Movie Review: THE MAURITANIAN

THE MAURITANIAN movie poster |©2020 STX Films

Rating: R Stars: Tahar Rahim, Jodie Foster, Benedict Cumberbatch, Shailene Woodley Writers: M.B. Traven and Rory Haines & Sohrab Noshrvani, screen story by M.B. Traven, based on the book GUANTANAMO DIARY by Mohamedou Ould Slahi, edited by Larry Siems Director: Kevin Macdonald Distributor: STX Films Release Date: February 12, 2021 THE MAURITANIAN is based on Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s nonfiction book GUANTANAMO DIARY (edited by Larry Siems, as is noted in the credits), which details his decade-plus of detention in that facility. The film, directed by Kevin Macdonald from a screenplay by M.B. Traven and Rory Haines & Sohrab Noshrvani, screen […]Read On »

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Movie Review: JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH movie poster | ©2020 Warner Bros.

Rating: R Stars: LaKeith Stanfield, Daniel Kaluuya, Jesse Plemons, Dominique Fishback, Ashton Sanders, Algee Smith, Darnnell Britt-Gibson, Lil Rel Howery, Dominique Thorne, Martin Sheen, Robert Longstreet Writers: Will Berson & Shaka King, story by Will Berson & Shaka King and Kenny Lucas & Keith Lucas Director: Shaka King Distributor: Warner Bros. Release Date: February 12, 2021 JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH concerns two real-life figures, 1960s Black activist Fred Hampton, and FBI informant William O’Neal. We’re in 1968 Chicago, with periodic interview sequences set later, in 1989. As depicted here (and as discernable in the historical record), Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya) […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE RECKONING

THE RECKONING movie poster | ©2021 RLJE Films

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Charlotte Kirk, Joe Anderson, Steven Waddington, Sean Pertwee, Ian Whyte, Rick Warden, Bill Fellows, Mark Ryan, Sarah Lambie, Leon Ockenden, Callum Goulden, Suzanne Magowan, Indianna Ryan Writers: Neil Marshall & Charlotte Kirk & Edward Evers-Swindell, based on RED HEX, story by Antony Jones & Edward Evers-Swindell Director: Neil Marshall Distributor: RLJE Films Release Date: February 5, 2021 THE RECKONING is an artful but relatively serious-minded film that combines the twin horrors of witch-hunting and plague. A little reminiscent of 2010’s BLACK DEATH, this offering from director Neill Marshall and his co-writers, Charlotte Kirk & Edward Evers-Swindell, […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE CLEANSING HOUR

THE CLEANSING HOUR movie poster |©2021 RLJE Entertainment

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Ryan Guzman, Kyle Gallner, Alix Angelis, Chris Lew Kum Hoi, Daniel Hoffman-Gill, Emma Holzer, Joanna David Writers: Damien LeVeck & Aaron Horwitz, story by Aaron Horwitz Director: Damien LeVeck Distributor: RLJE Entertainment Release Date: January 19, 2021  THE CLEANSING HOUR is a well-conceived, well-executed horror movie about the perils of making misleading reality programming. We tend to think of those dangers in terms of the effect on the audience. THE CLEANSING HOUR doesn’t ignore this, but its main focus is on “Father” Max Tyler (Ryan Guzman) and his lifelong best friend Drew (Kyle Gallner). The two […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE LITTLE THINGS

THE LITTLE THINGS movie poster | ©2021 Warner Bros.

Rating: R Stars: Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, Jared Leto, Chris Bauer, Michael Hyatt, Terry Kinney, Natalie Morales, Isabel Arraiza, Joris Jarsky, Glenn Morshower, Sofia Vassilieva Writer: John Lee Hancock Director: John Lee Hancock Distributor: Warner Bros. Release Date: January 29, 2021 THE LITTLE THINGS is a police detective story that aims to carry more weight than it achieves. It’s not that it doesn’t have anything to say, but rather that it takes the long way round to get there. Set primarily in early ‘90s Los Angeles (with bits in Kern County), THE LITTLE THINGS focuses on the search for a […]Read On »

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Movie Review: SHADOW IN THE CLOUD

