The teenage bildungsroman is a common narrative formula. Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig’s directing debut (she also serves as screenwriter), may be another addition to the list, but it does not feel like another tired addition. If anything, it exists in this long line of coming of age films as as much of a standout as the film’s eponymous role: a personality so bold and big but also honest that it demands to be taken on its own merits.
This is undoubtedly caused by Gerwig’s distinct presence. Even as a first-time director, it is clear that this is uniquely
Continue reading Lady Bird (2017) Movie Review
Bedeviled is the type of teen horror film that thinks it’s being clever. It thinks that it is in on the joke. It thinks its making a joke. The only thing funny about it is the laughable screenwriting and nonsensical internal logic. Beyond that, I don’t know what directors Abel Vang and Burlee Vang were going for.
Imagine a world where teenagers are hooked on the latest hip app, which is essentially an evil Siri. Only, it’s name is Mr. Bedevil and he holds full sentient conversations with the characters in the film, who do not even begin to Continue reading Bedeviled (2016) Movie Review
There is a moment early on in Daddy’s Home 2 where Will Ferrell’s character walks into the house after he and his “co-dad” Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) pick up their fathers (John Lithgow and Mel Gibson) at the airport and exclaims: “We’re back…with more daddies.”
That is all the summation necessary. From here, the film moves from location to location with only the slightest amount of Continue reading Daddy’s Home 2 (2017) Movie Review
In Murder on the Orient Express, Kenneth Branagh directs Kenneth Branagh as Agatha Christie’s famous detective Hercule Poirot. The film informs us of his reputation by opening with Poirot solving a crime in front of an abundant crowd, as if he is the main attraction at a circus. In case this was not enough—and because the script felt the need to address its own ludicrous facial hair creation—Daisy Ridley’s Mary Debenham recites her first line in the film thusly:
“I know your mustache…from the papers!”
When the plot of the film begins in earnest—in which a mobster criminal (Johnny Depp) hiding on the train is Continue reading Murder on the Orient Express (2017) Movie Review
If you ever wanted to hear Lyndon Johnson (portrayed here by Woody Harrelson) discuss the hang of his testes, Rob Reiner’s LBJ is the film for you. The subject comes up twice, showing up again near the end as if it is a brilliant comedic callback meant to elicit hoots and hollers.
I was surprised to hear, two days before the film’s release, that there was a Continue reading LBJ (2017) Movie Review
Rare are the films in which the atmosphere is disquieting from beginning to end. People will tell you that The Killing of a Sacred Deer isn’t a horror film. But there is no closer word to describe it. It is a film that is horrifying without an abundance of horror tropes. It is unsettling to a fault. It is the most unsettling film of 2017, perhaps.
Having known nothing about The Killing of the Sacred Deer before entering the theater, I will suggest others do the same. What I will tell you is that Continue reading The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017) Movie Review