Lionsgate Films Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images and thematic material. Running time: 123 minutes. Two stars out of four. Despite its action and revelations, its substantial political allegory and its strong performances from a tremendous cast, “The Hunger Games: Mockingkay — Part 1” still feels like one long […]
The first half of the film adaptation of the third book in “The Hunger Games” trilogy feels like a stretched-out placeholder for the real finale. Jennifer Lawrence is strong as always, though, as Katniss, who’s now the reluctant symbol of hope for the revolution.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw gives a powerhouse performance as a Rihanna-esque R&B singer on the brink of superstardom, and she has insane chemistry with Nate Parker as the member of her security detail with whom she falls in love. Writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood’s film has its melodramatic moments, but Parker and Mbatha-Raw bring such honesty to their interactions […]
Matt, Alonso and I look back at the staggeringly diverse and consistently sharp career of Mike Nichols, who died this week at age 83. It’s hard to think of another director working today who matches his depth and range, and who draws such inspired work from established actors.
Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures Rated PG-13 for some intense perilous action and brief strong language. Running time: 169 minutes. Two stars out of four. Yes, I recognize the egregious tardiness of this review. “Interstellar” has been out for over a week now. I’ve started and stopped writing about it a good, solid half […]
“The Theory of Everything” is biopic about one of the most brilliant people in the history of the planet, the renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking. He’s a man famous for thinking in boldly innovative ways, yet his story is told in the safest and most conventional method imaginable. Director James Marsh — an Oscar winner for […]
So good to be back with my friends talking movies after a couple of weeks away. One of the biggies during this busy week is the Stephen Hawking biopic “The Theory of Everything,” which features strong performances but overall is frustratingly conventional.
“Birdman” is technically astounding yet emotionally rich, intimate yet enormous, biting yet warm, satirical yet sweet. It’s one of the best times you’ll have at the movies all year and might just be the best movie of the year. A rare four-star review, at RogerEbert.com. Read the review here
Sony Pictures Classics Rated R for strong language including some sexual references. Running time: 106 minutes. Three stars out of four. “Whiplash” puts us in the deliciously uncomfortable position of rooting for the shared success of two characters who are unlikable individually and toxic together. It’s one of the most disturbing entertaining movies I’ve seen […]
“Whiplash” is at once thrilling and horrifying. The story of a talented young jazz drummer and his cruelly sadistic mentor features powerful performances from Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons and editing so intricate and masterful, it feels like jazz itself. (Like, seriously, it should win every possible editing award there is.) I can’t exactly say […]