Movie Review: CHARLIE’S ANGELS (2019)

CHARLIE'S ANGELS movie poster | ©2019 Sony Pictures

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska, Elizabeth Banks, Patrick Stewart, Djimon Hounsou, Sam Claflin, Jonathan Tucker, Nat Faxon, Chris Pang, Luis Gerardo Mendez Writer: Elizabeth Banks, story by Evan Spiliotopoulos and David Auburn, based on the TV series created by Ivan Goff & Ben Roberts Director: Elizabeth Banks Distributor: Sony/Columbia Release Date: November 15, 2019 CHARLIE’S ANGELS by now has a history way out of proportion to its overall quality. First, it was a TV series that ran for five seasons, from 1976 through 1981, launching the careers of Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith, Cheryl Ladd and Tanya […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE GOOD LIAR

THE GOOD LIAR movie poster | ©2019 Warner Bros.

Rating: R Stars: Helen Mirren, Ian McKellen, Russell Tovey, Jim Carter Writer: Jeffrey Hatcher, based on the novel by Nicholas Searle Director: Bill Condon Distributor: Warner Bros. Release Date: November 15, 2019 THE GOOD LIAR is one of those satisfyingly twisty thrillers made nigh-perfect by the presence of Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen in the leads. These are two actors who could mesmerize us with the proverbial phone book reading. With material this good, they are riveting throughout. We’re in London, 2009. Why is that important? Well, remember it, because the year (in relation to other years) is one clue […]Read On »

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Movie Review: HARRIET

HARRIET movie poster | ©2019 Focus Features

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr., Joe Alwyn, Janelle Monae Writers: Gregory Allen Howard and Kasi Lemmons, story by Gregory Allen Howard Director: Kasi Lemmons Distributor: Focus Features Release Date: November 1, 2019 Harriet Tubman is a real-world hero. Born into slavery as Araminta “Minty” Ross (later taking her mother’s first name of Harriet and keeping her married name Tubman), she first escaped from the Maryland plantation in her twenties where she was being held 1849, then made it on foot, alone, one hundred miles to Philadelphia. Shortly thereafter, Harriet made multiple return journeys as a “conductor” on […]Read On »

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Movie Review: BLACK AND BLUE

BLACK AND BLUE movie poster | ©2019 Sony Pictures/Screen Gems

Rating: R Stars: Naomie Harris, Tyrese Gibson, Frank Grillo, Mike Colter, Reid Scott, Nafessa Williams, Beau Knapp, James Moses Black Writer: Peter A. Dowling Director: Deon Taylor Distributor: Sony/Screen Gems Release Date: October 25, 2019 In broad strokes, we’ve seen BLACK AND BLUE before. Good cop stumbles upon criminal activity by bad cops and winds up running from both fellow police officers and civilian gang members. However, the good cop in BLACK AND BLUE is a black woman, Alicia West (Naomie Harris). Alicia was in the U.S. Army for eight years. She’s returned to her old neighborhood, New Orleans’s mostly […]Read On »

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Movie Review: MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL

MALEFICENT MISTRESS OF EVIL movie poster | ©2019 Walt Disney Pictures

Rating: PG Stars: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Harris Dickinson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sam Riley, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ed Skrein, Robert Lindsay, David Gyasi, Jenn Murray, Juno Temple, Lesley Manville, Imelda Staunton, Warwick Davis Writers: Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster and Linda Woolverton, story by Linda Woolverton Director: Joachim Ronning Distributor: Walt Disney Release Date: October 18, 2019 MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL is a sequel to 2014’s MALEFICENT, the revisionist version of SLEEPING BEAUTY. Angelina Jolie stars in both films as the title character, a dark faerie who, in the first movie, took righteous wrath a little too far. In MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE LIGHTHOUSE

THE LIGHTHOUSE movie poster | ©2019 A24

Rating: R Stars: Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson Writers: Robert Eggers & Max Eggers Director: Robert Eggers Distributor: A24 Release Date: October 18, 2019 Before discussing THE LIGHTHOUSE proper, it may help one’s understanding to read some comments overheard from viewers leaving a Los Angeles press screening of the film. These include, “I couldn’t stop grinning all the way through,” “Better than my first marriage – just kidding,” and a sincere “That was awful.” In other words, there seems to be a wide range of reactions. Director Robert Eggers, who co-wrote THE LIGHTHOUSE with Max Eggers, previously wrote and directed 2016’s […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE GOLDFINCH

THE GOLDFINCH movie poster | ©2019 Warner Bros.

Rating: R Stars: Ansel Elgort, Oakes Fegley, Jeffrey Wright, Nicole Kidman, Luke Wilson, Sarah Paulson, Ashleigh Cummings, Finn Wolfhard, Aneurin Barnard, Willa Fitzgerald, Denis O’Hare, Aimee Laurence, Ryan Foust Writer: Peter Straughan, based on the novel by Donna Tartt Director: John Crowley Distributor: Warner Bros. Release Date: September 13, 2019 THE GOLDFINCH movie shares its title not only on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Donna Tartt novel on which it is based, but also with a real-world 1654 painting by Dutch artist Carel Fabritius. The “Goldfinch” painting is famous for having survived an explosion that killed Fabritius and destroyed most of his […]Read On »

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Movie Review: HAUNT

HAUNT movie poster | ©2019 Momentum Pictures

Rating: R Stars: Katie Stevens, Will Brittain, Lauryn Alisa McClain, Andrew Caldwell, Shazi Raja, Schuyler Helford, Chaney Morrow, Justin Marxen, Samuel Hunt Writers: Scott Beck & Bryan Woods Directors: Scott Beck & Bryan Woods Distributor: Momentum Pictures Release Date: September 13, 2019 HAUNT arrives a little early for Halloween, but has an appropriate Friday the 13th opening. The title does not refer to an actual haunted house, but rather to those independent Halloween mazes called “haunts.” Set in the real college town of Carbondale, Illinois and shot in Kentucky, HAUNT introduces us to student Harper (Katie Stevens), who as we […]Read On »

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Movie Review: READY OR NOT

READY OR NOT movie poster | ©2019 Fox Searchlight

Rating: R Stars: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Michael O’Brien, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell, Melanie Scrofano, Kristian Bruun, Nicky Guadagni, Elyse Levesque, John Ralston Writers: Guy Busick and Ryan Murphy Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett Distributor: Fox Searchlight Release Date: August 21, 2019 READY OR NOT is at heart a riff on THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME. Unlike the abruptly pulled-from-release THE HUNT, though, it’s unlikely anybody is going to worry about READY OR NOT making some kind of political statement. Well, okay, the statement that kids generally accept whatever their families do as normal is arguably political, but most people […]Read On »

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Movie Review: DRIVEN

DRIVEN movie poster | ©2019 Universal Pictures

Rating: R Stars: Jason Sudeikis, Lee Pace, Judy Greer, Corey Stoll, Michael Cudlitz, Erin Moriarty, Isabel Arraiza Writer: Colin Bateman Director: Nick Hamm Distributor: Universal Release Date (theatrical and on demand): August 16, 2019 DRIVEN is a mixture of character study, thriller and black comedy. Screenwriter Colin Bateman and director Nick Hamm take facts that are part of the public record and use them to weave a tall but compelling tale about John DeLorean, mostly from the point of view of Jim Hoffman. Car maker DeLorean, who passed away in 2005, would likely be pleased that he’s still primarily remembered […]Read On »

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