Film Reviews

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  • The film’s half-baked story about a girl trying to live out her slutty, wonderful, deceased mother’s dream of operating a hotel on a Greek island (all set to the music of ABBA) is so thoroughly entertaining and ridiculous that the cast members...

  • Barbara Loden wrote her gritty 1971 character study Wanda -- the harrowing tale of a woman drifter who hooks up with a controlling crook and reluctantly learns the methods of a petty criminal -- as a kind of alternate version of her own...

  • With Unfriended: Dark Web, a follow-up to the 2014 found-footage transtextual horror film Unfriended, writer/director Stephen Susco is betting we're all a little willfully naive about the internet. Susco dutifully exploits the fear...

  • The iconic shot in John Milius' Red Dawn (1984) comes early: A close-up of a bumper sticker approximating the NRA's "You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands" slogan pans to a Russian soldier stepping on a dead...

  • Directors Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui make a compelling case that fashion design icon McQueen was more than the enfant terrible persona that the media slapped onto him and that he at first reveled in, then began to despise. (And we can...

  • A movie hero is never just "normal," but either someone who's somehow exceptional or at least an everyday joe in exceptional circumstances. Yet in real life, an "exceptional" child is often bad news. There's illness, biology, behavior and...

  • The film, like Oakland itself, is forever evolving, always becoming some new thing just when it at last seems to have revealed its full self

  • With singular clarity and power, photographer and documentarian Lauren Greenfield (The Queen of Versailles) has long chronicled the excesses of the age, specializing above all else in portraiture of consumer culture run amok. Here are the...

  • Van Helsing is a distant memory by the time we reach Dracula (aka Drac) in the present day, feeling lonely at Hotel Transylvania, his secret resort run by and for monsters, where demonic creatures and other surreal abominations of nature are...

  • The decision to cast -- and keep the camera pointed at -- magnetic leading man Vincent
    Cassel is the most novel aspect of the otherwise staid French biopic Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti.
    It’s a Lust for Life-like period...

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