X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

Following the incomplete film that was X-Men: The Last Stand in 2006, the powers that be decided to head back to the drawing board with X-Men: Wolverine. This is a prequel and spin-off to the series based on the comic book characters, of course, and it tells the tale of the adamantium-clawed titular character and […]

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Western Wednesday: True Grit (1969)

A rollicking and entertaining movie, True Grit is one of those westerns that can be safely recommended to people who don’t like westerns. It’s also one of those westerns people who dig westerns enjoy to an almost embarrassing degree, thanks to one of John Wayne’s best performances and director Henry Hathaway’s supernatural ability to sum […]

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Fantastic Four (2015)

Helmed by Josh Trank, Fantastic Four attempts to reboot the superhero franchise based on the Marvel Comics characters of the same name. This 2015 motion picture features a screenplay by Trank, Jeremy Slater and Simon Kinberg and is not without its share of behind-the-scenes controversies. The studio apparently ordered changes without the director’s permission and […]

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Spy (2015)

Paul Feig directs Spy, a film that hits many of the same marks as The Heat and Bridesmaids. The 2015 comedy is kind of an espionage spoof, with the stipulation being that it stars Melissa McCarthy. Ha, ha. She can’t be a spy, right fellas? Like The Heat, which also starred McCarthy, Spy purports to […]

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The Act of Killing (2012)

Directed by Joshua Oppenheimer, The Act of Killing one of the most stomach-churning, chilling motion pictures in recent memory. This 2012 documentary features co-direction by Christine Cynn and an anonymous Indonesian, with Errol Morris and Werner Herzog among the executive producers. This review is for the theatrical version, but there is a director’s cut with […]

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San Andreas (2015)

There’s an innate preposterousness to San Andreas, as there usually is in disaster pornography. Like horror movies, there’s something to the mass catastrophe genre that embeds itself in the popular psyche. There’s something to watching the destruction of recognizable cities while clutching a tub of popcorn. And there’s something to cheering on impossibly attractive people […]

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Prisoners (2013)

Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners has everything it needs to be a staggering thriller, from some good performances to Roger Deakins’ stunning cinematography. Somehow, however, this 2013 motion picture winds up falling well shy of the excellence it so clearly reaches for. It is bursting at the seams, with its 153-minute runtime packed to the rafters with […]

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Oculus (2013)

Directed by Mike Flanagan, Oculus is that rarest of breeds: a modern horror movie that doesn’t push things too far. The 2013 release isn’t just a springboard for a franchise and it’s not merely filled with jump scares and things that go bump in the night. It contends with a truly psychological matter and deals […]

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Locke (2013)

It’s tempting to discard Locke as gimmickry and move on, but cinematic cynicism is for the birds. This 2013 motion picture is written and directed by Steven Knight and features Tom Hardy in an absolutely stellar performance. The whole film, for the most part, takes place inside a car as Hardy’s character drives to London.

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The Drop (2014)

Helmed by Belgian director Michaël R. Roskam, The Drop is a curious but thrilling crime picture. The 2014 movie features a screenplay by Dennis Lehane and is based on his 2009 short story Animal Rescue. The script, coupled with the careful cinematography of Nicolas Karakatsanis, weaves a convoluted tale of cold and hot moments. The […]

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On the Waterfront (1954)

Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront is a classic of American cinema, a quintessential showcase of tremendous performances and a stunning portrait of the struggles of trying to do the right thing in a world gone wrong. This 1954 picture was a deeply personal project for Kazan and it came to be seen as a partial […]

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