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Movie Review: Tomb Raider (2018)

Video game movies have sucked for decades, so when a kind of good one comes along, it arrives with the benefit of basement-dwelling expectations. This could be the explanation for why Roar Uthaug’s lean, lithe reboot Tomb Raider is so clearly silly and yet strangely satisfying at the same time. Or perhaps the movie works…

Movie Review: Sweet Country (2017)

In the film, Sweet Country, set in the bleak Northern Territory of Australia of the 1920s, there is a brief interchange between a hard-working, though weary and aging Archie (Gibson John), an Aboriginal cattle hand, and a wayward teenage Aboriginal Philomac (played by the twins, Tremayne and Trevan Doolan). Archie lectures the boy about their…

Movie Review: Ready Player One (2018)

Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One is nothing short of biblical for the pop culture enthusiast. More surprisingly, however, is the engaging narrative and even the likable cast of (young) characters. The expensive movie ran Warner Bros. $175 million, but Spielberg’s project does reap the benefits of that expense — with stellar CGI and a virtual…

Movie Review: Isle of Dogs (2018)

Performed at the Swan Theatre in July 1597, “The Isle of Dogs,” a satirical play (now lost) written by Thomas Nashe and Ben Jonson was labeled “seditious, slanderous, and lewd” by the government and led to the arrest of the actors (including Jonson) and the closing of all London theaters for months. The nature of…

Movie Review: You Were Never Really Here (2017)

It is a bold filmmaker who trusts film as film and allows the medium to communicate without recourse to exposition and dialogue. Such a filmmaker is Lynne Ramsey (“We Need to Talk About Kevin”), whose latest offering, You Were Never Really Here, is a brilliantly brutal assembly of image and sound that never displays any…

Movie Review: The Vanishing of Sidney Hall (2017)

Midway through The Vanishing of Sidney Hall, in the midst of a breakdown (breakthrough?), surrounded by his typewriter and empty bottles and strewn about pages, signifiers of talent devolving into madness, the successful yet troubled novelist at its center self-consciously admits to having recently written only “first lines and first pages. No middle. No end.”…

Movie Review: Father Figures (2017)

The topic of “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” is more than a classic tune from the legendary Motown musical act The Temptations — it also happens to be the breezy theme behind the clunky comedy, Father Figures. The “who’s your daddy” premise is a woefully tired one, but it did not prevent director Lawrence Sher…

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