Review: Sandler, Aniston reteam in ‘Murder Mystery 2’March 31, 2023 GMT
You would have a hard time defending the limp plotting, the bland action-adventure set pieces or the Agatha Christie-light whodunit twists of the first “Murder Mystery.” And, yet, it was kind of good.
Review: Charming ‘Rye Lane’ is a rom-com to celebrateMarch 29, 2023 GMT
Yas and Dom meet-cute in the best possible way in the new rom-com “Rye Lane.”
They're paired up at a karaoke bar by chance and simply slay, leaving the crowd demanding more and chanting their names.
Review: A vibrant portrait of NYC, family in Sundance winnerMarch 29, 2023 GMT
There is a dread that hovers over “ A Thousand and One,” writer-director A.V. Rockwell’s remarkably vivid and tender debut feature about a mother and son in New York in the 1990s.
Review: ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ puts the funny in fantasyMarch 27, 2023 GMT
“You’re not a lot of fun, are you,” notes barbarian Holga (Michelle Rodriguez) to brave fighter Xenk (Regé-Jean Page) in the new “Dungeons & Dragons” film, making two jokes at once.
The first is that Xenk, a paladin (or holy knight) in “D&D” lingo, is everything BUT fun — gorgeous, noble, heroic, smart, and did we mention gorgeous?
Review: John Wick gets even more stylish in fourth episodeMarch 24, 2023 GMT
A trip to Paris should be on everyone’s bucket list, even John Wick. The Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre — what better way to refresh your soul, even as you kick everyone else’s bucket?
Review: Rehabilitating Richard III in ‘The Lost King’March 23, 2023 GMT
Richard III didn't need a horse for his kingdom. He just needed Philippa Langley.
Langley, a single mother and amateur historian living in Edinburgh, Scotland, became increasingly obsessed with the late English monarch, long portrayed as one of the great villains of history.
Review: A compassionate immigrant drama in ‘Tori and Lokita’March 22, 2023 GMT
It's one of the great ironies of cinema that many — not all, but many — of the most seemingly arthouse filmmakers make some of the most approachable films.
Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne are imposing names in cinema.
Review: Despair in Jersey in Zach Braff’s ‘A Good Person’March 22, 2023 GMT
All filmmakers should be so lucky to have Florence Pugh in their movies. She so consistently delivers the best version of whatever she’s handed — whether good, mediocre or downright preposterous — that you may even start to wonder if the quality of the film around her really matters in the end.
Review: New ‘Shazam!’ has more everything, but less charmMarch 15, 2023 GMT
Sequels, by nature, are more. Whatever the original had, just add more, the rule seems to be. Even more words in the title — how often is a sequel’s title shorter than the original?
Review: Tomlin, Fonda anchor darkly comedic ‘Moving On’March 15, 2023 GMT
The on-screen pairing of Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin is not exactly a novelty at the moment. Seven seasons of “Grace and Frankie” and the movie “80 for Brady” has, perhaps, spoiled us a little lately.
Review: ‘Scream VI’ goes to the big city and strikes outMarch 8, 2023 GMT
In “Scream VI,” the psychotic, knife-wielding serial killer known as Ghostface is set loose on the streets of New York City. Yawn.
The former terror of the fictional California town of Woodsboro has made the cross-country trip to the City That Never Sleeps, bringing his creepy mask, black cloak and impressive supply of daggers.
Review: Idris Elba returns as Luther in grisly Netflix filmMarch 7, 2023 GMT
For anyone holding on to some latent hope that Idris Elba will be the next James Bond, I have some bad news: “ Luther: The Fallen Sun ” puts (another) nail in that very firmly sealed coffin.
Review: ‘Operation Fortune’ is a by-the-numbers spy caperMarch 2, 2023 GMT
So what the heck is in the shiny alligator briefcase?
That essential question lingers over much — too much — of the running time of “Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre,” Guy Ritchie’s stylish but ultimately frustratingly half-baked spy caper.
Review: Michael B. Jordan delivers a brawler in ‘Creed III’February 27, 2023 GMT
It must be a daunting prospect to pick up a franchise on the third movie. Add in the pressure of following filmmakers like Ryan Coogler and Steven Caple Jr. in your directorial debut that you’re also starring in and it’s enough to make you wonder what on earth Michael B.
