Category Archives: Drama

Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more

The Glass Castle (2017) Movie Review

Based on the memoir by Jeannette Wells, The Glass Castle tells the story of four children raised in an inconstant, emotionally troubling household. The family, led by an alcohol abusing patriarch (Woody Harrelson), moves from squat house to squat house to avoid paying taxes. The children do not go to school. The family, at one point, resorts to showering at the public pool.

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The films feels most readily akin to last year’s Captain Fantastic. Only, it lacks the Continue reading The Glass Castle (2017) Movie Review

Detroit (2017) Movie Review

Kathryn Bigelow, known most recently as the director of war films The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, depicts a different sort of war in Detroit.

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Told in three acts, Detroit covers the 1967 rebellion of Detroit citizens against a racist police force. Following the raid of an illegal club, riots against the Detroit police begin, escalating to the point where Continue reading Detroit (2017) Movie Review

Dunkirk (2017) Movie Review

Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is by no means quiet, but it is noticeably mute. In its introduction, Tommy (Fionn Whitehead), a young English soldier caught in the city of Dunkirk surrounded by the fast-burning German army, meanders the abandoned streets with other emaciated young soldiers. No one speaks. Sullenly they walk about, only to be gunned down by unseen Germans.

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The first line of dialogue we hear is more of a yelp, as Tommy exclaims his allied status to a blockade of troops, scrambling to make it to Continue reading Dunkirk (2017) Movie Review

Win it All (2017) Movie Review

The setup to Win it All, the new film from director Joe Swanberg who co-wrote the film with its star Jake Johnson, is an anticipatory slippery slope. Compulsive gambler Eddie (Johnson) is left with a shady bag of cash. We know what is about to happen. He knows it too, repeating “Oh, no” with a nervous dread.

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Eddie starts on an uptick. An on-screen counter shows us as he Continue reading Win it All (2017) Movie Review

The Beguiled (2017) Movie Review

In a wooded hideaway in Virginia is a school for girls led by Miss Martha (Nicole Kidman). Three years deep into the Civil War, Confederate patrols make their way through the area frequently, but Martha and the girls also lie in fear of potential Yankee parties. They whisper stories of Union soldiers raping Southern women, painting uncivilized pictures of the unseen army.

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It is understandable, then, that the inhabitants of the plantation take to wounded soldier Cpl. John McBurney (Colin Farrell) with Continue reading The Beguiled (2017) Movie Review

The Bad Batch (2017) Movie Review

Ana Lily Amirpour’s debut as a feature director came in the form of the genre-bending vampire romance film A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. The film, shot in supple black and white over a soundtrack of trance-inducing electronica and angsty punk, was a beautiful piece about maintaining relationships in an environment rife with isolation.

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On paper, Amirpour’s second film The Bad Batch exists in a similar world. Arlen (Suki Waterhouse) is released from “Bad Batch” prison into the desert wilderness of the Texas-Mexico border.

A dystopian world in which cannibalism is a viable form of survivable (viable to the point of being morally questionable as opposed to morally intolerable), isolation is all Arlen has. Especially after she is captured by a family of cannibals and Continue reading The Bad Batch (2017) Movie Review

Colossal (2017) Movie Review

Colossal masquerades itself as a certain type of movie. It opens on the ominous, lingering image of a Kaiju-like monster. Then, sweeping shots of the New York skyline play out over a driving, Dark Knight trilogy-esque score. Then, Gloria (Anne Hathaway) enters, hungover and rambling thinly-veiled excuses to her boyfriend (Dan Stevens) about where she has been.

It doesn’t quite match the previously set tone, does it?

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When her boyfriend leaves her due to her drinking problem, Gloria moves back to her hometown, where she falls in with an old friend named Oscar (Jason Sudeikis). An old friend who just so happens to own his father’s bar.

Remember that Kaiju that I mentioned earlier? Whelp…turns out it pantomimes the actions of Gloria when she sets foot on a playground she knew once as a child. It pantomimes everything, including Continue reading Colossal (2017) Movie Review