Recent

The Grinch REVIEW

The Grinch (2018)

Replacing Karloff-ian malice and spite / Cumberbatch-ian grousing makes this one Grinch-lite. / It’s a kinder and gentler tale than we’ve seen / Of course he’s not nice, but this Grinch is less mean.

Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer REVIEW

Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer (2018)

Gosnell is subtitled The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer (echoing the similar subtitle of the book by producers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney) — but notorious abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell isn’t the only one on trial here.

First Man REVIEW

First Man (2018)

First Man is Damien Chazelle’s third film in a row about special individuals whose quest to achieve great things is linked to emotional isolation from others.

Operation Finale REVIEW

Operation Finale (2018)

It was the experience of reporting in Jerusalem on the 1961 Adolf Eichmann trial for The New Yorker that led the philosopher Hannah Arendt to coin her famous phrase “the banality of evil.”

The Darkest Minds [video] POST

The Darkest Minds [video] (2018)

The Hunger Games’ Rue is now Ruby: Amandla Stenberg takes the spotlight in another YA dystopia that runs its race, but doesn’t diverge enough from its peers to leave anyone hungry for whatever comes next.

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies [video] POST

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies [video] (2018)

The superhero movie to end all superhero movies? Or every superhero movie at once?

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation [video] POST

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation [video] (2018)

Clearly I am not a vampire. As you can see here, I’ve changed quite a bit in the last six years … not necessarily in my opinion of this franchise.

Christopher Robin REVIEW

Christopher Robin (2018)

When such movies are done well, you get, say, The Incredibles or John Favreau’s Chef. When they aren’t, you get Jim Carrey in Mr. Popper’s Penguins or Steven Spielberg’s Hook — possibly the closest analogy for Christopher Robin, though Hook, for all its flaws, was clearly a personal film for Spielberg, whereas Christopher Robin feels cobbled together from bits and pieces of other movies without a cogent vision of its own.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout REVIEW

Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)

Mission: Impossible – Fallout completes possibly the most improbable cinematic hat trick in Hollywood history: An unpromising series that began with three patchy, uneven entries has now produced three terrifically entertaining ones.

The <em>Dark Knight</em> trilogy: The inconclusive battle for Gotham&#8217;s soul ARTICLE

The Dark Knight trilogy: The inconclusive battle for Gotham’s soul

I’m struck by the extent to which Christopher Nolan’s celebrated Dark Knight trilogy (of which the monumental second chapter, The Dark Knight, was released 10 years ago this week), watched back-to-back, can be fruitfully considered as an extended comic-book riff on the story of Abraham and God’s judgment on Sodom in the Book of Genesis.

Incredibles 2 [video] POST

Incredibles 2 [video] (2018)

I dared to hope this one would be more than merely good. I was afraid it would be less than good.

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation REVIEW

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018)

I’m not thrilled about the lack of worthy romantic leading men in recent Hollywood animation, but I prefer the theme in Frozen, about needing to get to know someone before deciding to get married, to this series’ magical, inexorable “Zing” moment.

Ant-Man and the Wasp [video] POST

Ant-Man and the Wasp [video] (2018)

No infinity. No war. (Almost.) Why can’t more Marvel movies be like this?

Ant-Man and the Wasp REVIEW

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

In some ways Ant-Man and the Wasp is the kind of movie I wanted Ant-Man to be: namely, a refreshing antidote to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom REVIEW

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

Apparently velociraptor is the cowbell of dino design and the filmmakers are Christopher Walken.

Incredibles 2 REVIEW

Incredibles 2 (2018)

As The Incredibles in its day towered over the Hollywood animation landscape of the last decade, so in some measure does Incredibles 2 in this decade — but what a different and diminished landscape it is today.

&#8220;God saved my life&#8221;: <em>The Rider</em> star Brady Jandreau ARTICLE

“God saved my life”: The Rider star Brady Jandreau

Brady Jandreau is a young Lakota Sioux rodeo star who met filmmaker Chloé Zhao while she was filming at a South Dakota ranch.… Zhao wanted her next film to be about Jandreau’s world and way of life. While she was searching for a way into the story, Jandreau’s career came to an abrupt end when a bronco threw him and then stomped on his head, shattering his skull.

Won&#8217;t You Be My Neighbor? REVIEW

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (2018)

For a few formative years of our lives, Mr. Rogers showed us the way. Why don’t we walk that way? Because of all the voices dominating the discussion ever since.

First Reformed REVIEW

First Reformed (2018)

Schrader makes greater use than ever before of what he calls the “transcendental toolkit” — but it’s still very much a film from the writer of Taxi Driver. If Toller partly evokes Bresson’s wan, saintly curé, in time we see that he’s also part Travis Bickle, which can be as difficult to watch as it sounds.

Solo: A Star Wars Story REVIEW

Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

Watching Disney’s Rogue One and Solo, the two stand-alone “Star Wars Story” movies that come without episode numbers and opening crawls, is a little like watching the legendary Dutch boy trying to plug the leaks in the dike with his fingers … as new leaks burst all around him.

Tully [video] POST

Tully [video] (2018)

A messy, thought-provoking film about motherhood from the makers of Juno and Young Adult? Go figure.

Pope Francis: A Man of His Word [video] POST

Pope Francis: A Man of His Word [video] (2018)

The year’s second-best inspirational documentary about an iconic leader with an ability to connect with people as individuals is still pretty good.

Pope Francis: A Man of His Word REVIEW

Pope Francis: A Man of His Word (2018)

Wim Wenders, whose eclectic career has embraced arthouse dramas, documentaries, music videos and concert films, approaches the subject of his latest nonfiction film from an unusual perspective: the significance of an unprecedented papal name.

A Quiet Place [video] POST

A Quiet Place [video] (2018)

It’s funny to think of people scratching their heads when this “quiet” film is justly nominated for sound editing and sound mixing Oscars.

Rampage [video] POST

Rampage [video] (2018)

Dwayne Johnson and giant animals. How much more do you need? Well, since you asked … maybe a little?

Avengers: Infinity War REVIEW

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Six years ago I described The Avengers as “awesomeness squared”; Infinity War strives with all its might for awesomeness cubed and even tesseracted. It wants to leave you texting your friends “MIND. BLOWN.” It might succeed — but there’s a catch.

The Devil and Father Amorth REVIEW

The Devil and Father Amorth (2018)

I am only a permanent deacon and a film critic, not a priest and certainly not an exorcist, but if Cristina’s voice hasn’t been digitally tweaked, for my money the devil needs a new sound design team.

Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc REVIEW

Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc (2018)

Jeannette is a dialogue, and a mutual cross-examination, not only among the main characters of the drama, and above all between man and God, but also between the poet Péguy and the filmmaker Dumont, and even between Péguy the Socialist unbeliever of 1897 and Péguy the believing Catholic of 1910.

A Quiet Place REVIEW

A Quiet Place (2018)

While A Quiet Place is a terrific film just the way it is, I can’t help wishing there were more families like this in other kinds of movies.

Ready Player One REVIEW

Ready Player One (2018)

The sell for Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One is a little like the sell for Jurassic Park, except instead of dinosaur shock and awe, it’s pop-culture nostalgia shock and awe.