Category Archives: Leave it

Movies I wish I had skipped. This could be for any number of reasons: the film was made sloppily, the narrative didn’t engage me, or I simply could not connect with the film in any way for whatever reason.

The 15:17 to Paris (2018) Movie Review

Clint Eastwood’s latest, The 15:17 to Paris, tells the true story of three Americans who prevented a potentially disastrous terrorist attack on the eponymous train to Paris in 2015. Not only does Eastwood tell this story, but he casts the three men to play themselves.

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This is a lot to ask, having three non-actors carry the dramatic heft of a movie, but the three men (Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler, and Alek Skarlatos) do a Continue reading The 15:17 to Paris (2018) Movie Review

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Fifty Shades Freed (2018) Movie Review

Congratulations, everyone. We are now officially living in a post-Fifty Shades world. It’s over. We made it.

Listen, the Fifty Shades trilogy has received its guff. We all know what the critical consensus is on these films. Why bother with yet another review of yet another film of this trilogy? Because, at the risk of losing any credibility I may have accrued as a critic, Fifty Shades Freed is the best of the trilogy.

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Does that make it a good film? No. Is it a film with a better message than the other Fifty Shades movies? Not at all. But it has Continue reading Fifty Shades Freed (2018) Movie Review

The Cloverfield Paradox (2018) Movie Review

The Cloverfield franchise continued its adept surprise-marketing technique during Super Bowl LII. With a brief teaser trailer dropping for The Cloverfield Paradox (once entitled God Particle), the Netflix-acquired film from Bad Robot announced that the film would be coming very soon. Opening up the Netflix app revealed further that the film would be available to stream immediately following the big game.

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This essentially unprecedented marketing move is sure to pay big dividends for Netflix, at least in the film’s first Continue reading The Cloverfield Paradox (2018) Movie Review

Winchester (2018) Movie Review

Sarah Winchester (Helen Mirren), owner of the Winchester repeating rifle company, lives in an elaborate, labyrinthine mansion of an estate. “There are almost 100 rooms in the house,” Sarah Snook’s character says early in the film. “It is easy to get lost.”

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She says this to doctor Eric Price (Jason Clarke), who is called on to judge the state of Sarah Winchester’s mental health. This is due to concern that other Winchester stock holders have over Sarah’s obsession with the idea that her house is haunted by Continue reading Winchester (2018) Movie Review

Leatherface (2017) Movie Review

Now, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise has never been the stuff of legends, not like its antagonist-turned-protagonist-turned-antagonist-etcetera, Leatherface. (Well, maybe not protagonist, but it seems like every other sequel wants to make us sympathize with the chainsaw-wielding serial killer). None of the sequels have received positive reception (although I hear the Viggo Mortensen-starring third film is underrated).

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Why, then, should we bother with the 2017 prequel, Leatherface? It is directed by Continue reading Leatherface (2017) Movie Review

Proud Mary (2018) Movie Review

Stop me if this sounds familiar. A hired gun is looking to get out of the game. She kills the wrong person. She finds herself in a relationship that adds empathy to a job that requires apathy. Based on circumstances outside of her control, her own crew turns against her. Now on her own, she has to leave a trail of bodies behind if she wants to get out and make a better life for herself.

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Yeah, Proud Mary is that movie. Taraji P. Henson plays Mary, a hitwoman who has been following a kid, a young boy named Danny (Jahi Di’Allo Winston) whose father she assassinated a year earlier. She works for a Continue reading Proud Mary (2018) Movie Review

The Commuter (2018) Movie Review

The Commuter, the next installment in the Liam Neeson Taken-on-vehicle-x series, begins with a barrage montage of his character’s daily routine. Michael MacCauley (Neeson) bangs off his alarm, is given a book to read by his son, is dropped off at the train by his wife, etc. etc., again and again over the course of days and weeks.

It is not an entirely shabby way of opening the movie—it introduces us to our central character and his way of life, as well as the routine that will define his central conflict later on—but it is edited in a jarring way over the opening credits in a manner that is off-putting.

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The film co-stars Vera Farmiga—mostly via voiceover—as the instigator of a psychological game on MacCauley’s daily commuter train. She tells MacCauley that someone on the train does not belong, and if he can find that person Continue reading The Commuter (2018) Movie Review