Movie Review: THE LODGE

THE LODGE movie poster | ©2020 Neon

Rating: R Stars: Riley Keogh, Jaeden Martell, Lia McHugh, Richard Armitage, Alicia Silverstone Writers: Sergio Casci and Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz Directors: Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz Distributor: Neon Release Date: January 31, 2020 The directing/writing team of Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz (they share script credit here with Sergio Casci) undeniably know their way around horror imagery and atmosphere. Eerie empty hallways, dolls that look too much like people, paintings that seem to sit in silent judgment – THE LODGE has it all. THE LODGE also has a good premise, but by the time what it is becomes […]Read On »

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Movie Review: CLEMENCY

CLEMENCY movie poster | ©2019 Neon

Rating: R Stars: Alfre Woodard, Aldis Hodge, Wendell Pierce, Richard Schiff, Michael O’Neill, Vernee Watson, Danielle Brooks Writer: Chinonye Chukwu Director: Chinonye Chukwu Distributor: Neon Release Date: December 27, 2019 CLEMENCY, written and directed by Chinonye Chukwu, is a movie we haven’t exactly ever seen before. There are certainly innumerable character studies, and plenty of movies about death row. But there aren’t many (if any) others from the point of view of the prison warden, and we haven’t met onscreen any wardens like Bernadine Williams (Alfre Woodard). Bernadine is thorough and dedicated to carrying out her job by the book. […]Read On »

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Movie Review: LITTLE WOMEN

LITTLE WOMEN movie poster | ©2019 Sony Pictures

Rating: PG Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Timothee Chalamet, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Laura Dern, Bob Odenkirk, Meryl Streep, Tracy Letts, Chris Cooper, Louis Garrel, Jayne Houdyshell Writer: Greta Gerwig, based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott Director: Greta Gerwig Distributor: Sony/Columbia Release Date: December 25, 2019 This reviewer has long known of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved novel LITTLE WOMEN, and its multiple film, TV and stage adaptations without ever reading/seeing any of them. Therefore, this review of the new iteration, directed by Greta Gerwig from her screenplay, has been written with no basis for comparison. Strictly on its […]Read On »

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Movie Review: JUST MERCY

JUST MERCY movie poster | ©2019 Warner Bros.

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Brie Larson, Tim Blake Nelson, Rob Morgan, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Rafe Spall Writers: Destin Daniel Cretton & Andrew Lanham, based on the book by Bryan Stevenson Director: Destin Daniel Cretton Distributor: Warner Bros. Release Date: December 25, 2019  JUST MERCY opens in 1987 Monroeville, Alabama (where, all of the white locals continually point out, Harper Lee wrote TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD). Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx), known to all his friends as Johnny D, is a cheerful family man with his own pulping business. One night, he is pulled over and arrested for the […]Read On »

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Movie Review: RICHARD JEWELL

RICHARD JEWELL movie poster | ©2019 Warner Bros.

Rating: R Stars: Paul Walter Hauser, Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates, Olivia Wilde, Jon Hamm, Nina Arianda Writer: Billy Ray, based on the article “American Nightmare: The Ballad of Richard Jewell” by Marie Brenner and the book SUSPECT by Kent Alexander and Kevin Salwen Director: Clint Eastwood Distributor: Warner Bros. Release Date: December 13, 2019 On July 27, 1996, Richard Jewell, a security guard working a concert at Atlanta, Georgia’s Centennial Park during the Olympic Games, noticed an unattended backpack. Colleagues thought Jewell was overreacting, but the bomb squad was called. The backpack indeed contained several pipe bombs. Jewell participated in […]Read On »

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Movie Review: DANIEL ISN’T REAL

DANIEL ISN'T REAL movie poster | ©2019 Samuel Goldwyn Films

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Miles Robbins, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Sasha Lane, Mary Stuart Masterson, Hannah Marks, Chukwudi Iwuji, Peter McRobbie Writers: Adam Egypt Mortimer and Brian DeLeeuw, based on the novel IN THIS WAY I WAS SAVED by Brian DeLeeuw Director: Adam Egypt Mortimer Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films Release Date: December 6, 2019 DANIEL ISN’T REAL is a horror movie that builds steadily under Adam Egypt Mortimer’s direction. Mortimer and his co-screenwriter Brian DeLeeuw, adapting DeLeeuw’s novel IN THIS WAY I WAS SAVED, thankfully don’t play the is-this-real-or-a-delusion game for too long. Instead, they opt for a definitive answer that allows […]Read On »

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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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