Movie Reviews

ud1
Starring: Kyrie Irving, Lil Rel Howery, Shaquille O'Neal, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller

Uncle Drew


The Story: An elderly street-ball legend comes out of obscurity to get his old team back together for a tournament. The Lowdown: A chintzy comedy with surprisingly assured performances and a kind center to it.
image-2
Starring: Anne Alvaro, Jean-pierre Bacri, Brigette Catillon, Alain Chabat, Agnes Jauoi

The Taste of Others


In Brief: Writer-actress Agnes Jaoui’s directorial debut is a deliciously funny and insightful comedy about people’s varied tastes and perceptions, especially perceptions of other people. There’s scarcely a false note in the film, which is impeccably photographed and directed in an unusual (for an essentially intimate film) yet intelligent use of wide-screen. The Taste of Others is…
BAD-DAY-01
Starring: Spencer Tracy, Robert Ryan, Anne Francis,Walter Brennan, Dean Jagger, Ernest Borgnine, Lee Marvin

Bad Day at Black Rock


In Brief: Clocking in at a tight 81 minutes, John Sturges' Bad Day at Black Rock (1954) is everything you don't expect from a John Sturges movie. It's taut, tense, and it doesn't dawdle. The film is an expression of the increasingly leftist slant that MGM had taken after Dore Schary had managed to oust…
WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR
Starring: Fred Rogers, Joanne Rogers, McColm Cephas Jr., François Scarborough Clemmons, Junlei Li, Yo-Yo Ma

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?


The Story: A lionizing look at the life and legacy of PBS children's show host Fred Rogers. The Lowdown: An emotionally evocative tribute to a man who dedicated his career to selflessly helping children cope with an increasingly intimidating world, rendering an intimate portrait of a human being every inch as genuine as his public persona would…
americananimals
Starring: Barry Keoghan, Evan Peters, Jared Abrahamson, Ann Dowd

American Animals


The Story: Four Kentucky college students plan to rob the campus library, with the scheme quickly spiraling out of control faster than than the first-time criminals can handle. The Lowdown: The best quasi-docu-comedy of the year so far about a gang of not-quite criminal masterminds stealing rare books.
Becoming-who-I-was-documentary-feature
Starring: Padma Angdu, Urgyan Rickzen

Becoming Who I Was


The Story: A young Rinpoche and his caretaker undertake a perilous journey to Tibet in the hopes of reuniting the boy with the monastery he led in a previous incarnation. The Lowdown: An emotionally stirring character study that shows admirable restraint on the part of its documentarians but also stubbornly defies expectations.
h2
Starring: Nick Offerman, Kiersey Clemons, Toni Collette, Blythe Danner, Ted Danson

Hearts Beat Loud


The Story: A single dad tries to reconnect with his daughter before she leaves for college by starting a band with her. The Lowdown: While the performances are solid, a lack of real, earned emotion and an airlessness in its musical side hurt a nice little film.
JWFK
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeff Goldblum, Ted Levine, James Cromwell, Toby Jones

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom


The Story: The dinosaurs of Isla Nublar must be rescued from a volcanic eruption, but the financiers of the operation may have motives that are not altogether altruistic. The Lowdown: A distinctly strange but not particularly compelling entry in a franchise that seems to have better chances of surviving extinction than the dinosaurs ever did.
MV5BMjE5MzY4OTYyMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDM4NTMzNA@@._V1_
Starring: William Campbell, Luana Anders, Patrick Magee, Bart Patton, Mary Mitchell

Dementia 13


In Brief: Francis Ford Coppola’s feature directing debut, Dementia 13, may not be perfect, but it is essential viewing for the horror completist. Co-written by Coppola with pre-eminent schlockmeister Jack Hill (Spider Baby, Foxy Brown) and produced by the venerable Roger Corman, this film is arguably the genesis of the slasher subgenre. Sure, it’s got its…
whatkoch1
Starring: Marcello Mastroianni, Sydne Rome, Hugh Griffith, Roman Polanski

What? (Diary of Forbidden Dreams)


In Brief: Roman Polanski's little-seen — and much-maligned — 1972 film, What?, is undeniably one of the director's strangest works. In essence, it's a variation on Alice in Wonderland — except played out in surrealistic terms as a sex comedy. It's no wonder that no one seemed to know what to do with it or how…
LMT5YM4TJNF2BPBNNQHQTQZ6FY
Starring: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly, Roscoe Karns, Jameson Thomas

