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Movie Reviews

New to Netflix: February 2015

PureWow | Posted 01.30.2015 | Entertainment
PureWow

Now that you've sufficiently binged your way through Friends, your schedule is free and clear for one recent SAG winner -- Mr. Kevin Spacey.

Zaki's Review: Black or White

Zaki Hasan | Posted 01.30.2015 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

While it attempts some measure of high-minded resolution to the many complicated issues it raises, it's simply casting too wide a net to feel truly satisfying. In trying to be color blind, it just comes off as tone deaf.

'Black or White' Tackles a Touchy Subject

Dwight Brown | Posted 01.28.2015 | Black Voices
Dwight Brown

Only a very perceptive filmmaker could tackle the topic of race relations and be remotely successful. It would require a writer/director to be smart, balanced, sensitive and able to see both sides of the issue.

Timbuktu

Dwight Brown | Posted 01.23.2015 | Black Voices
Dwight Brown

As Islamic fundamentalists encroach on the basic liberties of people in Africa and the Arab world, we hear about it, but it's hard to put it into context and understand the magnitude of the situation. Leave it to veteran, Mauritanian filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako to boil a complicated social phenomena down to a simple allegorical tale.

ReThink Review: American Sniper -- Can There Be Heroes on the Wrong Side of History?

Jonathan Kim | Posted 01.23.2015 | Entertainment
Jonathan Kim

I see soldier worship as harmful because it so easily morphs into support for wars, no matter how unjust, by letting our affection for our fellow citizens in uniform and our desire to see them come home alive obscure the truth behind what they're supposedly fighting and dying for, which is rarely as black and white as we are told or wish it to be.

Movie Review: The Boy Next Door -- Get a Fence

Marshall Fine | Posted 01.22.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

How can J-Lo ignore The Boy Next Door? She can't, obviously, because he's a blazing wackjob with an erotic obsession for his new neighbor.

Zaki's Review: American Sniper

Zaki Hasan | Posted 01.21.2015 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

The very fact that American Sniper asks to be accepted as an artifact that will stand for time immemorial virtually necessitates a higher degree of investigation then the film is able or willing to offer.

Movie Review: Black Sea -- In Deep Water

Marshall Fine | Posted 01.21.2015 | 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.

The Wedding Ringer

Dwight Brown | Posted 01.20.2015 | Entertainment
Dwight Brown

The Wedding Ringer isn't innovative, but ultimately it's a crowd-pleasing movie. Hart, with his command of social media, will get fans in theater seats. Garelick's writing/direction coupled with the cast's high jinks will keep audiences laughing.

Classic Movies and Books Released for the Over 50 Female!

Stephanie D. Lewis | Posted 01.16.2015 | Fifty
Stephanie D. Lewis

Frocky Horror Picture Show: Terrifying tale about a female looking for the perfect dress for her 30th high school reunion. Close your eyes during the special effects Spanx scene... shudder!

Zaki's Review: Blackhat

Zaki Hasan | Posted 01.16.2015 | Entertainment
Zaki Hasan

Honestly, this was a rough one. Whether we're talking about the overly-complicated story, the overly-simplistic dialogue, or the clunky pacing, Blackhat is such a smorgasbord of missteps that it's genuinely hard to divine what the filmmakers' actual intent even was.

A Review of 'American Sniper'

Dwight Brown | Posted 01.14.2015 | Black Voices
Dwight Brown

His steely, icy demeanor gave Chris Kyle a steady aim, but didn't protect him from the fragile aftermath of war, particularly Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The film fluctuates between his achievements in battle and his ordeal back at home.

Movie Review: Blackhat -- System failure

Marshall Fine | Posted 01.14.2015 | 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.

Best of 2015 Palm Springs International Film Festival

Brad Schreiber | Posted 01.13.2015 | Entertainment
Brad Schreiber

The 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival, Jan. 2-12, included fifty of the Academy Award-nominated foreign films. Here's the best of a fest that includes American studio, independent and overseas cinema.

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

Marshall Fine | Posted 01.13.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

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

Selma

Dwight Brown | Posted 12.28.2014 | Black Voices
Dwight Brown

R.I.P. Martin Luther King. Your story has been told. Your legacy passed on. Your strategies for non-violent demonstrations shared. Your ability for changing hearts, minds and laws well-documented.

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

Marshall Fine | Posted 12.26.2014 | 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 12.24.2014 | 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 12.24.2014 | 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 ...

Movie Review: Big Eyes ...of the Beholder

Marshall Fine | Posted 12.23.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

At heart, Big Eyes is a just a drama about a codependent relationship that strays into abusiveness, in which the wife finally finds the strength to ...

Movie Review: The Gambler -- Snake-eyes

Marshall Fine | Posted 12.23.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

I bristle whenever Hollywood decides that it's time to remake a film from the recent past (although, with a history of cinema that only extends a little over 100 years, it's ALL the recent past).

Movie Review: Selma -- The March Goes On

Marshall Fine | Posted 12.22.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Fifty years separate the events in the film and the headlines of 2014 and it feels as though little has changed.

Movie Review: The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies'

Marshall Fine | Posted 12.18.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Jackson has done something that will likely never be done again: It's not just that he got these movies made the way he wanted -- but that the way he did it was of such consistently high quality.

The Best Films of 2014

Dwight Brown | Posted 12.17.2014 | Black Voices
Dwight Brown

It's not like Michael Keaton's career was kaput, but it seems like he raised himself from the dead with this invigorating performance. Mexican director/writer Alejandro González Iñárritu gave Keaton a plum role.

Movie Review: Mr. Turner -- Go Toward the Light

Marshall Fine | Posted 12.17.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Had he been born in a different time and place, painter J.M.W. Turner might have been a member of the Hudson River School, a group of artists who worked in the second half of the 19th century, after Turner's 1851 death.