Review: ‘Cocaine Bear,’ 100% pure, uncut junk with no highFebruary 24, 2023 GMT
Yes, there's a giant bear and, yes, it does a ton of coke. And, yes, just as you probably suspected, the movie blows.
Review: Irish Oscar nominee ‘The Quiet Girl’ speaks clearlyFebruary 23, 2023 GMT
Though gently restrained and delicately crafted, “The Quiet Girl” has managed to make plenty of noise. Colm Bairead's modestly scaled drama, his narrative directorial debut, is the highest-grossing Irish-language film of all time.
Review: ‘Emily’ gives new life to the ‘strange’ Brontë sisFebruary 16, 2023 GMT
That name on the book cover is our first warning bell.
Only two minutes into “Emily,” a bold and audacious retelling of Emily Brontë’s life starring an uncommonly compelling Emma Mackey, we spy freshly bound volumes of “Wuthering Heights,” her only novel and life’s achievement.
Review: ‘Marlowe,’ with Neeson, resurrects a vintage gumshoeFebruary 15, 2023 GMT
The richly hard-boiled terrain of detective Philip Marlowe has always been, to quote Raymond Chandler, “a nice neighborhood to have bad habits in.”
Chandler's Los Angeles gumshoe has stretched across some of the most fertile decades of American cinema, from Howard Hawks' seductively cryptic “The Big Sleep” (1946) to Robert Altman's “The Long Goodbye” (1973).
Review: A Marvel villain comes into focus in ‘Ant-Man 3’February 14, 2023 GMT
Peyton Reed’s “Ant-Man” films have generally served as a kind of palate cleanser to the world-ending stakes of the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang is just an ordinary dude, or so they keep telling us, who still can’t really believe that he’s part of the Avengers at all.
Review: Reese Witherspoon, Ashton Kutcher shine in a rom-comFebruary 10, 2023 GMT
If you decide to settle in and watch “Your Place or Mine” to see the sparks fly between Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher, you'll be initially disappointed.
Review: Reminding us of a classic rom-com we ‘Used to Know’February 9, 2023 GMT
At least Julia Roberts was invited to the wedding.
I heard myself saying that out loud, rather indignantly, about halfway into “Somebody I Used to Know,” the new wedding-crashing rom-com directed by Dave Franco and starring real-life partner (and co-writer) Alison Brie, in which parallels to “My Best Friend’s Wedding" come early and often.
Review: Magic Mike bids farewell with a ‘Last Dance’February 9, 2023 GMT
The words Magic Mike may conjure up images of sweaty, sculpted, undulating men, dancing unthreateningly for hoards of screaming women, but there has always been a backdrop of brutal economic reality looming over the fantasy world.
Review: Con artists accumulate in the slinky ‘Sharper’February 8, 2023 GMT
Almost invariably, we root for the con artist.
Seldom does the ingenuity and cleverness of a good hustler, card sharp or con man not win us over. They are, of course, walking metaphors for the movies.
Review: ’80 for Brady’ is a sports film fumble for the agesFebruary 2, 2023 GMT
Tom Brady has officially — and finally, he insists — retired from the National Football League. Based on his new movie “80 For Brady,” it's also time that he immediately retire from filmmaking.
Review: ‘Knock at the Cabin’ twists the home invasion horrorFebruary 1, 2023 GMT
It being mid-winter (typically a doldrums in movie theaters), it's a cozy relief to be able to throw open the door and find M. Night Shyamalan standing there with his near-annual helping of high-concept thriller.
Review: Pamela Anderson captivatingly tells her own storyJanuary 30, 2023 GMT
Pamela Anderson was always a bit of an open book in interviews. No one ever told her not to be, or that because she talked about some things that she didn’t have to talk about everything. She didn’t know that she could draw her own line in the sand if a question made her feel uncomfortable.
Review: Cannes breakout ‘Close’ tells of innocence and griefJanuary 26, 2023 GMT
“ Close ” is a crushing story of grief told with grace by Belgian director Lukas Dhont.
