The Latest Movie Reviews
'Halloween' Reads Like A Poetic Love Letter To 1978, Drenched In Blood And Gore
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Forty years ago to the month, John Carpenter changed the landscape of the modern horror movie with Halloween. The numerous sequels and remakes have been hit-and-miss over the years, so writer/ director David Gordon Green (Joe, Manglehorn) and cowriters Danny McBride ("Eastbound & Down") and Jeff Fradley ("Vice...

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'The Guilty' Takes The Viewer On A Tense Journey While Never Leaving The Room
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The Guilty is about a Danish police officer named Asger Holm (Jakob Cedergren from "Those Who Kill") who has been assigned dispatch duty while an investigation into his job conduct can be completed. One evening, he gets an emergency call from a woman named Iben (Jessica Dinnage from "The Rain") who claims that...

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Drew Goddard's 'Bad Times At The El Royale' Is Trashy, Pulpy, And Just Plain Fun
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After creating of the hit TV series "Lost," writer/director Drew Goddard jumped into feature filmmaking with both feet in 2012 and made The Cabin in the Woods, which is easily one of the best movies of the twenty-first century. Since then, he's settled into screenwriting by working on scripts for big budget Hollywood...

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'First Man' Strips Away The Glitz Of Space Travel For A High Caliber Biopic
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First Man tells the story of Neil Armstrong's foray into NASA and his eventual Apollo 11 mission in which he and Buzz Aldrin were the first humans to set foot on the moon. It's as much a story about Armstrong (played by Ryan Gosling) the astronaut as it is about Armstrong the man, but it feels equally as much...

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'Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween' Is An Instant Halloween Classic
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After the Goosebumps movie a few years ago delighted both kids and adults, a sequel seemed all but guaranteed. Now it's here. But can Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween live up to the standard set by its predecessor? The short answer is Yes. Yes it can. Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween is about two friends named...

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'A Star Is Born' Breathes New Life Into The Same Old Story
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People say that there's no more creativity in Hollywood. And, with everything from Oldboy to RoboCop getting remade, who can blame them? Especially when some remakes are remakes of remakes of remakes. Like A Star Is Born. A Star Is Born is about an alcoholic rock star named Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper from...

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'Venom' Is The Weirdest Marvel Movie To Date, And It Almost Works
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It's rare that a villain is iconic and well known enough to get his/her own movie, but if there were a shortlist of candidates, Venom would be on it. The titular symbiote has been battling Spider-Man throughout the years and has many different incarnations, so there is plenty of source material to mine. For this...

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'The Sisters Brothers' May Not Be Your Father's Western, But It's Close
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Joaquin Phoenix is having one hell of a 2018. He's starred as a sensitive hitman in You Were Never Really Here and as a quadriplegic cartoonist in Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot. He's even played Jesus in Mary Magdalene, although it's unclear as to when American audiences will see it, if ever. And that's...

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'Colette' Is The Second Best Matrimonial Plagiarism Movie Of The Year
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Years before writers/directors/life partners Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer made the wonderful Still Alice, the pair began work on a passion project about French novelist Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. A couple of weeks after Julianne Moore won the Academy award for her performance in Still Alice, Glatzer...

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'The House with A Clock In Its Walls' More Or Less Faithfully Adapts John Bellairs' Classic Children's Thriller
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Earlier this year, the big-screen adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's beloved children's novel A Wrinkle in Time disappointed both critics and fans. The film was lackluster enough to cast doubts upon the next highly anticipated children's book adaptation, John Bellairs' The House with a Clock in Its Walls. Well,...

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'Lizzie' Tells A Different Version Of The Lizzie Borden Legend
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Everyone knows the story of Lizzie Borden. It's one of the most notorious murders in American history. But, because Borden was acquitted of the crimes, there has always been an air of mystery surrounding both the woman and the killings. Which leads to some speculative and creative movies. Movies like Lizzie. Lizzie...

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Ethan Hawke's 'Blaze' Celebrates The Life And Times - And Music - Of An Unsung Country Hero
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For every country music star, there are seemingly a dozen anonymous artists of whom the general public have never heard, but have had massive influence over their peers. Blaze is a movie about one of these unsung modern country pioneers. Blaze stars Ben Dickey (himself more of a country/folk musician than an...