SHADOW IN THE CLOUD movie poster | ©2020 Vertical Entertainment/Redbox Entertainment

Rating: R Stars: Chloe Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson, Beulah Koale, Taylor John Smith, Callan Mulvey, Benedict Wall, Joe Witkowski, Byron Coll Writers: Max Landis and Roseanne Liang Director: Roseanne Liang Distributor: Vertical Entertainment/Redbox Entertainment Release Date: January 1, 2021 SHADOW IN THE CLOUD combines a (low-budget) WWII fighter plane action drama with the classic TWILIGHT ZONE episode “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.” The mixture is so natural that it prompts the question: why has it taken so long for anybody to do this particular blend of genres? The film starts with a WWII-era cartoon about “gremlins,” the ostensibly fictional critters that […]Read On »

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Movie Review: PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

Rating: R Stars: Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Alison Brie, Clancy Brown, Jennifer Coolidge, Laverne Cox, Chris Lowell, Molly Shannon, Connie Britton, Adam Brody, Max Greenfield, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Steve Monroe, Samuel Richardson, Alfred Molina Writer: Emerald Fennell Director: Emerald Fennell Distributor: Focus Features Release Date: December 25, 2020 PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN starts out seeming, well, promising. Cassie (Carey Mulligan) is just turning thirty, still lives with her parents (Clancy Brown and Jennifer Coolidge), and works a low-paying job at a coffee shop. She likes her co-workers, including supervisor Gail (Laverne Cox), and won’t accept a promotion when one is offered. Turns […]Read On »

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Movie Review: BLUMHOUSE’S THE CRAFT: LEGACY

THE CRAFT LEGACY movie poster | ©2020 Sony/Columbia

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Caelee Spaeny, Gideon Adlon, Lovie Simone, Zoey Luna, Nicholas Galitzine, Michelle Monaghan, David Duchovny, Julian Grey, Charles Vandervaart, Donald MacLean Jr. Writer: Zoe Lister-Jones, based on characters created by Peter Filardi Director: Zoe Lister-Jones Distributor: Sony/Columbia Release Date: October 28, 2020 (theatrical, VOD); December 22, 2020 (DVD, Blu-ray, digital) BLUMHOUSE’S THE CRAFT: LEGACY is a sequel to 1996’s THE CRAFT. Both films deal with teenaged witches. The difference is that, in the original, young women getting together and finding their power resulted in divisiveness and death. THE CRAFT: LEGACY, however, is nothing if not woke. The result […]Read On »

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Movie Review: FORGET ME NOT

FORGET ME NOT movie poster | ©2020 Trinity Creative Partnership

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Tobias Menzies, Genevieve O’Reilly, Gemma Jones Writer: Mark Underwood, story by Rebecca Long, Steve Spence, Mark Underwood Directors: Alexander Holt & Lance Roehrig Distributor: Trinity Creative Partnership Release Date: May 9, 2016 (U.S. theatrical); December 17, 2020 (home video) FORGET ME NOT, per IMDB, was actually made in 2010. This accounts for the youthful appearances of leads Tobias Menzies (THE CROWN, OUTLANDER, GAME OF THRONES) and Genevieve O’Reilly (Mon Mothma in the current run of STAR WARS projects). Will Fletcher (Menzies) is a London musician, charming when playing folk-rock on his guitar in a London club, […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE CURSE OF HOBBES HOUSE

THE CURSE OF HOBBES HOUSE | ©2020 4Digital Media

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Mhairi Calvey, Waleed Elgadi, Makenna Guyler, Kevin Leslie, Emma Spurgin Hussey, Jo Price Writer: Wolf-Peter Arand, story by Juliane Block & Wolf-Peter Arand Director: Juliane Block Distributor: 4Digital Media Release Date: December 15, 2020 THE CURSE OF HOBBES HOUSE begins with an elaborate narrated prologue, voiced over still artwork illustrations. It’s a bit confusing, at first, because we hear about a “great war” with big explosions, but this turns out not to be the Great War, i.e., World War I. Instead, it’s a pre-history event in what is now England. An evil king called Dormant kills […]Read On »

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