Review: Even J.Lo can’t save this ‘Shotgun Wedding’January 26, 2023 GMT
Spoiler alert: J.Lo looks fantastic in a wedding dress.
You surely knew that, given not only the plethora of wedding-themed movies Jennifer Lopez has made over the years, from “The Wedding Planner” to “Monster-in-Law” to the recent “Marry Me,” but also her own offscreen life, of course.
Review: Fleeting joys in the sublime ‘One Fine Morning’January 25, 2023 GMT
Like most things, the title of Mia Hansen-Løve's “One Fine Morning” sounds better in French.
“Un Beau Matin" doesn't have that same rom-commy ring.
Review: Star-crossed lovers tackle history in ‘You People’January 24, 2023 GMT
Ezra Cohen and Amira Mohammed don't exactly meet cute. He jumps into the backseat of her red Mini Cooper, mistaking it for his Uber and she starts punching him, thinking he's an intruder. “Help I’m being attacked!” she screams.
Review: Anna Kendrick in the chilling ‘Alice, Darling’January 18, 2023 GMT
Emotional abuse rarely gets the subtle, sensitive treatment on screen as it does in Mary Nighy's thoughtful if uneven drama “Alice, Darling,” starring Anna Kendrick.
Review: Jesse Eisenberg directs a moving mother-son taleJanuary 18, 2023 GMT
In Jesse Eisenberg’s smart directorial debut, “ When You Finish Saving the World,” Julianne Moore plays a Good Person, at least on paper. Evelyn runs a women’s shelter for the victims of domestic abuse and other kinds of horrors.
Review: Hacking, not shoe-leather, solves thriller ‘Missing’January 18, 2023 GMT
June Allen’s mother has vanished during a romantic vacation with her boyfriend to Colombia when “Missing” starts gaining steam. The FBI are supposedly on it, with one special agent telling June: “The best thing you can do is wait by the phone.” Wait by the phone?
Review: Spellbinding ‘Saint Omer’ straddles truth, fictionJanuary 14, 2023 GMT
First, the real-life facts of the case, more shocking than you’ll find in most fiction: In November 2013, a mother took a train from Paris to the northern French coast, along with her 15-month old daughter.
Review: Glossy ‘House Party’ remake falls short on the funJanuary 13, 2023 GMT
It’s never a good idea to promise too much, either in an invitation to a house party held in a stranger’s mansion, or in a reboot of a three-decade old hit.
But the new “ House Party ” does just that, starting out with a romantic voiceover about Los Angeles, where we’re told “a party can change your life” as we’re shown a loving montage of storefronts and people in South LA.
Review: Gerard Butler keeps ‘Plane’ groundedJanuary 11, 2023 GMT
After “Airplane!” “Airport,” “Up in the Air,” “Flight," “Snakes on a Plane," “Non-Stop” and “The Terminal," we have finally arrived, like weary passengers reaching an unexotic destination, at “Plane.”
Review: A grumpy Tom Hanks stars in ‘A Man Called Otto’January 4, 2023 GMT
Sentimental tales about grumpy old men and American decline have, until recently, typically been the domain of Clint Eastwood.
But in “A Man Called Otto,” Marc Forster's adaptation of Fredrik Backman's bestseller and a remake of the 2016 Swedish film “A Man Called Ove,” it's Tom Hanks prowling the neighborhood and irritably grumbling about how things used to be.
Review: A baby for sale in Korean drama ‘Broker’December 28, 2022 GMT
The Korean drama “ Broker ” begins like a noir. A young woman walks slowly in the pouring rain in the middle of the night in Busan, her flimsy hood doing little to keep her dry.
Review: Two publishing power brokers in ‘Turn Every Page’December 26, 2022 GMT
Civil wars over semicolons and heated debate over the word “looms” would not, on the face of it, seem like the stuff of a gripping big-screen movie.
Review: Clumsy Whitney Houston biopic mars its star’s skillDecember 22, 2022 GMT
Whitney Houston’s voice was one of a kind and the creative team behind a new big-budget biopic of the singer had no choice but to agree.
Review: Whodunit ‘The Pale Blue Eye’ chills and satisfiesDecember 22, 2022 GMT
Grab a jacket or a blanket before you watch Netflix's engrossing “The Pale Blue Eye.” I don’t care if you’re already in a warm place. You could be on the surface of the sun and still feel chilly watching it.
