DOPE Review – ***½

¹Dope is the kind of film that defies easy categorization and criticism. Its tone, its story, and its special mixture of strengths and weaknesses cannot be easily summarized. It’s the kind of film which many will consider better than it is–and for valid reasons. It’s the kind of film you want to like, and there are times when…

MAD MAX FURY ROAD Final Review – *****

When I first came out of Fury Road, I wasn’t sure what to think, nor did I know how the critics would respond to it. The critics spoke–and were nearly unanimous in their praise. But I knew I had to see it again for myself, to see if I would be swept up in the chorus…

BIRDMAN, or THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE Review – ****

To what degree can a few seconds impact an entire film? In his review of Thelma and Louise, Roger Ebert argues that the climactic shot ends a few seconds too soon, and as such robs the film as a whole of just enough power that it doesn’t get **** from him. And in the case of Birdman, there are a…

THE EQUALIZER Review – ***½

How do you discuss a film like The Equalizer? Before you get too excited by my rating, let me say: it’s not a great film. But as badass action films go, as September films go, as films from semi-forgotten TV shows go–it’s very good. Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua may not have topped Training Day, but they’ve made a…

SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR Review – **

I didn’t get to see the original Sin City in theaters, and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it beginning to end–but I know of its painstaking stylization, its grotesque violence, its gruesomely tragic characters. I liked it. But when the sequel was announced, and delayed and delayed, finally being pushed back from last October to last…

BOYHOOD Review – ***½

Being a dissenter is never easy. One always runs the risk of being labelled a contrarian. And I certainly am not trying to outright refute the praises sung by so many of this film. But I am not going to add to them, at least not unreservedly. Boyhood is a good film. It’s a great experiment,…

BORGMAN Review – **½

I’m not going to say much about Borgman. By my rules, it’s a 2013 film, so I wouldn’t have to worry about factoring it into this year’s rankings or awards–and since I didn’t care for it, I wouldn’t have given it much, anyway. But it’s the kind of film I didn’t care for that I’m not going…