Symbol Minded

At least Inferno brings some goofiness to its absurd plot.

Fall Flicks

Our picks for the "awards season" movies most worth getting excited about.

Making a Statement

American Honey offers a terrific slice of life, whenever it's not trying too hard.

New Eyes

The story behind the story inevitably changes how you see The Birth of a Nation.
What had been the tale of self-financed passion project about incendiary real-life events became more about the events of Parker's own life

Real Disaster

Deepwater Horizon feels trapped between tragic facts and genre conventions.
And like melodrama of all kinds, they're about emotions writ large—love and hate, life and death—with little space for nuance or subtlety.

True West

The Magnificent Seven returns to much-needed territory of Western heroism.
The Magnificent Seven isn't even remaking something that was original itself, since John Sturges' 1960 film was an American re-telling of Akira Kurosawa's 1954 Seven Samurai.

Scratch That

Bridget Jones's Baby feels almost proudly stuck in another era.
The joke is on movies employing obvious indicators that wacky things are afoot, but it's an idea that seems more like urban legend than reality.

The Parents Are All Wrong

What box-office results for 2016 family films tell us about the movies kids see.
In the case of kid-oriented films, the numbers depend on parents responding to their kids responding to that media campaign.

Another Boyhood

Morris from America offers a charming expatriate take on coming of age.
This is a slight, pleasant coming-of-age comedy, offering smiles and warm fuzzies

Boxer Rebellion

Hands of Stone can't carve out a distinctive space among boxing biopics.
Here's a relatively inexperienced Venezuelan filmmaker, with his first American theatrical feature release, inviting comparison with a classic.

Go Quest, Young Man

Kubo and the Two Strings celebrates the power of storytelling.
In the central plaza of a seaside Japanese village many years in the past, a young one-eyed boy named Kubo (Art Parkinson) is surrounded by an enraptured audience.

Re-Pete Performance

Pete's Dragon makes for a charming improvement over the original.
Something interesting has happened with regard to Disney's remake of Pete's Dragon, or more precisely, something interesting hasn't happened: Nobody is crying bloody murder about it.

Villain the Blanks

DC tries too hard to play movie universe catch-up with Suicide Squad.
At the Hollywood premiere for Suicide Squad, writer/director David Ayer took up the rallying cry suggested by a fan in the audience, and let loose with a hearty, "Fuck Marvel!"

Bourne Again

Jason Bourne is back, but it's not clear why.
But it feels less black ops than old hat, like we've been here before.

A Load of Scrat

Ice Age: Collision Course continues a franchise only because it can.
Even though there have been far worse films in 2016, this one ate at my gut.

R We There Yet?

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is another "adult" comedy that could stand to grow up a little.
But how does this serve a comedy's ostensible goal of being, you know, funny?

Kid Stuff

Steven Spielberg's gifts shouldn't be taken for granted in The BFG.
The BFG may never be counted among Spielberg's greatest triumphs, but it shouldn't have to be, not when its own distinctive pleasures are just sitting there in front of you.

On the Surface

The Neon Demon showcases its director's superficial talents, for better or worse.
Whatever notions Refn might be flirting with about female beauty ain't exactly ground-breaking


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