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'A Simple Favor' Teams Anna Kendrick And Blake Lively In A Pulpy, Twisty Thriller
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If you're like me, you love pulpy mysteries. And that means you'll love A Simple Favor. A Simple Favor is about a mommy vlogger named Stephanie Smothers (Anna Kendrick from The Last Five Years and Into the Woods) who meets an eccentric and enigmatic woman named Emily Nelson (Blake Lively from The Shallows and...

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'The Nun' Does Not Live Up To Its Horrifying Potential
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Of all of the scary stuff that was going on in The Conjuring 2, the iconic image that captured the attention of horror fans everywhere was the Demonic Nun that haunted Lorraine Warren. Of course, that nun now has her own movie, simply called The Nun. Set in 1952, The Nun is about a priest named Father Burke...

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'The Wife' Lets Glenn Close Be Glenn Close
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Over the years, actress Glenn Close has been nominated for six Academy Awards for her performances in everything from Fatal Attraction to The Big Chill, but she's never won. That may change with The Wife. The Wife is about an author named Joe Castleman (Jonathan Pryce from Something Wicked This Way Comes) who...

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'Epidemic' Entertains, Even As It Falls Into The Same Old Horror Traps
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I often see something in independent movies that I like to refer to as the "Film School Aesthetic." It's usually a product of a film's budgetary constraints, and I use the term not so much as a critique as I do an observation, because it can be a good and a bad thing, sometimes both within the same film. Epidemic...

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Lenny Abrahamson's 'The Little Stranger' Sells Supernatural Thrills But Delivers Historical Drama
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When we were all walking out of the press screening of The Little Stranger, a fellow critic turned to me and said "well, looks like the trailer got us on that one." He could not have been more right. The Little Stranger is about a doctor named Faraday (Domhnall Gleeson from Ex Machina and Frank) who is called...

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'Operation Finale' Shows The Less Glamorous Side Of Nazi Hunting
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After the end of World War II, most of the surviving high-ranking members of the Nazi party went into hiding so that they could not face trial for their war crimes. And a select few Israeli "Nazi Hunters" made it their life's work to track them down and bring them to justice. Operation Finale is the story of...

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'The Miseducation Of Cameron Post' Lets Its Young Stars Shine
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The Miseducation of Cameron Post stars Hollywood It-Girl Chloë Grace Moretz (If I Stay, Carrie) in the title role as a teenage girl who is caught making out with another girl on her prom night. She is promptly sent to a Christian conversion therapy camp run by a psychotherapist named Dr. Lydia Marsh (Jennifer...

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Spike Lee's 'BlacKkKlansman' Is The Visionary Filmmaker's Best Movie In Years...And His Most Important
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Visionary filmmaker Spike Lee has never been one to shy away from political and social commentary. Films like Malcolm X and Do the Right Thing were more overt about it, but he even managed to sneak messages into his less preachy movies like Summer of Sam or his reimaging of Old Boy. BlacKkKlansman might be his...

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Frame Of Mind

Private PropertyHome invasion movies exploit a realism that makes them more frightening than the average horror movie.  There’s a “that could really happen!” aspect to them.  Some movies, like The Strangers, take a suspenseful route while others, like You’re Next, go more over-the-top, and still others, like Funny Games, expertly combine the real and the surreal.  But decades before any of those films were made, in 1960, there was a lost noir thriller about a home invasion, an economical little movie called Private Property.

Soul SurvivorsThe nineties were a curious time for horror movies.  The success of young adult television shows like “Beverly Hills 90210,” “Dawson’s Creek,” and “Party of Five” paved the way for a slew of fright flicks that were packed with beautiful young stars and set to hip modern soundtracks.  Usually, these movie were slashers, like Scream or I Know What You Did Last Summer.  Sometimes, they were more sci-fi tinged, such as Disturbing Behavior or The Faculty.  By the turn of the century, the teen horror craze had hit the supernatural realm.  Case in point: 2001’s Soul Survivors.

Pope Francis: A Man of His WordIn 2013, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected to the Papacy and took the name Pope Francis, after Saint Francis of Assisi.  Almost immediately, he became a controversial figure because of his progressive views.  A few years later, documentary filmmaker Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire, The Salt of the Earth) was given unprecedented access to the Pope in order to make a movie.  That movie is simply called Pope Francis: A Man of His Word.

