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Marshall Fine Movie Review

Movie Review: Batkid Begins -- Summer Bright Spot

Marshall Fine | Posted 06.23.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Dana Nachman's touching, funny nonfiction film, Batkid Begins, is sheer delight. Instead of something maudlin and manipulative, Nachman has assembled what may be the year's most joyous and surprising movie. 

Movie Review: The Overnight -- No Sleeping

Marshall Fine | Posted 06.18.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

It is the rare movie comedy that can encompass the wild events of a single night and keep you both squirming and surprised into laughter for its full running time. 

Movie Review: Dope -- Geeks Rule

Marshall Fine | Posted 06.16.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

I've heard Rick Famuyiwa's Dope referred to as Nerdz 'N the Hood, which is apt -- although a better comparison would be Risky Business.

Movie Review: Entourage -- Cashing the check

Marshall Fine | Posted 06.04.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

The principal problem with Entourage as a movie: There are barely as many laughs in its slack 104 minutes as in the average 30-minute episode. Which makes it a lot like the Sex and the City movies.

Movie Review: Mad Max: Fury Road -- Taking the Long Way

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.12.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

"Fury Road" is less a sequel than a reimagining of this post-apocalyptic mythology.

Movie Review: The D Train -- Hop Aboard

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.08.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

As squirm comedies go, The D Train is a breed apart, a film that puts new spin on the bromance. 

Movie Review: Avengers: Age of Ultron -- The End Is Nigh

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.01.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

These feel like cinematic end times -- not in terms of Hollywood movies (that horse is already out of the barn), but in the pack-mentality, "hey, it's good enough" approach of critics to the colossus that bestrides summer movies, otherwise known as the Marvel Universe.

Movie Review: Ex Machina -- Mechanical

Marshall Fine | Posted 06.24.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Ex Machina is both tastily minimal and frustratingly simplistic. Alex Garland's directing debut (he wrote 28 Days Later and Sunshine) is, in essence, a three-hander about three people in a house. OK, a high-tech mansion, but you get the point. 

Movie Review: Child 44 -- Leave This One Behind

Marshall Fine | Posted 06.18.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Certainly the pedigree of Child 44 makes it seem promising. But the timing of the release -- April, a pre-summer graveyard -- and the fact that it wasn't screened for critics until shortly before opening both mitigate against it. 

Movie Review: Alex of Venice -- Mopey

Marshall Fine | Posted 06.18.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

The directing debut of actor Chris Messina, Alex of Venice is as notable for what it doesn't do as for what it does. This is the story of a married parent suddenly forced to realign priorities when their spouse walks out. Think Kramer vs. Kramer - and then make the central character a woman instead of a man.

Movie Review: True Story -- Faking it

Marshall Fine | Posted 06.15.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

True Story is not a bad movie; indeed, it's a creepy little tale that has moments that will unnerve you. But the limitations of its script and of Jonah Hill's performance in the central role keep it from transcending its shortcomings.

Movie Review: While We're Young -- Aging Ungracefully

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.26.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Films about the generation gap tend to pit parent versus child, old values against new, youth versus age, experience against optimism. Which is what makes Noah Baumbach's While We're Young such a treat...

Movie Review: Get Hard -- Hardly

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.24.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart seem like a match made in the acquisitions or marketing department, aiming for the merger of two different comedians' respective audiences, which don't necessarily overlap.

Movie Review: The Gunman -- Cashing the Check, Paying the Price

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.18.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Unfortunately, the script, while making broad political points, otherwise plays as by-the-numbers action fodder.

Movie Review: Maps to the Stars -- Cul-de-sac

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.29.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Writer Bruce Wagner's script for David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars is of a piece with his other work. It blends a cynical vision of people with an even darker examination of the worship of the superficial that is Hollywood life.

Movie Review: Focus -- Hard to Miss the Misdirection

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.28.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Focus works hard and does manage to generate entertainment. But, the strain shows, and the creative team (also responsible for writing Bad Santa and I Love You Philip Morris) can't seem to blend wit with plot complexity. 

Movie Review: Kingsman: The Secret Service -- Bloody Entertaining

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.14.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

When James Bond rebooted with Daniel Craig in Casino Royale, the blend of old-school spy tale and modern-action sensibility seemed right -- if still a little restrained. Imagine now what would happen if James Bond were put in the hands of someone who was willing to not just rethink the secret-agent film but blow it up all together.

Movie Review: What We Do in the Shadows -- Bloody Funny

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.14.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Written and directed by the team of Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, this film presents a flock (coven? pride? school?) of vampires sharing a flat in contemporary New Zealand. The documentarians supposedly not only have been granted access to film the vampires' private lives but have been promised that the vampires won't eat them.

Movie Review: Jupiter Ascending -- Not Terrible, Not Great

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.06.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

There aren't many films from the past 15 years that bowled me over the way The Matrix did. Unfortunately, the Wachowskis -- Andy and Lana -- haven't come close since then.

Movie Review: Black Sea -- In Deep Water

Marshall Fine | Posted 03.23.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Black Sea, a crisply tense film from Kevin MacDonald, is always compelling and even, occasionally, surprising. While submarine films inspire the guessing game of who will be the next to die horribly and who might survive, Black Sea never quite goes where you expect it, thanks to the script by British playwright Dennis Kelly.

Movie Review: Blackhat -- System failure

Marshall Fine | Posted 03.16.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Here's my first problem with Michael Mann's Blackhat: Chris Hemsworth doesn't have the talent to make me believe he's smart enough to be an MIT-educated, world-class computer hacker.

Movie Review: Match -- Who's Your Daddy?

Marshall Fine | Posted 03.15.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Stephen Belber's Match is a slight but affecting film built around a stirring central performance by Patrick Stewart.

Movie Review: Two Days, One Night -- Your Money or My Life

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.25.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

But their newest, Two Days, One Night, pulled me in almost instantly and held me to its gripping conclusion. It's a small story -- an individual's fight for her economic life and that of her family in the suburbs of Liege, Belgium.

Movie Review: Unbroken barely scratches the surface

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.23.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

I happened to see Angelina Jolie's Unbroken before I read the Laura Hillenbrand book about the life of the amazing Louis Zamperini. My guest for an ...

Movie Review: American Sniper - Shooting blanks

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.23.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

The two most disappointing films of the season should have been two of the most gripping: Unbroken (also opening on Christmas) and Clint Eastwood's ...