Tag Archives: movie review

The Kid Who Would Be King (2019) Movie Review

Joe Cornish’s follow-up to his 2011 critical darling Attack the Block is something completely different. Both Block and The Kid Who Would Be King focus on the plight of British youth, but Block is a hoodie horror deconstruction mixed with a shlock homage to B-movie creature features. The Kid Who Would Be King, on the other hand, is a family friendly action adventure in the style of Arthurian legend.

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That is, rather, that Arthurian legend drops itself into the life of a modern day boy named Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis). After fleeing from a pair of schoolyard bullies (Tom Taylor and Rhianna Dorris), Alex finds himself Continue reading The Kid Who Would Be King (2019) Movie Review

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Glass (2019) Movie Review

M. Night Shyamalan has created a comic book world completely divorced from real-world comic books, yet all he wants to do in Glass is fit into the canon of superhero comics. The exposition often harps on, among many other things, comics—their origins, their narrative formulae, their character construction.

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Glass is a superhero film, in that it recenters Shyamalan’s Split into a superhero versus arch-villain plotline, in which James McAvoy’s multiple personality super villain “The Horde” is Continue reading Glass (2019) Movie Review

The Upside (2019) Movie Review

The Upside is a remake of the 2011 French film Intouchables, a facile yet hugely crowd-pleasing story about a white wealthy quadriplegic who hires a black ex-con to be his live-in caregiver. In the American iteration, the two roles are fulfilled by Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart, with the role of Philip Lacasse’s (Cranston) uptight executive Yvonne being played by Nicole Kidman.

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Neil Burger’s film is just as facile, and likely just as crowd-pleasing, as Intouchables.

Dell Scott (Hart) is on the hunt for a job—something he does not want, but something required to Continue reading The Upside (2019) Movie Review

On the Basis of Sex (2018) Movie Review

While On the Basis of Sex illustrates the obstacle-laden road Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Felicity Jones) had becoming a lawyer, it pauses for a moment of attachment. A place where we understand the to-be U.S. Supreme Court Justice on a deeper level than we can by simply following her real-life legacy.

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In this scene, Martin Ginsburg (Armie Hammer) is diagnosed with testicular cancer. He cracks a wry joke at the doctor’s expense, but Continue reading On the Basis of Sex (2018) Movie Review

Escape Room (2019) Movie Review

“Try doing one thing that scares you over break,” says a college professor to Zoey (Taylor Russell) after completing one of those let’s-open-our-movie-with-a-class-scene lectures. You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones where the teacher is somehow talking about the exact thing the movie is about, or otherwise is planting a piece of crucial information in the student’s head. The ones that never actually feel like they are real classroom discussions.

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This is the start of Escape Room, a film about the trendy entertainment exhibits where groups of people are trapped inside a room and must find clues and solve puzzles to get out. But the danger of Continue reading Escape Room (2019) Movie Review

2019 Academy Awards Best Animated Short Film Shortlist Reviews

The 2019 Oscar nominations will be announced on January 23, 2019. But the Academy has already narrowed down its candidates in many categories. For Best Animated Short Film, that list is down to 10. Of those 10 shortlisted short films, I have reviews for nine.

Shall we?

 

Age of Sail

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In 1900, a lonely sailor (Ian McShane) sets himself adrift on his lowly sailboat, sharing the seas with huge ships. Having lost Continue reading 2019 Academy Awards Best Animated Short Film Shortlist Reviews

Top 25 Best Movies of 2018

The arduous task of movie list-making has never been my forte. I am too prone to adjusting my opinions and tweaking grades up or down a half-letter grade. Most years, I shuffle my list around until a breaking point is reached and I publish impulsively.

This year is no different. With almost 200 films from 2018 in my head, it is difficult to narrow it down to 25. It is harder to take those 25 and rank them in any meaningful way. Each film in my top five could be number one. There are films in my top 50 that could have moved into the top 25 (for now, Avengers: Infinity War is at the 50-spot, and that was an enjoyable film which I saw twice in the theater). It pains me a little to not be able to give a blurb to Sorry to Bother You, which narrowly missed the top 25.

Long story short, 2018 was a very good year in film. I may not have seen a standout, A+ film. But I witnessed many, many A-/B+ films.

The following 25 films are, as of this writing, my favorite of the year. But there are many other noteworthy films out there. You can see my full ranking of 2018 films (subject to continual change) at Letterboxd.

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Honorable Mentions: Sorry to Bother You, Shirkers, Roma, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Won’t You Be My Neighbor Continue reading Top 25 Best Movies of 2018