Movie Reviews

Starring: James Woods, Sonja Smits, Deborah Harry, Peter Dvorsky, Leslie Carlson, Jack Creley


When you look at David Cronenberg’s nearly 30-year-old Videodrome (can it really be that long ago?), it’s incredible to realize how comparatively quaint the technology in the film is. It’s also hard not to realize that the points — warnings really — Cronenberg was making about technology overtaking our lives have only become more and…
life animated-movie promo shot-IMdB
Starring: Owen Suskind, Ron Suskind, Jonathan Freeman, Gilbert Gottfried

Life, Animated

The Story: A young man afflicted with autism learns to speak through an obsessive affinity for Disney animation. The Lowdown: One of the most moving documentaries I've come across, Life, Animated tugs at the heartstrings for all the right reasons.
Microbe et Gasoil
Starring: Ange Dargent, Theophile Baquet, Audrey Tautou, Diane Besnier

Microbe and Gasoline

The Story: Two friends decide to run away from home and explore France in a homemade mobile home. The Lowdown: A gentle and intelligent tale of the confusion of young adulthood told with Gondry's signature heart and whimsy.
Starring: Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala, Jayson Lamb, Angela Rodriguez, Harry Jay Knowles, Tim League, John Rhys-Davies, Eli Roth, Diana Stompolos, Kurt Zala, Quinn Zala.

Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made

The Story: In 1988, three preteen friends started shooting a shot-for-shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark in their spare time. Thirty-five years later, they finally finished it. The Lowdown: Uplifting and inspiring, while still personal and sincere, Raiders! is a warts-and-all look at what it takes to realize a dream.
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Sofia Boutella, Idris Elba, Karl Urban

Star Trek Beyond

The Story: The crew of the starship Enterprise find themselves stranded on a distant planet controlled by a violent maniac. The Lowdown: A glossy and occasionally fun summer action flick that suffers from a general incoherency and disposability.
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Steve Carell, Corey Stoll, Parker Posey, Blake Lively

Cafe Society

The Story: The Bronx-born son of a Jewish jeweler bounces between careers and romantic entanglements in 1930s Hollywood and New York while pining after The One That Got Away . The Lowdown: More Midnight in Paris than Blue Jasmine, Cafe Society is not the Woody Allen classic it could have been. But when it works, it works.
Starring: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Adam Devine, Jessie J, Nick Offerman, Keke Palmer, Simon Pegg, Wanda Sykes, Jennifer Lopez, Queen Latifah, Neil deGrasse Tyson

Ice Age: Collision Course

The Story: When acorn-addled squirrel Scrat initiates a potential apocalypse, Manny the mammoth and the rest of his herd set out to save the world. The Lowdown: How much do you love your kids? It must be a lot if you're willing to sit through this dreck to please them.
Starring: Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Alexander DiPersia, Maria Bello, Billy Burke

Lights Out

The Story: A creepy terror relegated to the shadows is stalking the family of a traumatized young woman. The Lowdown: A poorly scripted, dully acted horror film full of cheap scares and zero atmosphere.
Starring: Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster, George "Buck" Flower, Peter Jason

They Live

Conceptually, They Live is probably John Carpenter's best film. Unfortunately, as is often the case with Carpenter, the concept is better than the execution. Of the "modern" horrormeisters, Carpenter has always been the lightweight. The closest he got to a theme seemed to be in Halloween, with its implicit message that girls who "fooled around" get offed by…
Starring: Hurd Hatfield, Donna Reed, George Sanders, Angela Lansbury, Peter Lawford

The Picture of Dorian Gray

On its initial release in 1945, New York Times critic Bosley Crowther panned Albert Lewin's adaptation of Oscar Wilde's notable novel on the grounds of the production's "mawkish pomposity" and glacial pacing. He's got a point, but things aren't as dire as he makes them sound. This Dorian Gray may not be perfect: Lewin's direction is somewhat overblown,…
Starring: Corinne Marchand, Antoine Bourseiller, Dominique Davray, Dorothee Blank, Michel Legrand

