History

Movie Review: They Shall Not Grow Old (2018)

Director Peter Jackson’s body of work is extensive. He brought J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings saga to life in two award-winning trilogies, and his films have garnered dozens of Oscar nominations. Despite these cinematic feats, he perhaps has never helmed a project as significant as his 2018 documentary, They Shall Not Grow Old. The…

Movie Review: Who Will Write Our History (2018)

Simply put, Who Will Write Our History has an intriguing premise. Set in the World War II and during the massacre of people famously known as the Holocaust, it depicts a group of Jews’ desperate and personal journey to leave behind time capsules, so their pain and suffering would never be forgotten. It’s an interesting…

Movie Review: The Favourite (2018)

Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, whose previous films have expressed a rather jaundiced view of humanity (“The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” “The Lobster”), has found a most appropriate target for his cynicism in his “mainstream” comedy, The Favourite, the story of sickly 18th century British monarch Queen Anne (Olivia Colman, “Murder on the Orient Express”)…

Movie Review: Mary Queen of Scots (2018)

Mary Queen of Scots, Josie Rourke’s interpretation of rival queens in the 16th century is stilted and anticlimactic, with poor pacing and a weak screenplay that casts a rather conspicuous shadow over its two prominent leads, Saoirse Ronan (“Lady Bird”) and Margot Robbie (“I, Tonya”). Rourke, long affiliated with the London stage (she’s the artistic…

Movie Review: The Isle (2019)

A spooky seaman’s tale, The Isle screened at Norwich Film Festival in 2018 with an introduction from co-writer and director Matthew Butler-Hart. Butler-Hart describes the film as influenced by slow-burn horror of the 1970s, and he also spoke about the inspiration for the story — Eilean Shona, an island off the coast of Scotland that…

Movie Review: First Man (2018)

Damien Chazelle’s interpretation of the Apollo 11 moon landing is a visceral, emotive and carefully executed film, and a drastically different follow up to his Oscar-winning 2016 musical, “La La Land.” Based on strong source material from James R. Hansen, with a poignant score from frequent collaborator Justin Hurwitz and Chazelle’s celestial vision and tight…

Movie Review: Operation Finale (2018)

Chris Weitz, director of “American Pie” and co-writer on last year’s “The Mountain Between Us,” delivers a watchable and important effort in Operation Finale, depicting the capture and extradition of Holocaust mastermind Adolf Eichmann. It’s a well-intentioned take on one of the ugliest personalities of the 20th century. Yet, its middling characterization and preference for…

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