Focus Features

Movie Review: Victoria and Abdul (2017)

Based “mostly” on a true story (in other words, fictional), Stephen Frears’ (“Florence Foster Jenkins”) Victoria and Abdul is an ode to the warmth of simple friendship and the wonders of British colonialism. Based on the book by Shrabani Basu with a screenplay by Lee Hall (“War Horse”), it is an engaging film about the…

Movie Review: The Beguiled (2017)

Filmmaker Sofia Coppola is a mixed bag in terms of her big screen artistry as both an actress and movie-making siren. Specifically, Coppola’s auteur skills can run rather cold and dismissive (penning the flat and forgettable costume saga “Marie Antoinette”) or can inspire unexpected hypnotic greatness of roguish contemplation and isolation (as demonstrated in her…

Movie Review: The Zookeeper’s Wife (2017)

“Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” — Matthew 7:14 Many reports from the aftermath of World War II describe the indifference and, in some cases, outright hostility that the general population in Europe felt towards the Jews, with even lifelong neighbors…

Movie Review: A Monster Calls (2016)

While this J.A. Bayona (“The Impossible”) directed effort (based on a best-selling book by Patrick Ness), A Monster Calls, is a wonderful visual and visceral experience (and currently has critics fawning all over themselves), I, for one, can only wonder for whom this film was made. It’s certainly too dark and foreboding for children —…

Movie Review: Nocturnal Animals (2016)

Love. Loss. Regret. Betrayal. Pain. Memory. Revenge. Beauty. These are the oh-so-jolly palate of Nocturnal Animals, Tom Ford’s haunting, ethereal and quite extraordinary second feature. Ford crafts a remarkable, trifurcated narrative with exquisite precision, slipping between the life, memories and imagination of Susan Morrow (Amy Adams, “Arrival”) in a way that demands attention, stirs the…

Movie Review: Loving (2016)

Blacklisted author Millard Lampell’s Cantata “The Lonesome Train” tells us, “Freedom’s a thing that has no ending. It needs to be cared for; it needs defending.” Set in 1958 in Caroline County Virginia, Jeff Nichols’ (“Midnight Special”) Loving depicts one defense of freedom that is not as well known as it should be, the U.S….

Movie Review: Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)

Every once in a while, there are films that reaffirm their genres. That’s not to say that they’ve suffered without them, but true gems are few and far between. I consider “Let the Right One In” to be one of these gems among the horror sub-genres. I’d consider Spike Jonze’s “Her” a contender for romance,…

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