Drama

Movie Review: Firstborn (2017)

Finally getting a release in English-language regions is Latvian director Aik Karapetian’s follow-up to his grisly “The Man in the Orange Jacket,” Firstborn. Latvia sits between Scandinavia and Russia, so it’s perhaps apt that this stylish, moody thriller evokes some of the black-comic absurdity of the former and the miserablist austereness of the latter. From…

Movie Review: All Is True (2018)

John Madden’s 1998 film “Shakespeare in Love” proposed a secret love affair as being the inspiration behind Shakespeare’s most popular play, “Romeo and Juliet.” The film’s widespread success revealed the public’s longing to find a real human being behind the name of the iconic poet and playwright who composed at least 37 plays, 154 sonnets,…

Movie Review: The Sun Is Also a Star (2019)

Everyone should be able to digest a charming love story, right? How can one resist an urban romancer featuring attractive lovebirds coming from different sides of the tracks, the energetic rush of city life and the unsuspecting hands of fate? Well, this is the proposed premise for director Ry Russo-Young’s (“Before I Fall”) young adult…

Movie Review: Rocketman (2019)

The most dramatic sequences of 2018’s Best Picture, “Green Book,” involved the piano playing of Doctor Don Shirley. In another recent awards winner, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the recreations of Freddy Mercury’s performances proved to be a high point. These sequences, well-rendered by directors Peter Farrelly and Bryan Singer, respectively, are put into the shade of the…

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: Long Shot (2019)

When 38-year-old Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen, “The Disaster Artist”), a sloppy and unkempt-looking journalist, falls for Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron, “Tully”), a highly sophisticated, intelligent, and political savvy politician, we know that we must be in fantasyland or in a Jonathan Levine (“The Night Before”) comedy. While Levine’s Long Shot challenges believability, there are enough…

Movie Review: Tolkien (2019)

In many ways, director Dome Karukoski’s Tolkien is a fine film — a definitive sampling of J.R.R. Tolkien’s formative years and a nicely fleshed-out character study. Yet, it also plays as programming you might find on a PBS “Masterpiece” program, with nicely defined Edwardian settings, fine period costumes and impressive performances all around. Still, similar…

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