Category: Movies

  • Obvious Child is 5% groundbreaking, 95% uninspired formula

    Obvious Child has a few interesting things to say about abortion, but says it with cardboard characters and a haphazard story.

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier – the only problem is that Captain America & The Winter Soldier are in it

    The worst thing about Captain America: The Winter Soldier is that Captain America is in it. I can’t lie: I’ve never liked the star spangled avenger. Most of that can be attributed to me being Canadian, and being fairly disinterested in a superhero wrapped in someone else’s flag. (Lest you think it’s entirely about nationalism, I […]

  • American Hustle has style, but can’t back up its ambition

    American Hustle opens with a balding and pot-bellied Christian Bale performing the intricate ritual of arranging his combover. There’s some obvious symbolism in his character, Irving Rosenfeld, pretending to be someone he’s not: He’s a con man, leading desperate people on with the promise of loans that will never materialize in exchange for some very […]

  • Dredd aims low, gets the job done

    Dredd is a well-executed, if unexceptional, standard action movie. There are obvious similarities to The Raid, but Die Hard is an equally valid touchpoint. Dredd and his psychic partner alternate running, hiding, and shooting in a series of solid but uninspiring action sequences.

  • Midnight in Paris and the terrible power of nostalgia

    Midnight in Paris and the terrible power of nostalgia

    Midnight in Paris marks a return to form for Woody Allen, but only partially. It has many of the hallmarks of a great Woody Allen film, but also the flaws of a filmmaker who didn’t bother to fully develop his ideas. Why is it receiving so much praise in spite of its significant flaws?

  • Carnage: The joys of watching people being horrible

    Carnage: The joys of watching people being horrible

    If you’re the sort of person who insists on likeable characters in entertainment, Carnage might be the most unpleasant film you’ve ever seen. The characters are dishonest, hypocritical, condescending, arrogant, snide, antagonistic, and insulting. They begin the film with a mask of pleasantries covering their inner ugliness, but by the time the credits roll everyone has been exposed as a tremendous asshole.

  • Meek’s Cutoff’s: The wild, stoic, wandering west

    It’s hard to say exactly when Meek’s Cutoff grips you, but before you know it a group of 19th-century settlers carefully easing their wagons down a steep hill is one of the most riveting scenes you can imagine. Everyone in the film feels real, and the stakes are impossibly high: If things go any more wrong, or don’t start to go right, people are going to die.

  • The Debt: Heroes, lies, guilt, and Nazis

    The Debt begins by revealing one of its climactic scenes: A Nazi war criminal escapes from his Israeli captors, brutally assaulting one of them in the process. She recovers just in time to shoot him dead before he escapes into hiding forever. The event makes everyone a hero, as long as none of them talk about what really happened.

  • Bridesmaids: Hell Is Other People

    Watching people suffer is funny. Mel Brooks, who knew a thing or two about making funny movies, said “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.” Bridesmaids is about people falling into the sewer of failure and disappointment. Despite having one of the most misleading […]

  • Thor: Saving Us From The Usual Superheroics

    The Mighty Thor does not require a puny mortal origin story. Superhero movies remain hot stuff in Hollywood, and we’re all going to have to accept it. Some of them are good, and some of them are bad, but one thing is certain: There are too many origin stories. Since studios would like to turn […]