Crime

Movie Review: Joker (2019)

Shakespeare’s Richard III famously said I can smile, and murder while I smile. The Joker has long been a character who will smile and cackle while he murders and terrorizes. In previous cinematic incarnations, the Joker has been a crime boss fried in acid (Jack Nicholson), an anarchic terrorist (Heath Ledger) and a pimped out…

Movie Review: Running with the Devil (2019)

With one co-directing credit under his belt (“Smoke Filled Lungs”), writer/director Jason Cabell begins his sophomore film with a surprising amount of confidence. Leading with intriguing, juxtaposing images of torture and partying aided by a smooth soundtrack-driven flow, the opening scene of his first solo-directed feature Running with the Devil teases a style generally uncommon…

Movie Review: A Vigilante (2018)

I’m not totally sure if A Vigilante — the feature debut from writer-director Sarah Daggar-Nickson — is meant to be soaked up as entertainment so much as a reconciliation between movies-as-art and movies-as-therapy. The small-scale story is interested in a single dominating issue, that of domestic violence, though in ways that feels inconsistently intentioned, despite…

Movie Review: Master Z: Ip Man Legacy (2018)

The ongoing “Ip Man” movie franchise, essentially a series of increasingly fictional biopics about the martial arts master most famous for teaching a young Bruce Lee, has long been a solid source of slickly spectacular set pieces. Now, the tradition continues in the spin-off Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy, another action extravaganza pitting a…

Movie Review: The Hustle (2019)

Interestingly, it is the audience who seems to be the ones getting hustled in director Chris Addison’s forgettable feminine con-artist comedy, The Hustle. In it, Oscar winner Anne Hathaway (“Les Misérables”) and funny fireball Rebel Wilson (“Isn’t It Romantic”) are paired as a couple of cute scammers looking to manipulate the finances out of clueless…

Movie Review: Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019)

Pokémon Detective Pikachu is a film not unlike the Pokémon that populate it. On the surface it appears simple — a collection of seen-it-before neo-noir aesthetics, cute creatures, and a generic story, all tied together with a few charming leads. However, this is merely a façade. Before long it reveals itself to be a beast…

Movie Review: Little Woods (2018)

A progressive rage simmers at the despondent heart of Little Woods. It isn’t just that writer-director Nia DaCosta spends a busy 95 or so minutes examining how working-class economic anxiety often begets the toppling chain of dominoes in those trapped in it, but more so that she tells her story through the lens of a…

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