Film Reviews | Salt Lake City Weekly

Movie Review: It Lives Inside

Immigrant assimilation becomes the stuff of potent metaphorical horror


Kenneth Branagh refusing to rediscover a sense of fun.

Fall Movie Preview 2023

What's on tap for an uncertain season in theaters.

Movie Review: It Lives Inside

Immigrant assimilation becomes the stuff of potent metaphorical horror
A modest proposal: Can we please retire the phrase "elevated horror" forever?

The Case Against Focusing on Movie Plots

Spoiler culture and how the focus on "what happens" kills film appreciation
I'm concerned about this as a microcosm of a bigger problem, one that is absolutely murdering the ability to talk thoughtfully about narrative art forms like movies, television, theater and books: the way anything with a story has been reduced to a level of "what happens."

Movie Review: GRAN TURISMO

The simple pleasure of knowing what the hell is going on in a movie.
You might reasonably assume that one of the baseline responsibilities for a filmmaker is allowing viewers to understand what the hell is happening while they're watching—that is, if so much of 21st-century filmmaking weren't evidence to the contrary.

PASSAGES feature movie review

Brilliantly capturing a toxic brand of artistic narcissism
Tomas's movie seems to be a period piece, so it's not as though he's specifically creating a version of the story we're about to see unfold.


Documentary cinema and the power to make history real
Is our default approach to non-fiction filmmaking solely related to what it's about, rather than how it's about what it's about?

Movie Reviews: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Afire, Shortcomings

Three new movies about misfits and their misadventures
The original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird was a mix of artistic creativity and elements cribbed from popular 1980s comics, so it's fitting to see this latest extension of the franchise follow that paradigm.

Film reviews: Haunted Mansion, Sympathy for the Devil, Talk to Me

Three summer releases with different approaches to offering creepy material.
While director Justin Simien's 2000 feature Bad Hair showed his facility for mixing horror with humor, that mix just doesn't quite work here.

Movies about the Manhattan Project

In honor of Oppenheimer, a roundup of stories about the dawn of the Atomic Age
Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer tells the story of Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, the physicist who oversaw the development of the atomic bomb for the U.S. military during World War II.

Film Review: Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One

The giddy thrills of great action mix with a surprisingly human hero
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation describing Hunt as "the living manifestation of destiny," which is about as close as you can get to defining someone as nigh-supernatural.

Movie reviews: Joy Ride, Biosphere, The Lesson

Shifting relationship dynamics mark three new releases.
A problem with their home's food-creation system inspires a potential existential crisis, except that—as Billy notes while quoting Jurassic Park —life finds a way.

Movie Review: Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Latest adventure feels stuck between the hero's past and his present.
Let's get this out of the way: Harrison Ford is old. He was 79 when most of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny was filmed, and during the film's first scene set in 1969, we see him in his full verging-on-octogenarian glory—grey-haired, shirtless and angry at being awakened from a nap.

Movie Review: Asteroid City

Wes Anderson delivers another rich comedy about struggling with change
Every time a new Wes Anderson movie emerges, it feels like we have to re-litigate the same arguments about his work: that it's too precious and sterile, that it's all about quirky and mannered performances, that it lacks heart and soul.

Feature Movie Review: Elemental

Pixar's latest nails its fantastical setting, but misses on its emotional subtext
For most of its nearly-30-year history of making animated feature films, Pixar has reliably taken a two-pronged approach to their construction: Let's call it The Hook and The Heart.

Movie Review: Transformers: Rise of the Beasts

The latest entry doubles down on being not a movie, but a delivery system for nostalgia
For a hot minute there, I was about to start writing about Transformers: Rise of the Beasts as though it were an actual movie.

Feature movie review: Sanctuary

Psychological drama transcends its lurid plot-summary for a tale of living your truth.
Usually it's gender and/or sexuality, sometimes it's religion, but the common thread is folks reading a one-sentence synopsis and requiring no additional context or information to be certain that the book/movie/TV show/whatever in question is meritless and obscene.

Feature movie review: The Little Mermaid (2023)

Remake of the animated classic lacks any sense of fun
Was "gritty reboot" something literally anyone was asking for when it came to a story about singing, dancing aquatic life?

© 2023 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation