M. Night Shyamalan's The Visit shows he still doesn't understand human behavior
I think I've figured out the secret of M. Night Shyamalan—his "twist," if you will. I bet he turns out to be an alien sent to Earth to study humanity.
City Weekly film critics contemplate the lessons of the cinematic summer
It's hard to believe the kids are back in school already, and the summer movie season of 2015 is now in the rear-view mirror.
Diary plays fair with complex adolescent sexuality
"I had sex today—holy shit!" Such is the stunned realization of Minnie Goetze (Bel Powley), the 15-year-old protagonist of The Diary of a Teenage Girl—and somehow, the admission might seem just as shocking to an audience.
David Foster Wallace, The End of the Tour and the perils of biographical drama
What does a biographical dramatic work owe to the real-life people it uses as subjects?
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. carves out a unique space in a crowded espionage marketplace
It's understandable if your first reaction to a movie version of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is, "Do we really need another movie version of an old TV show?" This is a reaction one should have on a regular basis, and it only means that you are an emotionally healthy adult.
The Gift takes a fumbling approach to psychological relationship drama
Oh, but The Gift is an infuriating movie on so many levels. It can't decide if it wants to be serious drama or a salacious thriller, so it's nowhere near enough of either, and each aspect seems to be laughing at the other.
Vacation loses its comedic momentum through marketing overkill
Early in Vacation, as patriarch Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) tries to fire up his family—wife Debbie (Christina Applegate) and sons James (Skyler Gisondo) and Kevin (Steele Stebbins)—about taking a car trip to the Walley World amusement park ...
Southpaw upends familiar underdog sports-movie expectations
Thanks to Rocky, we all know how the story's supposed to roll in a boxing drama about a guy from the streets getting a title shot.
Ant-Man rediscovers some of the playfulness of superhero adventure
In the scene from Marvel Studios' latest superhero tale Ant-Man in which Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) first tries out the suit that can shrink him to the size of an insect, his greatest threat is being washed down a bathtub drain, or flung from a spinning record during a dance party.
A director's distinctive style is lost in the rote thrills of Self/Less
Despite a film journalist's most earnest efforts, we aren't clued into everything about movies all the time.
Can't we just let Minions be minions?
I love the Minions. I thought they deserved their own movie. But I was wrong. Turns out, the Minions are better off without a backstory. Their mystery was part of their charm. Their Minion-ness is essential to their humor. And none of that is present here.
Magic Mike XXL can't recapture the substance that made the original more than hunky shirtless guys
There's an important, perhaps counter-intuitive point that must be clear before we start talking about Magic Mike XXL: The original 2012 Magic Mike was not about male strippers.
How to read the emotional emergence from narcissism in Me and Earl
The arc of critical response to a festival film is ... well, let's understate things a whole lot, and say that it's complicated.
Inside Out sells whimsy to kids while delivering a powerful story for parents
If there's anything we should realize by now about the way Disney markets its animated films—whether from Disney Animation Studios or Pixar—it's that there's simply no way to know from the advertising what these films are actually about.
FilmQuest tries to carve out its identity as a stand-alone film festival
It's not easy kicking a new film festival into public awareness. It's more difficult when even the people who know it exists are not entirely clear that it is, on its own merits, actually a film festival.