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Movie Reviews

  • Shadow and Act
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    Quick Review: Must-See Doc "Rejoice & Shout" Now Streaming On Netflix

    The poster for Rejoice & Shout really doesn't do this thoroughly engaging documentary any justice. I was able to catch the Don McGlynn-directed doc this past Easter Sunday. Now, I haven't gone to church in many months, and I don't consider myself a religious individual, especial...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Director Pablo Larrain's Continues His Dark, Comedic Preoccupation With Chile's Tainted History In 'Post Mortem'

    Where did the American Independent cinema of the '70s go, exactly? Did it fizzle and die, or did George Lucas scare it away with his mammoth sci-fi extravaganza? No one knows for sure, but there's something suspicious about the films of Chilean director Pablo Larrain. "Tony Manero,"...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Uneven Documentary ‘Hit So Hard’ Can’t Decide If It’s A Patty Schemel Portrait Or Hole Alt-Rock Examination

    Patty Schemel is best remembered as the drummer of the alternative rock group Hole, fronted by erstwhile alt-queen rocker, now-notorious loudmouth Courtney Love. For top level context, Schemel laid the thunderous beat on both of Hole’s most popular and well-known records, including 1994’...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Here' With Ben Foster Is A Punishingly Slow Film With Little Substance Or Soul

    Despite naturalistic performances by leads Ben Foster and Lubna Azabal ("Incendies," "Coriolanus") and impressive cinematography by Lol Crawley ("Ballast," "Four Lions"), Braden King's "Here" is a maundering relationship movie with few stakes and...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'The Lady' A Glossy, Poignant But Ultimately Underwhelming Portrait Of Pro-Democracy Activist Aung San Suu Kyi

    If there’s one thing that Luc Besson proved with “The Messenger,” it’s that his melodramatic, spectacle-laden sensibility is not particularly well-suited to serious or credible stories. Nevertheless, the director mostly abets himself of making the same mistakes twice with &ld...

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  • Indiewire
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    'Lockout' Illustrates the Diminishing Returns of Luc Besson

    Luc Besson's filmography has been spotty for years, littered with equal amounts of sensationalistic pop art and flashy duds, a tendency that extends beyond his directing credits. "Lockout," the latest Besson producing effort, falls into the latter category but doesn't go down quietly. Casting Guy Pe...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'The Samaritan' Never Quite Overcomes Its Audacious, Questionable Twist

    It's difficult to discuss "The Samaritan" without revealing the noted plot turn nearly halfway through, but consider this an attempt. The Canadian thriller, currently available on VOD, concerns an ex-con named Foley. Foley's lost twenty five years in prison after murdering his partner, a decision bo...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Now and Then: The Mad-As-Hell Women of Mad Men

    History is not the most useful dramatic backdrop for a television show. It is, really, just one big spoiler alert: we already know what happens. But "Mad Men" is canny enough to twist this problem to its advantage, letting the past knock on the door in the middle of the night.

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  • Indiewire
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    How Pablo Larrain's 'Post Mortem' Turns History Into Horror

    How Pablo Larrain's 'Post Mortem' Turns History Into Horror

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Review: Maiwenn's 'Polisse'

    I finally caught up with one of the films I was sorry I missed from Cannes 2011. Directed by Maiwenn, one of France's excellent women filmmakers, child protection police ensemble "Polisse" offers masterful camerawork and acting, pitched at high energy and emotion.

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