Film Reviews

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  • It's so difficult for political art to be good art; hard ideologies don't always translate well to a medium whose purpose it is to trouble assumptions and reveal what's weird, tender, and worthy of empathy. But if the personal is political, the...

  • Five films into the franchise, Terminator: Genisys feels like a VHS cassette that's been rewound and recorded over for 21 years. Director Alan Taylor (of the unmemorable Thor: The Dark World) gives us images — a thumbs-up, an abandoned factory, a...

  • Steven Soderbergh's 2012 Magic Mike was a cocktease. The ads tempted audiences with sweaty chests and thrusting crotches, but after Soderbergh lured us in to his all-male strip club, he turned on the lights to show us the squalor. His hunks were...

  • The death of Amy Winehouse, in July 2011, at age 27, was one of the first great tragedies of 21st-century pop music, an event — like the deaths of Tupac Shakur and Kurt Cobain in the last decade of the 20th — that emphasized the jarring contrast...

  • St. Louis has long called itself the "Gateway to the West," but that town and its surrounding Ozarks might more accurately be the Mustache of the South, a much larger thing's mostly presentable upper tip that nonetheless always has a few crumbs...

  • Even within the strictest formulas of today's superhero-driven Hollywood, the experienced craftsman with a genuine enthusiasm for the form can find precious moments that are able to accommodate his or her personality. One such example is the...

  • Being aware of our mortality is a questionable gift, one that can inspire many poor decisions. In Saugatuck Cures, the return of a woman's cancer inspires her adult son to put all his eggs in the experimental-surgery basket. Said procedure...

  • Imagine the 1987 sci-fi pic The Running Man without Schwarzenegger, the sneering wit, innovative gore, or solid production values, and that pretty much sums up Jon Hewitt's Elimination Game.

    Running Man wasn't exactly...

  • Spirit Lake is bottomless, so far as the locals in writer-director Sarah Adina Smith's The Midnight Swim can tell. A small town straddles its enigmatic shores, though nobody has ever seen the bottom — except, perhaps, those who have...

  • Traditional coming-of-age films like A Borrowed Identity don't often come from Israel, which is one of the film's points. There, youth is fast-forwarded away, especially if you're an Arab, like gifted child Eyad (Razi Gabareen), burdened...

  • Forget the sleek skyscrapers, flying cars, or holo-phone tech. What you really need to know about the near future of Jennifer Phang's daring and accomplished science fiction drama Advantageous comes from what a mother and daughter overhear...

  • As with any movie concerned with sex trafficking, revenge thriller Bound to Vengeance is often horrifying. Director José Manuel Cravioto, in his English-language debut, nevertheless attempts to subvert the sadly commonplace "woman...