CubeIn 2004, the first Saw movie was released, and along with some help from Hostel the next year, the torture porn subgenre of horror was born.  The Saw movies, or at least the first few of them, featured ordinary people who would wake up in boobytrapped buildings, forced to use their wits to find a way out – or die.  But, to paraphrase The Matrix (or at least the Mandela Effect of it), what if I told you that the Saw concept had been done years before, in 1997?  Because that’s pretty much what Cube did.

Won't You Be My Neighbor?Those who grew up in the seventies may remember a children’s show nestled in between “Sesame Street” and “The Electric Company” on PBS called “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.”  It wasn’t as flashy as its bookends, but it was every bit as charming, and probably even more historically important.  The show and its creator, Fred Rogers, are the subject of the documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

I Saw What You DidLast week, Cinema Fearité took a look at Lisa, a cautionary tale of a girl who gets wrapped up in pretending to be someone else on the telephone.  This week, we’re going to check out another lost gem about prank calls from the pre-Caller ID days, the 1988 television movie I Saw What You Did.

LisaThere are horror movies geared towards children, like Paperhouse or Something Wicked This Way Comes, and there are horror movies that only adults should see, such as The Human Centipede or Irreversible.  But tucked in the middle are the movies for “tweeners,” the (usually) PG-13 flicks that are too intense for little ones, but tame by adult standards, movies like Scream for Help or The GateLisa is one of these tweener movies.

The PredatorIn this sixth predator-featured film, Screenwriter Fred Dekker and Director Shane Black, who also has a writing credit, clearly realize that the Predator franchise needs a fresh take and an overhaul. It's great to watch Arnold Schwarzenegger crawl in the mud for survival in Predator, and even Alien vs. Predator (2004) is dreamy to fans of both series, but 2010's Predators is a total disaster. Something had to be done, and Black and Dekker have done something very different with The Predator: They've taken a page out of the Scream notebook and made it -- dare it be said --lighthearted and ridiculously funny, with a side of decent gore, body splicing, and plenty of explosions.

PredatorThis week, the latest movie in the recent trend of sequels/reboots of classic flicks hits the screen with The Predator.  It seems like a good time for Cinema Fearité to take a look at the beloved creature feature that kicked off the franchise, 1987’s Predator.

American Chaos, courtesy Sony Pictures ClassicsNovember 9th, 2016 is a day that will live in infamy for many Americans.  It is the day that reality television star/real estate mogul Donald Trump was elected President of the United States of America.  Documentary filmmaker and self-described “political junkie” James D. Stern (Every Little Step, Sport in America: Our Defining Stories) decided at the beginning of Trump’s campaign that he wanted to know why anyone would vote for the man.  He got his answers, and shares them in American Chaos.

Shock TreatmentSequels are funny things in the horror world.  Of course, the most successful movies turn into franchises, like Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Friday the 13th.  Other popular movies, like American Psycho or The Lost Boys, spawn sequels that many fans don’t even know exist.  And then there are the sequels that people don’t know are sequels because they became so much bigger than their predecessor, like The Silence of the Lambs.  In today’s episode of “they made a sequel to THAT?”, we’ll take a look at the underrated sequel to the cult hit The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the 1981 musical comedy Shock Treatment.

RBGIn her long and storied career, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has gone from lawyer to judge to Supreme Court justice.  But perhaps her most interesting accomplishment has been becoming an internet meme, an inspirational figure for both modern women and liberal activists all over America.  Her fascinating story is the subject of a new documentary, appropriately entitled RBG.

PiranhaIn 1975, the movie world was changed by Steven Spielberg’s summer blockbuster Jaws.  And almost immediately, schlock filmmakers started imitating it, hoping some of the success would rub off.  And some did.  The Jaws clone trend has given us awesome movies like Orca, Tentacles, and even Grizzly.  Oh, and Piranha.

FilmworkerWhile the great Stanley Kubrick had a fairly modest output over his long career (13 movies in 46 years), there’s little doubt that he’s considered to be one of the most influential filmmakers of all time.  Filmworker takes a close look at the second half of his career through the eyes of someone who was involved intimately in it, his trusted colleague and friend Leon Vitali.

Fatal AttractionNot long ago, Cinema Fearité dug into the phenomenon of “Oscar Horror” when we took a look at The Silence of the Lambs.  Although that movie may be the best example of a modern horror movie going mainstream for the Academy Awards, it certainly isn’t the only one, and we’re not talking about The Shape of Water.  Four short years before The Silence of the Lambs brought home the Big Five, Fatal Attraction earned a slew of Oscar nominations of its own.

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