Film Reviews

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  • 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...

  • 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...

  • One of the nastiest tricks the bastards ever played was to convince so many artists that it's best never to be strident. In the name of aesthetics or audience-pleasing or just not wanting to come off as shrill, a great many artists deny...

  • Satire is a tricky thing. It's best when executed in such a way that not only is the subject amusingly ridiculed, but some alternative to the current state of affairs is suggested. L.A. Slasher, a would-be cutting-edge indictment of...

  • Some movies are indefensible, and Ted 2 is one of them. Not only is this a movie about a libidinous, foul-mouthed stuffed bear; it's the sequel to an earlier movie about a libidinous, foul-mouthed stuffed bear. But I laughed and laughed at Ted 2...

  • Sleepy domestic-abuse/coming-of-age melodrama Phantom Halo never goes anywhere memorable because its two main characters don't consistently act like they're afraid of their big bad dad. Set in modern-day skid-row America, Antonia...

  • After a decade of TV work and a not-bad kids flick, Joe Dante -- like his '03 Looney Tunes -- is back in action. But instead of harking to the creature-feature matinees that once inspired him, his zombie-girlfriend embarrassment Burying...

  • Part of what makes writer-director Rick Famuyiwa's Dope so fresh and joyous is that in many key ways it's not new at all. Here's a dramatic teen comedy, flavor-crystaled with sex and drugs and innocent raunch, about good friends who get...

  • There’s no one right way to show mental illness in the movies, yet there are hundreds of ways to get it wrong. Even though certain disorders come with specific traits, a diagnosis is not a human being, and doomed is the actor who just...

  • Pixar's Inside Out goes inside the mind's control tower, populated with competing emotions and walls of whirligigs. When Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) is born, her undeveloped infant brain is a void where one feeling, Joy (Amy Poehler), a...