Although many accused The Hunger Games of ripping off the 2000 Japanese stunner Battle Royale, The Belko Experiment is the true heir to Kinji Fukasaku's nihilist bloodbath. Written by James Gunn long before Guardians of the Galaxy made him an A-lister, the film displays the same bloody, darkly humorous energy in Gunn's Super and Slither. With his attentions now focused on superhero franchises, Gunn… read more!
Current Reviews (in alphabetical order)
You won't find a more original pitch for a film this year: an alcoholic New Yorker (Anne Hathaway) discovers that she has a psychic connection with a giant monster ravaging downtown Seoul. Hathaway plays Gloria, who in Colossal's opening moments is dumped by her priggish boyfriend (Dan Stevens) because of her drunken antics. And so she returns to the small East Coast… read more!
That comedian Jordan Peele, late of Key & Peele, would choose horror for his directorial debut – he also wrote the screenplay – comes as a surprise. Yet it's only the first of many surprises in store in the weird, wild, and unpredictable Get Out. Daniel Kaluuya stars as Chris, a black New York photographer whose white girlfriend (Allison Williams) invites him to her parents' mansion upstate,… read more!
An R-rated superhero movie. Who woulda thunk it? Well, Deadpool did, in 2016. As did Watchmen in 2009. Hell, you can go all the way back to Marvel's crappy non-starter The Punisher (starring Dolph Lundgren!) in 1989. Nevertheless, taking one of Marvel's most popular characters and plunking him into an ultra-violent, potty-mouthed thriller is a milestone. And audiences were clearly receptive: Logan was an instant hit,… read more!
In 2009, I read David Grann's The Lost City of Z on a friend's recommendation. An account of early 20th century British explorer Percy Fawcett and his attempts to find proof of an advanced prehistoric civilization in the Amazon rainforest, it's a real page-turner. With its depictions of personal obsession and colonialist folly, the story seemed a perfect fit for Werner Herzog, who had already covered similar territory,… read more!
If you like animated films, but you don't need to see any fluidity or "the illusion of life" in the animation itself, then I've got the movie for you. Cartoonist Dash Shaw's feature debut is nothing if not droll. The title is literal: the story concerns a high school built on an earthquake fault next to the sea. When an ill-advised auditorium… read more!
There's not much to say about Song to Song that I haven't already said about Terrence Malick's previous two films, To the Wonder and Knight of Cups. If those films didn't endear you to Malick's increasingly experimental cinematic input, this one certainly won't. Here we have the same setup as the two predecessors: take today's hottest actors (here, Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, and Michael… read more!
This fictional account of British filmmakers making a propaganda drama during the early days of World War II takes an intriguing premise and bogs it down with clichés. But your mom will love it. Gemma Arterton stars as Catrin, a Welsh writer conscripted into the Ministry of Information's film division in order to add a "woman's touch" to their new project. Her task: to adapt the… read more!
Have you ever gone to a movie just because you found an actor attractive? I've had a modest crush on Rosamund Pike ever since she debuted, more or less, in the Bond programmer Die Another Day. Since then she's been a dependable supporting player in titles like The World's End and An Education, though rarely anchoring a film until Gone Girl finally made her a leading… read more!