Film Reviews | Salt Lake City Weekly
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One Small Stepford Man

Don't Worry Darling can't find a payoff for its mysterious set-up.

Fletch Lives (Again)

Jon Hamm and Confess, Fletch truly recapture the spirit of the Chevy Chase originals.

Fall Features

A preview of the cinema offerings coming to big and small screens before year-end.

One Small Stepford Man

Don't Worry Darling can't find a payoff for its mysterious set-up.
In order to talk about Don't Worry Darling at all, we must agree on the premise that something about the picturesque mid-20th-century community of Victory is ...off.

Power Plays

Two satirical comedies explore manipulations and self-delusions by those with power.
"Power tends to corrupt," begins the old saw by Lord Acton, and living a life of any length in this world should be enough to convince you that he's right.

Bottled Up

Three Thousand Years of Longing misses out on connecting its fantastical narrative to real emotion.
There are many things a filmmaker can control, but you can't control the world into which your movie emerges.

I'm a Big Kid Now

Orphan: First Kill improves a bit on the original, but with a problem in its central character.
Well, I was not expecting this: Orphan: First Kill, a prequel to 2009's horror mystery Orphan, is better than its progenitor.

Against Type

Two independent films give their lead actors a fresh look.
If you have the kind of acting career where you're typecast, you're luckier than most

Muddying the Waters

Thirteen Lives robs a real-life rescue of the urgency found in the documentary version.
You'll have to take my word for it that, at the time, I didn't actually know that work on Thirteen Lives was already underway, and further accept that my reaction to Thirteen Lives isn't simply an attempt to prove my own prediction.

Both Sides Now

B.J. Novak's Vengeance comes at the clichés of "divided America" from a fresh angle.
There's a level on which Vengeance writer/director B.J. Novak—the veteran of The Office making his feature filmmaking debut—might be getting a little too meta for his own good.

Dry Spell

A film festival of stories about water manipulated as a source of power.
News flash: It's hot! And dry! The American West bakes, the Colorado River slows to a trickle and the future of our water supply seems perilously shaky. It's not a pretty picture, H20-wise.

Height of Fashion

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris is a Cinderella story elevated by a Jenny Beavan's costume-designing magic.
Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris —a movie with a plot built around the magical allure of a beautiful piece of clothing—it seems fitting to reserve a particular degree of praise for costume designer Jenny Beavan.

Comedy and Tragedy

Thor: Love and Thunder makes for an awkward mix of tones.
After 11 years playing Thor Odinson, I think it would be fair to say that Chris Hemsworth is currently the face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Behind the Scenes

Official Competition gets uneven results out of satirizing the act of filmmaking.
People who make movies clearly love making fun of people who make movies—and historically speaking, they've done a pretty fair job of doing so.

The King and Ay-yi-yi

Elvis exemplifies Baz Luhrmann's tendency toward unfocused emotionalism.
After more than 20 years of writing about Baz Luhrmann—Moulin Rouge! was the first review I ever wrote for this publication—it remains clear that nearly everything that drives me nuts about his movies are things he would consider features, not bugs.

Ranger Danger

Lightyear's convoluted self-justification is the only thing interfering with its entertainment.
Ever since Disney and Pixar announced Lightyear, their attempts to explain the premise have been ... well, "overly-complicated" is one way of putting it.

Cause and Effect

Benediction wrestles with portraying a life impacted by two large traumas.
Real human lives are more complicated than movie lives; it shouldn't need to be said, yet it always bears keeping in mind.

Gay Pride (and Prejudice)

Fire Island gives a contemporary spin to Jane Austen's tales of complicated relationships.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that the works of Jane Austen—much like those of William Shakespeare—prove their durability by virtue of how often their stories have been adapted into the modern world.

Take Our Breath Away

Top Gun: Maverick flashes back to the days of movie stars and physical action.
More than 35 years ago, in the original Top Gun, Tom Cruise did something that almost never happens anymore: He became a Movie Star.

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