Review: Remake ‘Ikiru’? ‘Living,’ with Bill Nighy, triesDecember 22, 2022 GMT
It's probably not fair, this season especially, to recoil at the remaking of a classic. “A Christmas Carol," for one, has been told and retold countless times, and who among us won't jump at the chance to watch the Muppets or Bill Murray do their version of Dickens.
Review: In ‘Corsage,’ a real-life empress gets a new storyDecember 21, 2022 GMT
A winsome young woman marries into the top echelon of royalty, becomes lonely in a passionless marriage, and suffers eating disorders and depression even as she fascinates the outside world. Decades after her untimely death, they’re still making movies and TV shows about her.
Review: The silent film era roars again in ‘Babylon’December 20, 2022 GMT
“Perhaps the ballyhoo meant nothing,” Kevin Brownlow wrote in his defining history of the silent film era, “The Parade’s Gone By…”
Review: Sarah Polley’s ‘Women Talking’ is a revelationDecember 20, 2022 GMT
What happens when your home no longer feels like a home? When the rules of your life no longer make sense? When your body is not your own? When your children are not safe and neither are you? Do you look for justice?
Review: ‘Puss in Boots: The Last Wish’ is purrfectly funDecember 20, 2022 GMT
Quick, without looking, guess how long it’s been since there’s been a Shrek movie or even a Shrek-adjacent one. Over a decade seems too long for such a popular franchise, right? And yet here we are, 11 years later, welcoming back Antonio Banderas’s swashbuckling feline in “ Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” which opens in theaters Wednesday.
Review: ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ is a big screen blastDecember 13, 2022 GMT
It is impossible to talk about “Avatar: The Way of Water” without sounding hyperbolic. But James Cameron’s sequel is a truly dazzling cinematic experience that will have you floating on a blockbuster high.
Review: Del Toro takes his ‘Pinocchio’ to very dark placesDecember 9, 2022 GMT
Let’s face it, “Pinocchio” has always been an odd choice for a children’s morality tale.
Of course, lying is wrong. But that’s not the only message the story sends. Even the classic 1940 Disney version — lighter and more kid-friendly than the 1883 Collodi tale — still sends the message that if you’re not “good,” you don’t deserve to be human.
Review: ‘The Whale’ is a hard but astounding film to watchDecember 8, 2022 GMT
The center of gravity of “The Whale” is obviously the 600-pound man at its center. Look closely, though, and he's the one with a soul as light as a feather.
Review: Lonely souls at the cinema in ‘Empire of Light’December 7, 2022 GMT
Olivia Colman plays the manager of a movie theater in Sam Mendes’ new film “ Empire of Light.” It’s a cinema palace in a small town on England’s south coast that is showing its age.
Review: ‘Spoiler Alert’ — You’re gonna need those KleenexDecember 6, 2022 GMT
In one of the more effective moments of “Spoiler Alert,” the camera does something unexpected and wise: it leaves the room. At the very moment a dining-table conversation becomes unbearably painful, the viewer is moved outside, where we can only watch the characters in shadows through a window, hearing nothing.
Review: Will Smith-led ‘Emancipation’ is an action thrillerDecember 1, 2022 GMT
It comes as some relief that Antoine Fuqua's “Emancipation,” starring Will Smith as a runaway slave in Civil War-era Louisiana, is not, at least traditionally speaking, an Oscar movie.
Review: Emma Corrin gives us a vibrant new ‘Lady Chatterley’November 30, 2022 GMT
The lovely and magnetic young actor Emma Corrin certainly has a thing for characters who marry unwisely.
We cringed when Corrin’s winsome, affection-starved Diana married Charles in “The Crown,” knowing the heartbreak that lay ahead.
Review: In ‘The Inspection,’ boot camp from a fresh gazeNovember 30, 2022 GMT
Elegance Bratton is certainly not the first person to turn to the military to fill a hole in his life.
Review: A haunting ghost story in ‘The Eternal Daughter’November 30, 2022 GMT
A gentle and mournful spell is cast by Joanna Hogg’s “The Eternal Daughter,” a ghost story where memory is manifested – visited, intruded upon and, finally, made to glow.
