpe, 2017) 3½ out of 4 stars. I learned two things from watching The Divine Order, the delightful new feminist dramedy from Swiss director Petra Biondina Volpe (Dreamland): 1) that women in Switzerland … Continue reading

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Film Review: “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” Is Outrageous and Funny, but Then Just Outrageous

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Martin McDonagh, 2017) 2½ out of 4 stars. Playwright/film director Martin McDonagh (In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths) is a longtime master of the comedy of the macabre. His films mix tones like a professional juggler alternating … Continue reading

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Film Review: “Coco” Mixes Disney and Pixar in a Mostly Delightful Mix

Coco (Lee Unkrich/Adrian Molina, 2017) 3 out of 4 stars. If, like me, you have an allergic reaction to maudlin sentimentality, be forewarned: Coco may raise your hackles at first. Wait it out, and you will find that there is … Continue reading

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Film Review: Tedious “Last Flag Flying” Falls Flat

Last Flag Flying (Richard Linklater, 2017) 1½ out of 4 stars.  What could go wrong with three fine actors like Steve Carell (The Big Short), Bryan Cranston (Trumbo) and Laurence Fishburne (Contagion), in a film written and directed by a … Continue reading

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Film Review: Despite Mostly Solid Performances, “Justice League” Disappoints

Justice League (Zack Snyder, 2017) 1½ out of 4 stars. Wouldn’t it be nice if a superhero film in our current era of comic-book oversaturation did not feature CGI mayhem and end-of-world scenarios? Or if it came without extended sequences … Continue reading

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Film Review: Wonderstruck

Wonderstruck – ***1/2 out of **** Director –writer-Todd Haynes (“Carol”, “Far from Heaven”) has teamed up again with the collaborative and legendary DP, Edward Lachman, to bring to the screen Brian Selznick’s(who also wrote the screenplay) young adult novel about two … Continue reading

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Film Review: In Insightful “The Square,” the Emperor Has Beautiful, if Ephemeral, Clothes

The Square (Ruben Östlund, 2017) 3½ out of 4 stars.* Anyone who saw Swedish director Ruben Östlund’s 2014 Force Majeure is aware of his interest in dissecting systems of behavior within hierarchies. There, he examined spousal and parental dynamics in … Continue reading

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