Film Reviews

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  • Twice I’ve described Kitty Green’s curious, alienating docu-whatzit Casting JonBenet to friends, and twice I’ve been asked, with surprising heat, “Why?” and “What’s the point?” So, this time, before we get into the specifics of what this...

  • A light and cheery appraisal of a somber subject, Vanessa Gould’s documentary Obit focuses on the writers and editors assigned to the necrology desk of The New York Times. Like other chronicles of dead-tree media made in the past decade — The...

  • Keep your eyes on the magician’s hands. She’ll attempt to distract you with compliments and silly quips, but her most effective feint will be the story she tells as she shuffles the cards. She might give quaint mention to a lover’s spat between...

  • Terry George's The Promise has the rare good fortune of turning up in theaters just weeks after another film showed how necessary a movie like this is. The second star-driven war-adventure film of 2017 to set a cross-cultural love triangle...

  • Nasty, brutish and not short enough, Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire has a simple — and ultimately simpleminded — premise: to protract what would normally be a brief shoot-out scene to the majority of the movie’s 90-minute running time. On the surface,...

  • "You can't describe music with words," the great Sonny Rollins observes in John Scheinfeld's survey-course-brisk docu-dip into the art and life of John Coltrane. As if seeking to prove Rollins right, Scheinfeld's interviewees hold themselves to...

  • You can probably only name a handful of "great" golf movies before getting down to titles featuring an abbreviated Tim Conway. Tommy's Honour, directed by Jason Connery and based on Kevin Cook's 2007 book, isn't exactly great, but it's decidedly...

  • "I've been trained for this." Those words -- or some variation -- come up several times throughout James Gray's The Lost City of Z, and they serve as one key to this strange, sprawling, majestic film. In adapting David Grann's 2009...

  • Somebody at Warners must've seen Going in Style, the 1979 film about old men robbing a bank, and decided that a peppier version could be profitable. The original has no less than George Burns, Jackie Gleason sidekick Art Carney and...

  • Holy motors! This is perhaps the fastest, and if not, certainly the most furious of the Fast & Furious movies. The goal with each new film seems to be to one-up the last. But before F8 goes into full gear, it gives a good ol' drag...

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