Review: Slice into the holiday spirit with ‘Violent Night’November 30, 2022 GMT
The holiday season is upon us and how better to celebrate than watching Santa slip several pool balls into a Christmas stocking, swing them in the air menacingly and see him cave in someone's face?
Review: A portrait of an artist in Venice-winning docNovember 26, 2022 GMT
Nan Goldin, the subject of Laura Poitras’ Venice Film Festival-winning documentary “ All the Beauty and the Bloodshed,” is a name you probably either know well or not at all.
Review: ‘Strange World’ explores big themes in bold colorsNovember 23, 2022 GMT
Is Searcher Clade the most millennial dad in all of animated moviedom? He has that telltale hipster beard. A sensitive voice sorta like Jake Gyllenhaal. And he feeds his kid avocado toast, with an egg on top.
Review: Wrenching and riveting, ‘The Son’ leaves you shakenNovember 22, 2022 GMT
If you don't have children, you will likely walk out of “The Son” shaken and deeply moved. If you do have kids, you may have to be eventually pulled to your feet after collapsing into a fetal ball for several hours.
Review: Back to DeLillo’s doomed future in ‘White Noise’November 22, 2022 GMT
Like Don DeLillo’s 1985 novel, the heart of Noah Baumbach’s “White Noise” is in the supermarket. There, in the gleaming aisles of neatly arranged cereal boxes and produce, DeLillo found America’s church: an over-lit spectacle of abundance and artificiality.
Review: A crowdpleasing whodunnit in Netflix’s ‘Glass Onion’November 22, 2022 GMT
The business of making original movie sequels is often a thankless job. You can’t just do the same thing again, but you also can’t be too different either. And many watching will have their guard up from the outset, suspicious that it is ultimately just a shameless cash grab.
Review: ‘Devotion’ is a quiet tale of allyship amid heroicsNovember 21, 2022 GMT
There must be something about actor Glen Powell that casting directors associate with the heavens.
He’s played astronaut John Glenn in “Hidden Figures,” voiced a NASA official in the animated film "Apollo 10 1⁄2” and has two roles this year as a hotshot Navy aviator.
Review: ‘She Said’ chronicles the scoop that fed a movementNovember 17, 2022 GMT
Those old Hollywood newspaper flicks are great, but today’s journalists don’t run around newsrooms yelling “Get me rewrite!” Nor do they sprint across the room shouting “Stop the presses!” over the click-clack of teletype machines and manual typewriters.
Review: Fine young cannibals in the tender ‘Bones and All’November 17, 2022 GMT
Zombies had a good run. Vampires had their day in the sun. Now, it seems to be cannibals' turn for their bite at the apple.
Luca Guadagnino's “Bones and All” gives them that, and more, in casting Taylor Russell and Timothée Chalamet as a pair of young cannibals in a 1980s-set road movie that's more tenderly lyrical than most conventional romances.
Review: ‘The Menu,’ with Anya Taylor-Joy, serves up satireNovember 17, 2022 GMT
“What are we eating? A Rolex?”
So quips Margot (Anya Taylor-Joy) in Mark Mylod's “The Menu” as she waits with her date, Tyler (Nicholas Hoult), a devoted foodie who has landed them a reservation at the exclusive restaurant Hawthorne.
Review: ‘Slumberland’ aims for enchantment, but gets lostNovember 16, 2022 GMT
An early 20th century weekly comic strip created by Winsor McCay about Little Nemo’s dream world and adventures provides the very loose inspiration for Netflix’s latest big budget spectacle, “Slumberland.”
Review: Ferrell, Reynolds get ‘Spirited’ in holiday musicalNovember 9, 2022 GMT
The devil works in public relations in “ Spirited,” a new spin on “A Christmas Carol” starring Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds. With songs by “The Greatest Showman” duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, big ensemble dance numbers choreographed by Chloe Arnold and special effects galore, “Spirited” it is a maximalist affair that spares no expense in its heart-on-sleeve efforts to entertain.
Review: In ‘The Fabelmans,’ Spielberg looks back in vanityNovember 8, 2022 GMT
A movie by one of Hollywood's most successful directors that's based on his early life begins, appropriately enough, at a movie theater and ends in a movie back lot.
