Articles by Vincent Gaine

The Critical Movie Critics

Dr. Vincent M. Gaine is a film and television researcher. His first book, Existentialism and Social Engagement in the Films of Michael Mann was published by Palgrave MacMillan in 2011. His work on film and media has been published in Cinema Journal and The Journal of Technology, Theology and Religion, as well as edited collections including The 21st Century Superhero and The Directory of World Cinema.


Movie Review: The Night House (2020)

A lone woman wakes at night in her expansive house and explores the strange noises that awoke her. The space, familiar and comforting in the day, is cloaked in shadows that sometimes seem to move of their own volition. As the woman searches, shapes shift behind her, until something prompts a sudden jump . ….

Movie Review: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

It has become a cliché to identify that Marvel Studios combine the superhero genre with other genres. From conspiracy thriller in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” to buddy comedy in “Thor: Ragnarok” to space opera in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” Kevin Feige and the various writers, directors, editors, actors, composers, cinematographers and more that work…

Movie Review: Candyman (2021)

Candyman begins with inversion, as the studio logos of Universal, Monkeypaw Productions and MGM are presented in reverse. From here, we move into low-angled shots of the Chicago skyline. These imposing buildings express wealth, power and privilege, but rather towering over the viewer, they are inverted, viewed from above. Clouds wreath the building crests but…

Movie Review: The Stairs (2021)

Some genres are easily identified by tropes. Science fiction can be identified by spacecraft, time travel, extra-terrestrial life, artificial intelligence. Horror can be identified by an initial journey, a focus on victimhood and suffering, unsafe environments, a loss of control. While reductive and far from the whole story of these genres, tropes such as these…

Movie Review: The Suicide Squad (2021)

The superhero genre is accused of many things. Politically, it is described as conservative, reactionary and downright fascist. The genre has a tendency towards being white male centric, with exceptions like “Wonder Woman” and “Black Panther” highlighting rather than resolving the problem. As the Marvel and DC franchises have become more popular, studios opt for…

Movie Review: Cruella (2021)

While Cruella de Vil is an iconic Disney villain, is there much potential in showing the origin story of a character whose fashion sense leads to her wanting to skin 101 Dalmatians? The answer is a yes as prominent as the eponymous character’s bi-colored hair, as director Craig Gillespie and screenwriters Dana Fox and Tony…

Movie Review: Midnight in the Switchgrass (2021)

The serial killer narrative has been done to death, in TV series and movies. Within this sub-genre — that combines thriller and horror — there are masterpieces, there are turkeys and there’s the rest, that lack brilliance but offer some enjoyment. More specifically, homicide detective narratives set in small town or rural America veer from…

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