MANDY Review – ***½

The Shadow Mountains, 1983: Red (Nicolas Cage) and Mandy (Andrea Riseborough) live in a home in the woods in proto-grunge bliss. One day, while walking down the road, Mandy catches the eye of cult leader Jeremiah Sand (Linus Roache), who determines to possess her. He and his followers break into Red and Mandy’s home with…

The Films of 2018 in Brief: Part I

It was movie reviews what made this blog, and I’ll be damned if I’m not going to review some movies from time to time. Here, in not as much detail as some of my reviews – but usually just a bit more detail than I initially intended – are my thoughts on all of the…

BLACKkKLANSMAN Review – ****

BlacKkKlansman is the kind of film whose trailer prepared me for a rather different film than I ended up getting. I expected a pulpy thrill ride—a blast, you might say—and it took me some time to adapt to the film’s true flavor; while certainly boasting its share of humor and excitement, it’s much more of a…

FIRST REFORMED Review – ****

The special brilliance of First Reformed is that, for as much as it confronts us with the ugliness of life, both in an eternal sense and in a sense of the issues we face at this very moment, it repeatedly counters its own arguments by reminding us of the persistence of life, of its simple joys and…

MWFF: HARVEY MIDDLEMAN, FIREMAN – ***

Taking off from my recently published list of my 50 most wanted films, this is the start of a new series which I’m calling Most Wanted Films Found (MWFF). As some of the films on that list are easier to track down than others, I decided that, once the list was up, I would try…

BLACK PANTHER Review – ****

Five weeks into its release, with over $600 million in the till in North America alone and reviews good enough to spur talk of Oscar glory, is there much left to be said about Black Panther? Is there much I can add to the chorus of acclaim, especially since, as my rating gives away, I am…

A WRINKLE IN TIME Review – ***

A Wrinkle in Time is the kind of movie that breaks my heart a bit. As an example of representation and empowerment, both in front of and behind the camera, it earns top marks. As a fantasy adventure and spectacle, it has some really delightful moments which show just what a skilled director can do with…

The Films of 2017 in 150 Words or Less: Part II

Since I published the first batch of 2017 reviews, I’ve only seen an additional 14 films for the year, partially because of the limitations on my time and money, and partially because there have been fewer films I felt I truly had to see. I hope to catch up over the next four months (I will be…

The Films of 2017 in 150 Words or Less: Part I

I’ve seen far fewer films this year than in previous years; tight finances are partially to blame, and a comparative lack of “must-see” films hasn’t helped. But for the most part, I’ve been pretty lucky with the films I have seen, and so I offer my thoughts on the 22 films I haven’t already reviewed… I have…

THE BOOK OF HENRY Review – **

The Book of Henry is certainly not a good film, but calling it a bad one doesn’t seem to fit; it falls short of the mark, but not in the way a truly bad film does. Rather, it fails to answer two vital questions—who is it for, and what is it about?—and it’s hard to…