It Happened One Night


In Brief: Frank Capra was no stranger to screwball comedy, and It Happened One Night (1934) is considered by some to be the progenitor of the subgenre. Potentially the best-known — if not necessarily the best — of Capra's comedic works, it's as charming and breezy as it is silly and cynical. Neither as outright funny as Capra's later comedies or as…
incrediblescrop
Starring: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner, Samuel L. Jackson, Isabella Rossellini, Barry Bostwick

Incredibles 2


The Story: The Parr family, also known as the superhero team The Incredibles, fight to regain the legality of their collective avocation as a mysterious villain known as Screenslaver threatens to undermine their efforts. The Lowdown: Visually stunning but narratively regressive, director Brad Bird's return to Pixar lacks the punch of its predecessor.
Trevor Jackson;Jason Mitchell
Starring: Trevor Jackson, Jason Mitchell, Jacob Ming-Trent, Lex Scott Davis, Andrea Londo

Superfly


The Story: Cocaine dealer Youngblood Priest goes after one big score  after a nightclub shooting makes him contemplate getting out of the game. The Lowdown: Inferior to the original but true to its spirit, mindless fun aimed squarely at the adolescent male id.
tag1
Starring: Hannibal Buress, Jon Hamm, Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, Jeremy Renner

Tag


The Story: Five friends reunite every May to play the same game of tag that's been going on for 30 years... The Lowdown: ... but this year the greatest player of all time is threatening to retire, which someone thought was a good idea for a movie.
35332753_615047392189544_4198029162574774272_o
Starring: Erik Odom, Andie Morgenlander, Dustin Whitehead, Luke Beavers, Mondy Carter, Mary Katherine O'Donnell

Luke and Jo


The Story: A struggling screenwriter confronts his demons after meeting a young musician while promoting his script at a film festival. The Lowdown: A locally produced independent drama that makes the most of its budget — and its picturesque Asheville setting — while telling an emotionally resonant story.
image-w1280-2
Starring: Toshiro Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Kyoko Kagawa, Tatsuya Mihashi, Isao Kimura

High and Low


In Brief: For his 1963 suspense film High and Low, Akira Kurosawa seems to have been actually trying to draw the wrath of those who find his work too “Western” by choosing the Ed McBain novel King’s Ransom for his source material. What could possibly be more Western — indeed, more downright American — than…
img
Starring: Victor Mature, Hedy Lamarr, Angela Lansbury, George Sanders, Olive Deering, Russ Tamblyn, Henry Wilcoxon

Samson and Delilah


In Brief: Cecil B. DeMille's historical epics are an acquired taste in my book, but even those with accepting palates may find Samson and Delilah (1949) hard to swallow. Despite its (mostly) remarkable cast and suitably grandiose scale, it's perhaps the most forgettable of DeMille's biblical films. Sure, Hedy Lamar looks gorgeous and George Sanders gets to be sleazy,…
first-reformed-ethan-hawke
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried, Philip Ettinger, Cedric the Entertainer, Michael Gaston, Victoria Hill

First Reformed


The Story: A reverend with a depressing back story and an even more depressing congregation contemplates extreme measures as his church, funded by a malignantly narcissistic oligarch, prepares to celebrate its 250th anniversary. The Lowdown: A spiritual sequel to Taxi Driver that places the emphasis on the spiritual, as writer/director Paul Schrader returns to form.
toni_collette_hereditary
Starring: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff, Ann Dowd, Milly Shapiro

Hereditary


The Story: A family confronts a seemingly accidental tragedy, only to discover that its roots are buried in a far deeper occult history. The Lowdown: A staggeringly accomplished feature debut for writer/director Ari Aster that mixes metaphor with metaphysics to genuinely ghoulish ends.
oceans
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter

Ocean’s 8


The Story: Debbie Ocean, recently released from prison, puts a team together and sets a long-planned Met Gala heist into motion in this spinoff of the Soderbergh-directed series. The Lowdown: While the all-star cast is the best thing going for it, the film lacks the energy, style and overall sense of cinematic fun offered up…