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: 1917

1917 movie poster | ©2019 Universal Pictures

Rating: R Stars: George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Colin Firth, Andrew Scott, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong, Richard Madden, Adrian Scarborough, Claire Duburcq Writers: Sam Mendes & Krysty Wilson-Cairns Director: Sam Mendes Distributor: Universal Pictures Release Date: December 25, 2019 1917 is a World War I movie that (we are told by a supertitle) begins on April 6. Two young British lance corporals, Schofield (George MacKay) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman), are ordered by General Erinmore (Colin Firth) to take a message across what until recently was enemy territory. It seems that a British colonel has mistaken a German strategic retreat for an opportunity. […]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: STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER

STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER | ©2019 Lucasfilm

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Billy Dee Williams, Carrie Fisher, Joonas Suotamo, Keri Russell, Ian McDiarmid, Kelly Marie Tran, Naomi Ackie Writers: Chris Terrio & J.J. Abrams, story by Derek Connolly & Colin Trevorrow and Chris Terrio & J.J. Abrams, based on characters created by George Lucas Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures Release Date: December 20, 2019 All movies are Rorschach tests to some extent. What we feel about them, what we want from them and what we see in them derives from who we are when we go into the theatre. Even […]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: LITTLE JOE

LITTLE JOE movie poster | ©2019 Magnolia Pictures

Rating: Unrated Stars: Emily Beecham, Ben Whishaw, Kerry Fox, Kit Connor, Lindsay Duncan Writers: Jessica Hausner and Geraldine Bajard Director: Jessica Hausner Distributor: Magnolia Pictures Release Date: December 6, 2019 LITTLE JOE, from its logline, sounds like it’s going to be a science-bound riff on LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS. In the loosest sense, it is, in that it’s about a plant that wants to take over the world by influencing humans. LITTLE JOE winds up more closely resembling INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, with people beginning to act not quite like themselves. Under Jessica Hausner’s direction, LITTLE JOE is never […]Read On »

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Movie Review: KNIVES OUT

KNIVES OUT movie poster | ©2019 Lionsgate

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, LaKeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, Riki Lindhome, Edi Patterson, Frank Oz, K Callan, Noah Segan, M. Emmet Walsh, Marlene Forte Writer: Rian Johnson Director: Rian Johnson Distributor: Lionsgate Release Date: November 27, 2019 KNIVES OUT is at once the epitome of a modern drawing-room murder mystery, and a movie that turns some conventions inside out. There’s a murder, and there’s a mystery, but what we wind up trying to figure out isn’t exactly what we expected. Director/writer Rian Johnson obviously […]Read On »

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Movie Review: QUEEN & SLIM

QUEEN & SLIM movie poster | ©2019 Universal Pictures

Rating: R Stars: Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith, Bokeem Woodbine, Flea, Chloe Sevigny, Indya Moore Writer: Lena Waithe, story by James Frey & Lena Waithe Director: Melina Matsoukas Distributor: Universal Pictures Release Date: November 27, 2019 As QUEEN & SLIM begins, Earnest (Daniel Kaluuya) and Angela (Jodie Turner-Smith) are on their first date, set up on Tinder. They are young, attractive, black and live in the same part of Ohio, but otherwise wouldn’t seem to have much in common. Earnest is a faithful churchgoer who works as a clerk at a big box store, is close to his family, and is […]Read On »

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