Thoroughbreds (2018) Movie Review

You wouldn’t know by looking at it, but Thoroughbreds is writer-director Cory Finley’s debut film.

In it, expelled prep school student Lily (Anya Taylor-Joy) rekindles an old friendship with Amanda (Olivia Cooke), who admits to Lily that she feels no emotion. Upon observing Lily’s step father Mark (Paul Sparks), who Lily openly despises for the emotional abuse he exerts on her mother, Amanda brings up the notion of murdering him.


The film uses its morbidly comic lens to hone in on concepts of control and ownership in an upper-class, suburban setting. Waves of classism flow on the fringes of the narrative, from the Continue reading Thoroughbreds (2018) Movie Review


Gringo (2018) Movie Review

Harold Soyinka (David Oyelowo), a low-on-the-totem-pole businessman working for a nondescript white collar business run by Richard Rusk (Joel Edgerton) and Elaine Markinson (Charlize Theron) travels to Mexico to take a meeting, only to find out that he is being used as a patsy by his employers.


The man that he is in Mexico to meet, it turns out, works for drug kingpin Black Panther (not that one), who, upon hearing that they are being cut out of Richard and Elaine’s business dealings, assumes Harold is Continue reading Gringo (2018) Movie Review

The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018) Movie Review

The 2008 horror filmĀ The Strangers is, at its essence, a ripoff of Michael Haneke’s Funny Games with a high concept marketing angle (i.e. eerie masks and a crude smiley face logo). Now, 10 years later, we are granted with another high concept sequel, The Strangers: Prey at Night. It is a film that both relies on the weight of its predecessor to get people to see it and expects us to ignore that first film when it attempts the same template.


Much of Prey at Night is a rehash of the first film. The victims, in this case a nuclear family of four (Christina Hendricks, Martin Henderson, Bailee Madison, and Lewis Pullman), are stalked quietly and forebodingly by Continue reading The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018) Movie Review

A Wrinkle in Time (2018) Movie Review

A Wrinkle in Time, directed by Ava DuVernay and based on the book by Madeleine L’Engle, follows young Meg (Storm Reid). Meg is an introverted and picked-on teen who still hasn’t come to terms with the disappearance of her father (Chris Pine), who left four years earlier in search of a grander meaning to the universe.


This pursuit is not a figurative one. Meg’s parents, once upon a time, were on the verge of using quantum entanglement to bend time and space and allow access to Continue reading A Wrinkle in Time (2018) Movie Review

Death Wish (2018) Movie Review

Death Wish, the Eli Roth-directed remake of the 1974 film—both were adapted from the same novel source material by Brian Garfield—could not have come at a poorer time. That is what many reviews of this film are reporting, and, yes, it is unfortunate timing for this film release.


That said, there is a sect of the American public that would likely champion the efforts of Dr. Paul Kersey (Bruce Willis), the surgeon-turned-vigilante who Continue reading Death Wish (2018) Movie Review

Red Sparrow (2018) Movie Review

In Red Sparrow, Jennifer Lawrence plays ballerina Dominika Egorova, who, after a less-than-accidental accident leaves her leg broken, is brought into the world of the Russian secret service by her uncle (Matthias Schoenaerts). She is sent to a special school that trains “Sparrows,” government agents who are trained to seduce their targets and to withstand any amount of force.


And, mostly, it’s uncomfortable. But it’s not uncomfortable in any productive way. We see Lawrence’s Dominika be subjected to Continue reading Red Sparrow (2018) Movie Review

Annihilation (2018) Movie Review

There is a scene midway through Annihilation, the latest science fiction expedition from Ex Machina writer-director Alex Garland, where a woman gets yanked off of the ground and rag-dolled by what appears to be a half-bear, half-warthog creature. It’s all right, though. We already knew this was coming.


The woman is one of five tasked with venturing into the “Shimmer,” an enclosed, alien space that crash landed on Earth near a lighthouse and began slowly expanding. Inside the Shimmer, the Continue reading Annihilation (2018) Movie Review

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