Friday, January 13, 2017

Movie Reviews: Live By Night, Patriots Day, The Bye Bye Man, Monster Trucks, Silence

Elle, The Autopsy of Jane Doe
Multiplexes shake off their New Year's doldrums with a handful of entries ranging from sublime contemplation to ridiculous action, with art house offerings including a possible Oscar nominee. Ben Affleck once again adapts Dennis Lehane with the gangster drama Live By Night (pictured), but the story gets lost in fortune-cookie dialogue.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Movie Reviews: A Monster Calls, Hidden Figures, Things to Come, Hunter Gatherer

The 2017 movie year kicks off with a few holdovers from 2016 limited release, including a fanciful book adaptation, a real-life inspirational story and another great performance from Isabelle Huppert. A Monster Calls  (pictured) tries to translate the emotionally-resonant fable of its source material to the screen, but feels forced and unconvincing on a big screen. Huppert stars as an academic experiencing personal upheaval in Mia Hansen-Løve's latest rich character study Things to Come.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Movie Reviews: Passengers, Assassin's Creed, Sing, Jackie, Why Him?, Fences, Lion

The busy Christmas movie week brings a mix of would-be Oscar contenders and crowd-pleasers, representing nearly every possible genre. The science-fiction romance Passengers  (pictured) opens with a strong concept, before collapsing in a conclusion that's morally indefensible.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Movie Reviews: Office Christmas Party, Manchester By The Sea, Miss Sloane

As Hollywood does its now-traditional back-loading of December film releases for Christmas week, only a few new movies make their way to Utah theaters  today, including an awards front-runner. Andrew Wright praises Jessica Chastain's fiercely intelligent performance as a cutthroat Washington lobbyist in the political drama Miss Sloane (pictured).

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

2017 Sundance Film Festival competition films announced

Programming announcements for the 2017 Sundance Film Festival began today, with U.S. and World Dramatic Competition slates and the NEXT category, featuring a few names familiar to festival regulars. The U.S. Dramatic Competition's 16 features include new movies by returning directors Eliza Hittman (It Felt Like Love, Sundance 2013), Gillian Robespierre (Obvious Child, Sundance 2014) and  Alex Ross Perry (Listen Up Philip, Sundance 2014).

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Movie Reviews: Moana, Allied, Nocturnal Animals, Bad Santa 2, Loving

Rules Don't Apply, The Eagle Huntress
The traditionally busy Thanksgiving weekend features a full slate of Disney animation, historical drama, a psychological thriller and a feel-good documentary. Disney's Moana (pictured) may stick to a musical formula in its story of a Polynesia girl's hero journey, but there's a reason that formula works.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Movie Reviews: Fantastic Beasts, Bleed for This, Edge of Seventeen

The Handmaiden, The Uncondemned, Long Way North
A return to J.K. Rowling's wizarding world dominates the multiplexes, while a variety of art house specialty offerings include a fascinating period romantic thriller. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (pictured) takes a pre-Potter wizard story and only proves how important the hero was to those stories.

Long Way North

A chat with Rémi Chayé about his directorial debut.
The Salt Lake Film Society has always done an amazing job bringing in films from around the globe, whether we knew we wanted them or not. This weekend is no exception, as Shout Factory Films brings in the 2015 French-Danish animated film Long Way North, in full English dub (with the exception of the 4:10 p.m. showings, which will be in French with subtitles).

Friday, November 11, 2016

Movie Reviews: Arrival, Moonlight, King Cobra, Harry & Snowman

A strange new world greeted America this week, but at theaters, it's another weekend of new releases. The documentary Harry & Snowman  takes a true-live underdog story and loses track of the dynamics that make it most interesting.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Movie Reviews: Doctor Strange, Trolls, Hacksaw Ridge

Christine, Aquarius
Marvel's Sorcerer Supreme hits theaters, along with animated toys, a real-life war story and two indie dramas about fascinating women. The animated jukebox-musical Trolls  doesn't offer much story creativity, but at least brings some energy and distinctive visual texture to its universe.

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