“The Fabelmans” is clearly a very personal film for Steven Spielberg and it's as much a coming-of-age journey as a form of expensive therapy with John Williams offering lovely mood music.
Review: In ‘Wakanda Forever,’ an empire mourns and rebuildsNovember 8, 2022 GMT
Made in the wake of tragedy, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” reverberates with the agony of loss, piercing the usually less consequential superhero realm.
Review: ‘Salvatore’ fetes a life devoted to feet and fashionNovember 3, 2022 GMT
Next time you arrive home with aching, blistered feet after a long day, take heart: It’s not your feet that are the problem. It’s your shoes.
And that comes from the master, the late Salvatore Ferragamo, who pronounces in director Luca Guadagnino’s loving documentary “Salvatore: Shoemaker of Dreams” that in his entire career, “I have found there are no bad feet.
Review: Florence Pugh shines in haunting ‘The Wonder’November 2, 2022 GMT
It is 1862 in a remote Irish village when an English nurse is called in by a local council to observe and investigate a phenomenon in the haunting new film “ The Wonder." There is, she’s told, an 11-year-old girl who has not eaten food in four months and seems to still be healthy.
Review: Alejandro Iñárritu’s freewheeling fantasia ‘Bardo’November 2, 2022 GMT
In the swaggering, maximalist cinema of Alejandro Iñárritu, Iñárritu has, himself, never been all that far off the screen.
Since his blistering debut in “Amores Perros” to his seamless, surrealistic “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance),” Iñárritu’s showman-like presence has been easy to feel prodding and propelling the picture along in a ravenous hunt for transcendent images and spiritual epiphany.
Review: Jennifer Lawrence keeps ‘Causeway’ nicely afloatNovember 1, 2022 GMT
A pickup truck breaking down on the street turns into a blessing of sorts in “Causeway,” a new, gentle Apple TV+ drama starring Jennifer Lawrence.
Review: ‘Armageddon Time’ set in 1980s yet reminds of todayOctober 27, 2022 GMT
After touching the stars with Brad Pitt, filmmaker James Gray has come back to earth to explore his own childhood in “ Armageddon Time. ” Set in the fall of 1980, in Queens, it is a patient and mature work about a very specific time and place when he was anything but — age 11 and starting sixth grade.
Review: A 1960s underground abortion network in ‘Call Jane’October 27, 2022 GMT
In Phyllis Nagy's “Call Jane,” Joy (Elizabeth Banks) is a 1960s housewife married to a defense attorney (Chris Messina) with a teenage daughter (Grace Edwards) and a baby on the way.
Review: Chastain is an everyday superhero in ‘Good Nurse’October 25, 2022 GMT
Movie titles are always important, but there’s special significance to the title of “The Good Nurse,” based on the horrific serial killings of dozens and possibly hundreds of patients by a night nurse who injected fatal drugs into IV bags.
Review: ‘Wendell & Wild’ is a dark and cold animated rideOctober 25, 2022 GMT
Just in time for Halloween comes a film that isn't afraid to lean into the darkness, one frame at a time.
In the first five minutes of “Wendell & Wild,” our teen heroine loses her parents in a car accident, her town is economically gutted and she ends up in the back of a prison bus, her legs shackled and her hands cuffed.
Review: Styles mutes the charisma button in ‘My Policeman’October 20, 2022 GMT
Even if, like me, you’ve never been to a Harry Styles concert, it's hardly difficult to comprehend his huge appeal. He’s ... Harry Styles.
Also huge, to his many fans: the very news of Styles starring in a movie.
Review: ‘Descendant’ powerfully telescopes past and presentOctober 19, 2022 GMT
One of the best films of the year, Margaret Brown's “Descendant” is, strictly speaking, about the discovery of the Clotilda, the last known slave ship.
Review: A memory both burning and fading in ‘Aftersun’October 19, 2022 GMT
If one were to rank the most difficult adolescent age, 11 may not be the first but it is certainly up there. It is just a horribly, hilariously awkward moment of still being very much a kid but with an agonizingly heightened awareness of all those teenage things that are just out of reach.