With  American Animals  (2018), writer / director Bart Layton deploys techniques he introduced in his excellent documentary  The Imposter (2012) to create a biopic like no other, one that’s actually entertaining. The true-crime story itself is interesting – 4 college boys who devise a plan to steal and sell priceless books from a college library – yet in […]

The Highwaymen, in which a pair of Texas Rangers come out of retirement to catch the infamous outlaws Bonnie and Clyde is not your typical buddy cop movie.  Nor is it your standard Bonnie & Clyde fare. In fact, there’s a sense the film doesn’t quite know what it is. It is at its best when it is essentially […]

Focusing on an “illegal” mission to steal a drug lord’s fortune, Triple Frontier (2019)  initially appears to be more than just your typical heist movie.  In setting up an assassination plot against a violent and oppressive criminal, things start to look especially interesting when it is revealed that our heroes’ motivations are essentially based on greed.  Yet the […]

Several of the ingredients of a waste of celluloid can be found in Can You Ever Forgive Me.  Namely, a debut feature* from a relatively unknown female director** which is a Biography*** about an author no one remembers, starring Melissa McCarthy****.   Yet by casting against type, Director Marielle Heller has unearthed a performance from a comedic Actress […]

Rapper / Producer Boots Riley’s directorial debut is evidence of a singular vision, years in the making which is completely unique in style.  Ostensibly a Comedy about the moral dangers of greed, Sorry To Bother You  sets out its stall early as a kind of dream-like hyper-reality which becomes increasingly twisted.   “From the sublime to the ridiculous” may […]

Money Monster has an interesting premise.  The arrogant, show-off Anchor of a popular Financial TV show is taken hostage live on air by a viewer who followed the advice of the show to a ruinous end. Initially it seems there’s a chance to see something different here.  Chiefly, Clooney playing an unlikeable character.  Very soon however, the promise of […]

Hi, Let me take your coat.  Sit down, relax. Would you like a glass of wine? So how was your day?  Sounds tedious.  Yeah, I can’t wait to Netflix and chill either.  I’m glad you mentioned it actually, I was thinking we might try something a little…’different’ tonight.  Now it’ll be uncomfortable at first, maybe even jarring.  Wait, hear me out. That’s just the […]

It’s difficult to tell whether Gore Verbinski’s tongue is planted firmly in his cheek throughout A Cure For Wellness but given the film’s running time of 2 hours and 26 minutes, such a feat would likely require the meddling of a twisted surgeon. The film is true to its billing as a ‘Gothic’ thriller with […]

Soderberg’s latest experimentation with the iPhone focuses on a struggling  idealistic player agent during an NBA “lockout”.  You may wonder how so small a camera manages to capture or at least replicate the drama of fast-paced sporting action, particularly the pinnacle grandstand moment of that ole rags to riches sports tale.  Without spoiling anything, let me tell you […]

With Hold The Dark  Director Jeremy Saulnier and Writer/Actor Macon Blair (Blue Ruin, Green Room) leave little to the imagination in terms of violence while leaving just enough to the imagination in terms of plot, affording us the opportunity to discover a wider story. Ostensibly a tale of revenge akin to Blue Ruin  yet much darker and colder, the […]