Cleo from 5 to 7

This is the movie that placed Varda in the ranks of the New Wave filmmakers. Its concept is to follow the vapid title character, a pop singer, in faux real time (the title claims two hours, the film is 90 minutes) as she waits for a biopsy report she dreads. That’s it. But what matters…
Starring: Kelly Curtis, Herbert Lom, Mariangela Giordano, Michael Adatte

The Sect

Italian horror is a strange beast. Were I really pressed on the point, I’m not sure I could name a single Italian horror picture apart from Michele Soavi’s Cemetery Man (1994) that I’d call good in any normal sense of the word — and even that film isn’t the last word in logic or coherence. It is,…
Todd Solondz breaks new ground with old characters in Wiener Dog
Starring: Greta Gerwig, Danny DeVito, Julie Delpy, Ellen Burstyn, Kieran Culkin

Wiener Dog

The Story: A Dachshund touches the lives of several people in a series of vignettes that only Todd Solondz could present. The Lowdown: A beautiful film (if you’re the type of person that appreciates Solondz's twisted brand of beauty), this is arguably the apogee of the filmmaker’s recent work. Hilarious and heart-wrenching in equal measure.
Starring: Lou de Laage, Agata Buzek, Agata Kulesza, Vincent Macaigne, Joanna Kulig

The Innocents

The Story: In post-World War II Poland, a French Red Cross nurse looks after a convent whose nuns have been sexually assaulted by Soviet soldiers. The Lowdown: A heavy, serious meditation on faith, womanhood and abuse that's not easy to watch but is worthy, thanks to its intelligence.
Starring: Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Orson Welles, Akim Tamiroff, Marlene Dietrich

Touch of Evil

Perhaps the most legendary of all Orson Welles films, apart from Citizen Kane, Touch of Evil (1958) actually deserves its legend status—even if some of the legend is fabricated. (The notion put forth in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood (1994) that Universal was spuriously offering up Charlton Heston as a Mexican to Welles is nonsense, since…
Starring: Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, Ernest Thesiger, Gloria Stuart, Raymond Massey, Lilian Bond, Eva Moore

The Old Dark House

James Whale’s The Old Dark House (1932) is not by any means the first Old-Dark-House movie, but it’s the only one adapted from the J.B. Priestley novel by that name (though in Britain, the book was called Benighted). (We will not discuss that 1963 abomination by the same title.) The movie — believed to be…
Starring: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth


The Story: With ghosts invading Manhattan, three scientists and a transit system worker begin hunting them down. The Lowdown: A needlessly meandering and achingly jokey reworking of a supposed classic, one that leans too heavily on in-references and wastes a likable cast.
Starring: Bryan Cranston, John Leguizamo, Diane Kruger, Benjamin Bratt, Olympia Dukakis, Amy Ryan, Joseph Gilgun

The Infiltrator

The Story: An adaptation of the fact-based memoir of U.S. customs agent Robert Mazur, who went deep undercover to take down the Medellin Cartel by exposing Pablo Escobar’s money laundering efforts. The Lowdown: What should have been 90 minutes of pot-boiler fun turns out to be 127 minutes of pretension and tedium.
Absolutely Fabulous The Movie - 2016
Starring: Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julia Sawalha, Jane Horrocks, Chris Colfer

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

The Story: Two aging, drug-addled socialites go on the run after one of them accidentally murders Kate Moss. The Lowdown: A shrill and grating attempt at creating commentary on the rich and famous, but one with no teeth and little direction.
Starring: Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn, Bruce Willis

Death Becomes Her

While it’s by no means a classic, Death Becomes Her might be more timely now than ever, considering the amount of social media scorn recently heaped upon former ingenues Meg Ryan and Renée Zellweger for their inability to remain perpetually youthful. A black comedy focused the obsessive quest to do just that, at any cost, might…
Starring: Julian Dennison, Sam Neill, Rima Te Wiata, Rachel House, Oscar Kightley, Rhys Darby, Taika Waititi

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

The Story: A troubled New Zealand teen — and self-proclaimed “gangsta” — is sent to live with a new adoptive family on a remote farm. But after his new “auntie” dies unexpectedly, he and his “uncle” must go on the run from the authorities to keep their family intact. The Lowdown: Wilderpeople is a coming-of-age story…