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…

My Top 10 Films of 2017

As with my personal list of the bottom 10 films of the year, this list is solely determined by what happened to end up as the 10 highest-ranked films on my personal list. It wasn’t as if I started with a list of films I liked and had to pick 10 – this is just…

My Bottom 10 Films of 2017

Two film quotes come to mind: “The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming.” “You thought you had to become Bigfoot to save this town, but you saved it a long time ago by just being you.” One is from a good film. The other is from…

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…

The Films of 2016, in 100 Words or Less: Part VII

  I decided to break the final batch of capsule reviews into two: this contains all the remaining films which I ranked *** or less; the final batch, which you’ll get in the next day or two, will contain all the ***½ and **** films. This list, however, does contain two Best Picture nominees and…

DON’T THINK TWICE Review – ****

Sometimes, you see a film at the exact right moment and it hits the exact right buttons so as to send you out on a cloud, convinced you’ve seen a great film, certain you’ve got a new favorite to add to your repertoire, and eager to evangelize about its virtues to the world. Don’t Think…

THE BFG Review – ***

There’s not much to say about The BFG, as it is quite frankly Spielberg’s slightest film in a long while, and a decided come-down after the excellent Bridge of Spies. That is still a decent film, and at least free of the stodgy tastefulness which marred some of his other recent output, is at best a mild…

DEADPOOL Review – ***

Deadpool may ultimately be more a triumph of context than of merit. I personally appreciate the huge bird it’s flipped the MPAA (and the fact that the film-going public, for once to their credit, seconded that salute), and the dedication on the part of its producers, and especially its star, to get such a gleefully graphic…

LAMB Review – ***½

It’s not always clear whether Lamb really is a tale of a Love Too Pure For This World, or whether its protagonists merely think they’re acting one out, but that’s all part of its troubling fascination. It’s a film where the context and given circumstances are everything; scenes which would otherwise be charming and tender are instead…

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Review – ***½

For some, this was the biggest deal of the year. The film they’d been waiting for for 10, 16, or even 32 years, depending on where they stood regarding the prequels. They turned out en masse to see it–I should know–and pushed it towards an opening weekend so lucrative the film could have closed Sunday night…